Languages Classroom Techniques

I have been delving into the world of formative assessment and the work of Dylan Wiliam. While his name and ideas are not new to me and you, I have decided to use more of his recommended techniques in my French classroom, particularly with year 8. I found the Classroom Experiment videos to be very helpful in doing this. So, what have I tried?

no hands up

  • No hands up – everyone gets thinking time and anyone could be picked to answer a question.
  • Mini whiteboards (very successful) – everyone is the class has to show their understanding which then flows into how I continue the lesson.
  • Secret student – I am the only one who knows who is going to be responsible for the whole class’s behaviour and depending on how that student behaves, the whole class either get a Class Dojo point or not.

As a staff committee we are working through the key ideas from Wiliam, which will then shape our school conference next year. I want to try out some of the methods beforehand in order to really understand their impact on student learning. One of the best known techniques is no grades on student work, which I will be trialing with my Year 11 class soon.

What has worked in your classroom for formative assessment and student achievement?




New Challenges for 2014

I’m excited to have accepted the position as Head of Languages at a new school for 2014 and beyond. I will be leaving St Paul’s with a heavy heart to take on this new role at William Clarke College. I’m sure there will be many rewards and challenges as I step up into a leadership position and I can’t wait to get started! I have grown immensely as a teacher at St Paul’s and have undertaken many and varied projects apart from teaching French. I feel I am ready to see what’s round the next bend in the road – I’m sure you will hear all about it here on the blog as I take on the journey!


A bend in the road.