Since starting this academic year as a Newly Qualified Teacher and taking the reigns of my own teaching content and style, ensuring my teaching is both conscious and inclusive of LGBT+ identities has been a top priority of mine, alongside promoting gender and racial equality. In this post I will lay out the importance of creating an LGBT+-inclusive curriculum and offer some insight into the small – but perhaps significant – steps I have taken towards achieving this in my own Spanish and French lessons. My two main goals in adapting my resources are Normalisation and Embodiment, which I will explain and explore in this article.
The last decade has undoubtedly seen a greater, renewed importance given to language learning from ‘the top’, with the British Academy’s (2019) statement that monolingualism is “the illiteracy of the 21st Century” (Roberts et al, cited in The British Academy, 2019: 3) and the government’s inclusion of foreign languages as a requirement to pass the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).
To cite this article: Sturt-Schmidt, James (2021). Duolingo: How I put my findings into practice in MFL, The Millennial [Online], Available at: (this page URL). As part of my PGCE at the University of Exeter, in 2020 I carried out a research project at my placement school that focused on the issue of low student motivation…
This research project aims to explore the potential of the language-learning platform, Duolingo, for improving student motivation in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) through the lens of expectancy-value theory. The research question it addresses is: Can Duolingo be used to increase student motivation in MFL?
Is there such a thing as ‘teacher identity’? Research suggests that there is, and that developing a ‘teacher identity’ is a social process as well as a personal one. According to Beijaard, Meijer, & Verloop (2004), teachers continuously interpret and re-interpret their professional identity, which itself consists of multiple sub-identities and is highly context-dependent.
Teacher’s are reportedly some of the most stressed people of any occupational group, with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) finding 20% of teachers feel tense about their job all or most of the time. But what are the causes of teachers’ stress and the subsequent mental health issues that arise?
In recent times, the expanding field of cognitive science has weighed in on what learning looks like and has had quite an effect on British education. According to Sweller et al (2011), learning necessitates change(s) in the long-term memory: “‘if nothing in the long-term memory has been altered, nothing has been learned”. This sort of thinking, that successfully ‘uploading’ pieces of information into one’s long-term memory constitutes learning, has become popular in recent times. I suppose it’s coherent with the dictionary definition. After all, how can we ‘acquire’ knowledge and skills if not by storing information in our brains?
Questions around the purpose(s) of education are as old as education itself. Ancient Greek philosophers contemplated the purpose of education, pondered the suitability of certain materials as educational content, and arguably first developed the connection between educating citizens and achieving social justice. In the UK, ‘education’ in the sense of formal training, not carried out by one’s own family, was traditionally reserved for the elite, for whom education was often about becoming ‘cultured’.