Articles by Laura Lopez-Sheriff

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How can we persuade more students to study GCSE Languages?

For a number of years, across the UK, MFL teachers have tried a number of strategies to encourage students to take a language course at GCSE. Trips abroad are a great opportunity to practise language skills and get students interested in learning a foreign language. Equally, trips abroad are an eye-opener into other cultures. Students […]


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Languages no longer a popular option

In 2004 Labour decided to make Languages an option subject. Sadly, this has partially resulted in its long-term decline. The EBacc has arrested the decline in the study of academic subjects such as Languages at GCSE level, but this is just because head teachers and senior leaders in schools have forced a percentage of students […]


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Is Controlled Assessment in Modern Foreign Languages a good thing?

As an experienced teacher of the subject, this author’s answer would be “No.” As part of the GCSE course in languages, students have to complete four controlled assessments: two written and two spoken. These four components make up 60% of their final GCSE grade. For each task, students have to prepare around 300 words of […]


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Does studying Spanish A level improve my conversational Spanish?

Does Studying A level Spanish improve my conversational Spanish? I was asked this question myself recently. Not knowing the answer myself, I asked Laura Lopez-Sheriff, one of Oxford Open Learning’s Spanish teaching team, to answer for me.  This is what she said: “Studying A level Spanish most definitely will improve your conversational skills, for the […]


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