Mapping the meaning: making grammar matter to help progression in foreign language learning

Posted on 6 March 2015

Local teachers are benefiting from an introduction to a learning approach that boosts young people’s understanding and use of foreign language grammar, run by Dr Emma Marsden and final year Education PhD student Rowena Hanan.

The sessions explore a research-based grammar teaching approach called form-function mapping.

An aim of the sessions is for teachers to share what they gained from the sessions with other colleagues and students to spread good practice. With over 40 teachers and educators attending the sessions so far, there is potential for the approach to enhance the learning of hundreds of students.

Comments from teachers following attendance at the continuing professional development sessions held in Sheffield and York, include:

“Really useful tips which should be easy enough to implement alongside the usual teaching.”

“Thought-provoking. Challenges our mind set. Encourages teachers to reassess ways teachers learn.”

“I’ve come into work this morning to change my lessons for today to include some form function activities.”

“I did the word order verb 2 activity for German today - bottom set, demotivated kids; I thought it was going to be a disaster but probably the best activity they have done, all correct and all understanding!”

All teachers at the York event reported that they would use the ideas presented in their own practice.

Following the positive feedback, more sessions are being planned and dates will be posted soon on: www.york.ac.uk/education