What makes an #MFLstar?


As part of ongoing discussions at school about how to encourage outstanding learners, we have been asked to try and define, within our respective Departments, what an outstanding learner actually IS…

As usual, when I can’t think of the answer to a question, my first port of call is my PLN, nowadays – and so I asked my friends and colleagues on Twitter to try and define it for me!

Here are the crowd-sourced nuggets, in no particular order, and edited occasionally for flow, rather than content:

  • #MFLstar has excellent listening skills, motivation and the ability to learn about the language process, as well as an interest in other cultures.
  • #MFLstar is a student who aims to manipulate and apply knowledge straight away to express him- or herself and communicate.
  • #MFLstar is a student who always wants to know more… about culture, history, how to make other tenses, anything…
  • #MFLstar is a student who understands that learning a new language is going to take some time and effort + some courage.
  • #MFLstar has that extra “sparkle”. Exceptional recall of vocab and spontaneous ability to make semantic connections.
  • #MFLstar is a student who can see connections and patterns across words and phrases.
  • #MFLstar is a person prepared to take interest in cultural features of language + so extend the boundaries of their knowledge.
  • #MFLstar takes initiative, puts language together independently, picks up on idioms. Gathers phrases/structures and uses them!
  • #MFLstar is a pupil who can manipulate grammar, and can spot patterns and meanings in words.
  • #MFLstar for me is a student who has fun with words, collects ones they love, makes puns etc. in any language.
  • #MFLstar is someone who makes an effort and is resilient, plus who is open-minded (to accept language quirks as “The Way Things Are”)
  • #MFLstar builds on what they know to be correct, finds links between languages, has a go and is interested in other cultures.
  • #MFLstar is someone who is willing to try and communicate even if it means making a mistake .
  • #MFLstar 1. is prepared to take risks. 2. embraces other cultures. 3. has an open mind to learning. 4. is willing to share ideas. 5. asks questions. 6. challenges themselves 7. does not accept mediocrity 8. challenges stereotypes. 9. is keen to develop language learning skills 10. SMILES 🙂
  • #MFLstar is a student who is prepared to play with the language and take risks, unworried by the thought of ‘getting it wrong’.
  • #MFLstar is a student who spontaneously responds in the Target Language, for random activities in the lesson, corridor or town!
  • #MFLstar is able to spot patterns or links and manipulate language for use in a variety of contexts.
  • #MFLstar has, amongst other things, the ability to make links/transfer knowledge & a willingness to take risks. Not necessarily in that order.
  • #MFLstar is someone who is willing to have a go, listens well, is inquisitive, likes playing with language, can transfer knowledge.
  • #MFLstar is a confident, creative, culturally-hungry, experimenting, constant risk-taker

Many thanks to @FatimaDuerden, @ramsaro, @SherriDingle, @carolbhughes, @polska74, @annelimac, @blagona, @dawson_serena, @valleseco, @LizBrazier66, @lancslassrach, @Grandslam77, @Chapeluser, @Pixiejojo, @bizzielizzieFFC, @lisibo, @trekkiep and @GlennisPye for doing my work for me!

For what it’s worth, here are my top 5: resilient, spontaneous, risk-taking, open, questioning.

What do you think?


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