Here are a few more details about the inquiry for those who are interested. In the first half of the spring term 2020 all 2nd form pupils (across 6 groups streamed as high/medium/low in terms of ability) we set aside 5 weeks for the FOSIL inquiry and aimed to guide students through every single one of the 6 stages of the framework.
Inquiry question: Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Would it be high on your list? Why/why not?
We did one lesson of upfront teaching of some key vocabulary to do with visiting towns/cities
Pupils had 10 lessons broken down into the 6 stages of the FOSIL cycle with 2 preps.
Pupils worked in 2 different groups of 3 or 4 pupils and also on their own at different stages of the project.
Assessment: a written script ‘guide’ to Paris and a video presentation of this being read out.
After the project 5 lessons were spent teaching pupils the past tense. They were then asked to return to their inquiry and use the information to write about an imaginary trip they had taken to Paris in the past tense (written assessment under test conditions).
The objectives and desired outcomes:
For pupils to find out lots about Paris that they didn’t already know
For pupils to acquire new vocabulary through exposure in context and repetition in different texts.
All the staff involved were highly experienced teachers with a good background cultural knowledge of Paris (French specialists). None of us had ever tried anything like this before but all teachers are keen to try new ideas and half had already spent a year teaching the MYP to the same year group in year 7. Nobody had a negative attitude at the start although all of us were sceptical about the role of inquiry in MFL teaching.
We also sought the support of our 3 language assistants, native French speakers who do not usually work with pupils this young. Our subject librarian, Lucy Breag, played a key role in the designing of materials and helped deliver some of the lessons with less confident teachers.