To those of you out there who are MFl teachers you will understand the hell that is controlled assessment. Students have to write 2 assessments under controlled conditions and record 2 assessments under controlled conditions each assessment is worth 15% making the whole lot worth 60% yes 60% of the final mark! Controlled assessment is the make or break of GCSE Modern Foreign Languages. My fresh-faced Y10 class are currently in phase 1 of the controlled assessment cycle – namely the teaching bit. We are preparing for a written assessment on holidays, this requires them to use a variety of tenses and some interesting vocabulary in order that they all gain our grade C or above. We are now 5 weeks into the new year and we have studied the past tenses and vocabulary linked to talking about a journey to a holiday destination. So far so good.
Last week I set my class the task of writing a short paragraph in French in which they described their journey to their holiday destination. In my mind this was going to be a doddle for them but alsa no! When I came to mark their books the majority of work was inaccurate and sloppy so much so that I nearly cried
I needed them to understand that quality was important and that they could do this task with ease. So I chose a piece of my students’ homework that was not great and typed it errors and all into a Googledoc.
All Isle of Man staff and students have a Google mail account and a Google drive, which is fabulous, so I simply shared the doc with my Y10 class and gave them all editing rights. The students then had to make at least 3 corrections or additions to the document. As a teacher you can track the changes by going to file – revision history. Once the deadline had arrived I removed the editing rights, checked who had participated (all but a few had) and reviewed their work. I was astounded, at the quality of the work, there were in inevitably some mistakes but the overall paragraph was of good quality and certainly worthy of a grade B if not more. The students had been inventive and had tried out a number of the grammar structures that we had looked at in class. All that was left for me to do was to correct the mistakes and the students now have a great example of a paragraph about a journey to a holiday destination that they can refer to when preparing for their controlled assessment. Most importantly, they produced the work, together; the more able provided support for the less able without realising it and the whole experience was a positive one. The students had to scrutinise the work for errors and they had to become more and more inventive as revisions were made to the document. If you have never tried using Google docs in this way I urge you to give it a go!