This new course will help teachers of A level French to improve their teaching and learning techniques when dealing with the extremely important elements of grammar and translation. All students, whether aspiring to the very top grades or not, need to understand the requirements and build their skill levels so that precision and good habits become engrained. Delegates will understand how to introduce sophisticated elements into grammar usage so that they satisfy ‘complex language’ elements that enable students to reach the very ‘top’ marks. Excellent teaching and strategies will be explained and demonstrated so that ‘mastery’ of language becomes the norm.


  • Gain an understanding of the critical need to ensure deep, well-assessed learning of grammar
  • Take away successful formulae for teaching translation and grammar skills
  • Increased understanding of what constitutes ‘complex’ language and ‘minor/serious errors’
  • Obtain new teaching approaches for embedding high quality French language skills
COURSE DATES London | Friday 8 November 2019
  • All teachers of A level French
  • Heads of Department
  • Heads of MFL Faculties
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 11.15am
The rigours of A Level French grammar and translation

  • Bridging the gap between GCSE and A level – building on and re-discovering prior knowledge
  • Pre-assessments and personal grammar audits
  • Ensuring proficiency in technical terminology, consolidation of knowledge and re-use of known grammar patterns
  • The crucial importance of grammatical skills for gaining marks across the four skills – e.g.
    how the use of definite and indefinite articles, use of que/qu’ can lose or gain vital marks
  • Using feedback from the examinations to make your students stand out – key challenge areas for students on grammar and translation

11.15 – 11.30am
Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12.30pm
Grammar: Guaranteeing Success 

  • Elevating students’ use of grammar through high-scoring complex areas such as pronouns, clauses containing subjunctives, si clauses etc
  • Teaching approaches to ensure ‘mastery’ for all students: how to unlock unfamiliar words and unexpected sentence constructions
  • The pursuit of excellence in written and spoken language, avoiding costly ‘serious errors’ such as incorrect verb forms, notably verb paradigms
  • Stretching top students with your choice of unseen passages and scansion questions

12.30 – 1.30pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.30pm
Translation: The Graduated Approach

  • Effective strategies to enable structured and progressive translation from and into French
  • Translation to paragraph level and beyond: complex phrases and syntax that access the higher mark bands
  • Analyse how to develop sophisticated translation skills and approaches across the four  assessment elements
  • Teaching approaches to prevent students making key errors such as the use of incorrect adjectival agreements
  • Explore exam responses that demonstrate how and why students progress through the mark bands

2.30 – 2.45pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

2.45 – 3.45pm
Grammar and Translation: Putting the Two Together for Excellent A-level French Responses

  • Teaching the required listening skills: using sophisticated grammar to develop students’ responses
  • The skills of getting it right first time – closing the gender gap
  • Techniques for stretching the most able on texts and films, using No et moi and La Haine as examples
  • Self and peer review and re-drafting strategies – developing higher order thinking skills with A level French students

Robert Pike

Robert is an experienced trainer, author and teacher of French. He recently co-authored a new ‘A Level’ French textbook for AQA, as well as several products for the new GCSE. He has worked on many other French products such as Allez, Studio and Clic.

An experienced MFL teacher and former Head of French, he delivers training courses across a broad range of topics including effective differentiation, outstanding teaching and getting results at GCSE and A Level. He delivers courses that are interactive, discursive and up to date with curriculum changes.

Whilst teaching full-time he led the way with the use of technology in the classroom. An early adopter, he developed simple ways of making it work for himself, his colleagues and his pupils. Central to his teaching has always been an interest in the development of effective methods of challenging learners of all levels. He is also part of the ITT team at the University of Worcester where he helps develop the next generation of language teachers.

View all courses led by Robert Pike >

A level French