PGCE Modern Foreign Languages Partnership
Aims of the Course
The Modern Foreign Languages course introduces you to the teaching of languages in secondary schools for young people aged 11-16. It puts great emphasis on language as communication and on the value of language learning as a way of understanding other cultures and peoples through communication and contact.
Do you fit the bill?
- If you have a degree which includes a language as a main element..
- If you enjoy using your language..
- If you have spent a period of residence in one of the countries where they speak the language, and you feel you understand the people..
- If you have spent time with young people and enjoy their company..
- If you are well organised and conscientious..
- If you enjoy challenges and have a creative streak..
..then you stand a good chance of being a great language teacher.
Who are the other teacher trainees you will work with?
The Modern Foreign Languages group on the PGCE at Durham will all have the above things in common. Having said that, they are a different blend of people each year. There are those who have just graduated from a British University in the traditional way, there are several people from other countries (so far, Germany, France, Algeria and French speaking Canada) and there are those who have come back to higher education after doing something else, such as a career in commerce or industry, travelling, child-raising etc.
Whatever your background, your common purpose in coming to us means that you will quickly learn to work together and create your own social groupings.
You are taught in a mixed group of linguists whether you have specialised in French, German or Spanish. Those who are qualified in one language are encouraged and helped to "brush up" a language they learnt in the past, so that they are better qualified in the job market.
Please note, that if your first teaching languages not French, you will be advised to take the French Extension Course at Hull University prior to commencing the PGCE as we are unable to take trainees without French, due to difficulties in placing them on teaching practice. If French is your only teaching subject, you may be advised to take the German Extension course at Newcastle University prior to commencing the PGCE. Further details can be found at the bottom of the page.
Organisation and Structure
Practical seminars introduce you to how people learn languages and how we can best teach them in schools. You also study the outcomes of research and theory and applications for the classroom and beyond.
During the course, there are three main opportunities to get to know schools from the inside: a fortnight in a primary school and two separate periods in our partnership secondary schools. In the first, you will have the opportunity to see what life has been like for the children you will teach before they come into secondary school; you will be able to observe and consider ways of organising children's learning which may be applicable to the older children you will meet; you will be able to begin to consider education from a professional point of view. In the secondary schools you will acquire the competences of teaching a language consistent with the aims and processes of foreign language learning which will be the main focus of the university part of the course.
What is special about the Durham course?
There is one especially popular feature of the course, which takes place after your main teaching practice: the opportunity to spend between one and three weeks abroad. There are various schemes available and they are all concerned with those aspects of Foreign Language teaching which are best done 'in the field'. The choice is yours:
- Two weeks in France or Germany, with students training to teach in those countries. This is an opportunity to get a wider perspective on what we understand by education, and Foreign Language teaching and learning
- Two weeks in the Czech Republic with colleagues from the Geography group, teaching a short programme aimed at raising the awareness of young Czech students of a different culture
Language teachers can look forward to exciting times as Britain becomes more integrated into the life of Continental Europe. The significance of language learning is quickly becoming evident to young people, parents and society at large. The challenges are exciting and the rewards of seeing young people become multilingual and aware of other cultures are very great. We look forward to receiving your application.
Mrs. Joan Nicholson (0191 334 8366) supported by Prof. Mike Byram.
French Extension Course Information can be found here
German Extension Course Information can be found here