Today I posted a question in the MFL Secondary Matters facebook group, as I wanted to get some opinions from other teachers, and wondered if anyone used Knowledge Organisers.
I have seen examples of Knowledge Organisers (KOs) from Michaela, examples that are a sort of vocabulary list – with questions and verb conjugations included-presented on quizlet/memrise and an example that is like the second one but presented as a single sheet.
The general consensus seemed to be that they are a sort of language mat, something which linguists have done regularly for years. The version used by Michaela is very specific, in that it doesn’t provide the sorts of lists I would expect to see in my languages classroom, they use chunks of phrases, which they then work with repeatedly in lessons. I applaud their approach and recognise that it works for the style of teaching that they use in their MFL classrooms, but I have my own pedagogical approach and I have spent a lot of today think about how best I would expect to use them in my department.
I would not want to give the KOs out until we are a few weeks into the topic being taught, or else we would end up giving the students the language before going through the process of teaching them the new words, and I believe that helping students to understand new words through introducing new language using a variety of techniques is an essential part of an MFL teacher’s arsenal, therefore I would prefer the KOs to be given out towards the end of the topic. Weaker students may receive them sooner, and digital versions will also be available online on quizlet.
If you want to read my thoughts that I will be discussing with my department then please have a read of this document, and here are the KOs I have spent some time making this evening.
They are all in Google Drive. If you wish to make a copy, please feel free.