Clicker MFL Success Stories
Moira Turton – West Oaks Special School, West Yorkshire
Throughout this term, I have been using Clicker French in regular whole-class sessions with some of my Key Stage 3 and 4 students. All of the students have special needs and approximately a third are autistic. It is very much a mixed ability group; some of the children are at P level, whilst others are up at Level 4 in their speaking and reading. We have been focussing on the 'Jack and the Beanstalk' section of the French Stories CD, and I have been incredibly impressed by the progress all of my students have made.
Firstly, we followed the story through as a class. The children absolutely loved it; they recognised a lot of the story from the English version they were all so familiar with. Hearing the story in French really helped them to understand the meaning of the new words they were introduced to, not to mention how much fun they had in the process!
We also tried quite a few of the corresponding activities. The students all had a go at using microphones to record themselves saying various sentences from the story. Helped by Clicker French's combination of on-screen support and a French voice that they could listen to, the children made some fantastic progress in their pronunciation. After a few practises, some were getting it absolutely spot on!
The children particularly enjoyed the Raconte l' histoire activity, in which they retold the story by choosing the correct picture to match each statement they were hearing. We did this as a whole-class activity, with each child taking one statement so everyone could contribute. There was a real sense of achievement amongst the students when we had completed the whole story.
Clicker French is so interactive, which makes learning French such an engaging process for the students. There wasn't a single student who didn't enjoy the lessons; they really looked forward to taking part and would welcome the MFL Advisor by speaking in French whenever she came into the classroom! Most of all, I was amazed at the confidence the children developed. As the term progressed, they became really comfortable with speaking in French in front of their classmates and were happy to come up to the front and give all the activities a try. In fact, when we invited some neighbouring high school students to come and join in with one of our sessions, they were bowled over by how confident and assured my pupils were.
All in all, using Clicker French has been a superb learning experience for everyone, and I am really looking forward to working with it even more in the coming academic year.