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Matamata College – Linking with the local intermediate to bring the KCs alive

A genuine desire to bring learning languages and the key competencies alive in classrooms supports this innovative partnership between two schools.

Florence Lyons.

Matamata College French teacher, Florence Lyons, linked up with two teachers from the neighbouring intermediate school who expressed their wish to teach French at year 8. Florence offered to observe and support them as they established their language programme. From that small beginning, this exciting teaching and learning project blossomed.

At the same time as she began working with the intermediate teachers, Florence was collaborating with Pascale Hyboud-Peron, NZAFT executive and administrator of the NZAFT website, to explore new ways to strengthen the key competencies in her senior classes. They realised this was an ideal opportunity to promote the key competencies in general (and thinking in particular) by involving year 12 students in the intermediate programme.

"During the summer holiday I wrote an email to the principal of the intermediate school proposing the idea. She answered straight away saying it was a fantastic idea, brilliant."

Florence Lyons

The teaching programme

The year 12 students planned and taught French lessons at the intermediate school for a term. This encouraged them to revisit and strengthen a number of aspects of their French language learning. This approach enabled them to enact the key competencies in an authentic context. In particular, they valued the thinking this involved, gained confidence, and made a contribution to their community through their participation.

"I’ve never seen a class making so much progress in a year. These are the kids who are teaching. I couldn’t believe it. Now they are extremely independent. They are capable of discussing, arguing about French – stuff that’s quite hard."

Florence Lyons

The intermediate students relished the opportunity to learn from their neighbouring college students.

The project wiki

The project wiki details the development of the programme and provides delightful video reflections from both teachers and students. It also features a number of excellent teaching resources.

  • Teaching resources
    This resource collection supports the teaching of French at levels 1 and 2 of the NZC.
  • Changing minds
    The pre-test and post-test show graphically how the success of this programme has changed students’ attitudes to learning languages.
community engagement

Updated on: 16 Aug 2011