PGCert Modern Foreign Languages (Secondary) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

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Comments about PGCert Modern Foreign Languages (Secondary) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) - At the institution - Uxbridge - Greater London

  • Objectives
    Throughout the main MFL programme, theory, practice and critical professional reflection are integrated and full use of practical school experience is made. The MFL programme enables you to: * consider principles and issues related to MFL within the school curriculum for the 11-18 age range, with a particular emphasis on the 11-16 age range for the purpose of QTS assessment; * critically examine the implications of the National Curriculum for MFL teaching and for your own subject knowledge and understanding; * become skilled in using a range of resources for effective MFL teaching at various levels; * develop the practice of planning, delivering and evaluating MFL lessons in two different schools; * explore cross-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities within MFL; * work closely in a supportive, friendly team with other trainees.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements You must have a good degree (ie Second Division minimum) or equivalent in at least one of the following languages: French/German/Spanish. A good degree in French/German/Spanish combined with another subject eg Law; Business Studies; Politics will also be considered as long as you can also meet the requirement for a second foreign language (see below). The language component of your degree would normally be expected to represent 50% of your degree course and include a year in the target language country. If the foreign language component of your degree is less than 50% but you can demonstrate that you have enhanced your language skills since graduating or that you will be able to do so prior to starting the PG Cert please contact the Admissions Tutor via the Taught Programme Office. You should also have sufficient competence in one of the other three languages listed above to be able to teach it confidently at Key Stage 3 in the first instance. This second language will normally be a subsidiary subject in your degree but a good A level qualification (grade A or B) - or equivalent - supported by evidence of further study and practice undertaken after completion of the degree - or prior to starting the course -may be considered. Applications from native speakers of French German or Spanish who have a good degree or equivalent in a language-related area (preferably including English) and who can offer a second language (see above) are also welcomed. You must have enthusiasm and determination to apply your knowledge of MFL in an educational setting. It is therefore expected that you will spend a minimum of three days (or equivalent) in an English state secondary school prior to applying or prior to interview. This is so that you observe lessons in MFL and other curriculum and pastoral areas. You should also familiarise yourself with current approaches to teaching and assessment Applicants who were educated outside the English system are recommended to spend more time and visit both primary and secondary schools. A very good command of spoken and written English for both classroom and academic purposes is essential. All applicants to Initial Teacher Training are required to have a GCSE A*-C (or equivalent) in English and Mathematics by the time they start the course. We offer equivalence tests to applicants who have been offered a conditional place after interview subject to passing these tests. Protection of Children Act and Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act All applicants for Initial Teacher Training courses should note that institutions are required by the Department for Children Schools and Families to check the possible criminal background of all those who apply to work with children. The University reserves absolute discretion to withdraw any offer without challenge in the light of any information received.
  • Academic title
    PGCert Modern Foreign Languages (Secondary) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Course description
    Course Summary

    "The ability to understand and communicate in other languages is increasingly important in our society and in the global economy. Languages contribute to the cultural and linguistic richness of our society, and to the global citizenship (DFES, 2002)". This quote from the National Languages Strategy captures the rationale for making the study of a modern foreign language a part of the national curriculum.

    Our PGCert in MFL equips you with the skills of subject specialist (French/German/Spanish - see entry requirements) teaching. It also allows you to gain an understanding of the principles which underpin teachers' work in wider areas of the curriculum such as Personal, Social and Health Education, Citizenship and Special Educational Needs, and policies, eg Every Child Matters.
    The University works in partnership with local schools for initial teacher education through a professional tutor system (teachers in school who act as mentors during school placements) which not only helps to ensure that courses are meeting the needs of schools but also gives students a sound appreciation of the profession.

    Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
    All primary and secondary courses meet Government requirements. Successful completion of the PGCert programme and evidence of achieving the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) will lead to the award of a PGCert with recommendation for QTS. These Standards include the National Skills Tests for numeracy, literacy and ICT.

