If shy kids find MFL torture, something is wrong

fish64

I came across a tweet recently which saddened me. “For shy kids, MFL can feel like torture”. This was then used as an argument for ditching the opportunity to learn a second foreign language in school and for making/keeping MFL optional at KS4.

As someone who was and is fairly shy, who nevertheless went on to specialise in languages, I could not disagree more. My take on this is that what shy people find torture is being laughed at, or being made to feel a fool. Unfortunately, this can happen in MFL classes, or indeed in classes of any subject.

I learnt a lot from watching teachers deliver MFL lessons abroad in three different countries. Despite the differences in methodology, I noticed one thing in every lesson and it was this. A total absence of sniggering. It was quite remarkable. Here is one example:

The class had to prepare 2 minute presentations on…

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