We were lucky enough to speak with Claire Parker, area leader for MFL at Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College about the school’s approach to languages, and how Vocab Express has helped.
The college first began using Vocab Express in 2011 when Claire was searching for a replacement solution for the spelling booklets that were often lost or needed replacing. She was attracted to the pre-categorised content and the ease of use. Blessed Edward Oldcorne uses Vocab Express with GCSE groups and Year 9 students studying French, German and Spanish. Activities on Vocab Express are regularly set for homework, with a test also carried out in class each week as a starter activity to ensure students are completing the work at home.
Vocab Express has…
…had a significant impact on student’s attainment: “We’ve seen a marked improvement in the vocabulary mastered and in students’ grammar and pronunciation. We have also noticed Vocab Express has really helped with consistency, and the ability to set homework activities encourages the routine of independent study that is so important to perfect.”
…helped engage harder to reach and mixed ability students: “It’s a different way of motivating learners, pulling in a different type of learner and really getting them involved, such as students who might not usually contribute in lessons. One such student for example has moved up two grades above his initial predicted grade, and we might not have spotted his potential without Vocab Express, which really suited him.”
…provided an easy way of tracking student’s progress: “As teachers, the ability to monitor and follow each individual’s progress is great as part of our raising attainment plan; we can keep an eye on target students or groups, and in regular meetings with students we can use their score as a point of discussion about their improvement or achievement.”
Vocab Express Language Championship winner
The college was awarded the overall Genius Cup in the European Day of Languages Championship in autumn 2011, followed by the Challenge Cup Medio in the National Championship in spring 2012.
The college also won in categories for individual languages, and Claire believes that this success is a testament to the inspiring and engaging nature of Vocab Express, as well as the hard work and determination of her students. She comments: “The competitive element of Vocab Express and the Championships created a real determination to succeed both in the wider league table, but also internally against one another. The testing aspect has helped students gain skills transferrable to other subjects, learning to pay close attention to detail to avoid losing points – the students themselves even remarked on how their own vocabulary levels shot up!”
Find out more about Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College.