    Modules (all core)

        * General Professional Education (generic module for all students on our PG Cert Secondary full-time courses)
          The focus of this module is on issues of common interest to all secondary school teachers, such as:
              o whole school and government initiatives, eg Every Child Matters and Secondary National Strategy
              o English as an additional language
              o teachers' legal responsibilities
              o professional learning
              o assessment and its role in promoting learning
        * Planning, Teaching and Assessment (30 M level credits)
          This module aims to give you a firm grounding in theory and practice of curriculum planning, its implementation in the classroom and strategies to assess learning. This includes the role of information and communications technology in your subject area. You will also focus on teaching issues of particular concern to your subject specialism.
        * Subject Knowledge and Understanding: Inclusive Practice (30 M level credits)
          This module aims to develop your subject knowledge and understanding as applied to secondary school learners. Learning styles and differences, and how these impact on the management of personalised learning, are considered within the context of your subject.
        * QTS Skills Tests (literacy, numeracy and ICT)
        * School Experience (three modules). The first Block School Experience normally lasts approximately six weeks in the first placement school and the second placement includes two six-week teaching blocks in another school.

    NB University-based sessions are in English. Subject application will mostly be illustrated through examples in French and German, and occasionally Spanish. However, the methods and principles can be applied to all three languages and students will be placed in schools where their languages are taught.

    Special Features

    Brunel has a Language Centre which holds materials in French, German and Spanish. The Language Centre also offers evening classes where you can enhance your skills in your second language (French, German or Spanish) at no extra cost, subject to viability of the groups.

    The PG MFL course receives very positive evaluations from students. They are particularly appreciative of the induction programme, which includes group visits to a variety of schools.

    The course is planned and taught in partnership with MFL teachers in local schools. Serial and block school experience take place in partnership schools selected for the quality of teaching and learning and the support offered to trainees by experienced subject mentors. 

    Special Features

        * The course leads to a University award of PGCert (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) with 60 M level credits, and also to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

        * With more than two centuries' experience in education, we pride ourselves in producing high-quality teachers with the skills and knowledge to help others develop and learn.

        * A Brunel PGCert is a recognised symbol of quality teacher training which accounts for our high employment rates.

    All successful trainees receive a Career Entry and Development Profile, which serves to enhance continual professional development, especially during the induction year of teaching.

    What they say

    "Brunel's added value is employability." The Independent on education

    "Trainees benefit from the good quality of the induction and training that they receive both in the University and in schools and the generally high level of care and support from tutors and mentors." Ofsted inspectors

    "The course has fulfilled my expectations and I have enjoyed it right from the start. I am only in the second term and I have already had exposure to two very different kinds of schools. In the first term I was in an inner city school with lots of discipline problems whilst my current school is completely the opposite. This variety is really important and provides you with a good basis to start planning your career in teaching." Yusuf, Secondary PGCE

    "Placement schools are selected carefully to ensure that students observe and work with good teachers." Ofsted Inspectors

    "Support is always there. Most of the time though, you don't need help because you get so much support from the schools where your placements are." Caroline, Secondary PGCE

    "The University tutors consciously model good teaching practice through sessions which are lively, varied in organisation, briskly-paced, challenging, meticulously planned and supported by good documentation." Ofsted Inspectors

    "The training in schools is of high quality, mentors are clear about their role and responsibilities and consequently provide good guidance." Ofsted Inspectors


    Coursework is designed to enable you to reflect critically upon and synthesise the underpinning knowledge about teaching your subject that you develop during the PGCert year. In order to gain the PGCert and qualify as teachers, students must meet both academic and professional standards, including basic skills tests in numeracy, literacy and ICT, set out by the Department for Education and Skills. Students receive a Career Entry and Development Profile which provides the basis of the trainee's induction year as a newly qualified teacher.

    Assessment against the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status is for the 11-16 age range. The PGCert carries 60 M-level credits.

    Teaching Methods

    A variety of teaching and learning methods is used:

        * groupings of different sizes and compositions to provide as much variety of experience as possible;
        * lectures, seminars and workshops;
        * modelling of classroom practice;
        * group-work, independent learning and investigation, and guided discovery;
        * observation, portfolio preparation, and self-analysis and reflection on teaching practice;
        * guest speakers from experts in your subject fields;
        * visits to particular types of schools, for instance primary schools, special school;
        * fieldwork with pupils, and other visits to relevant places to do with the school curriculum;
        * fieldwork with pupils, and other visits to relevant places relating to the school curriculum.


    Although MFL is still classified as a shortage subject, changes to the National Curriculum in recent years have affected the number of posts available.  Therefore it is essential that applicants ensure that their language skills are strong and that single language graduates consider ways of developing their knowledge of a second language prior to starting the course. The Training and Development Agency provides funding for booster courses and extension courses to support applicants in MFL achieve these aims

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