Professional Language Networks

London Schools Excellence Fund Project (LSEF)

 Network for Languages London, University of Westminster

The LSEF project “Professional Language Networks” enabled the modern foreign language teachers involved to share ideas and approaches to teaching and provided them with the opportunity to update their professional skills as well as their subject knowledge and language teaching methodology. The LSEF was part funded by the Department for Education and established by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to focus on raising the quality of teaching in primary and secondary schools and improving pupils’ attainment in core subjects, including languages. Both primary and secondary schools were involved in the project and networking between phases was facilitated. The primary schools involved represented the whole spectrum of expertise and confidence levels and ranged from new start-ups to experienced languages providers and leaders. The project was suitable for all practitioners at any stage of their teaching career, including NQTs, newly appointed MFL co-ordinators and also those working towards QTS. The project ran from April 2014 until December 2015.


What the project offered schools:

– One to one mentoring with school visits to provide bespoke help at the point where the language co-ordinator/teacher/school needs it. Some primary schools were providing language lessons for the very first time for example and welcomed support from specialists.

– A learning focus decided by the teacher, acted upon and a reflective log kept to record progress. Teachers benefited from the chance to reflect on their practice and share this with a mentor. There was also the chance to report this “learning journey” in an action research project with MA credits awarded by the University of Westminster and 10 teachers and 1 Project Mentor took this opportunity.

– Lesson observations by the mentor to help enhance practice.

– Peer lesson observations so a teacher could observe teachers in other schools.

– Borough workshops held regularly to provide a “hub” for teachers to meet, led by a project mentor involving discussion around relevant themes and areas of interest to improve practice.

– The opportunity to improve language skills and gain confidence in the language.

– Access to CPD courses run by Network for Languages London at the University of Westminster


London Boroughs we worked with:

Bexley, Brent, Havering, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Tri-borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham & Westminster, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.


What teachers participating in the project have said:

“I really enjoyed today’s sessions and I got a general knowledge of the languages curriculum so I will be able to guide my colleagues in this area of learning.”

“This project helped incredibly with my knowledge of French, which is invaluable! It will allow me to support my colleagues with their languages skills.”

“This has given me some ideas for activities with staff for INSET, it has also made me feel more confident about beginning to teach French.”

“This course will enable me to be more confident with my French in class.”

“This course helped me to understand links between solitary words and or phrases in Spanish and provided me with causal links and a deeper understanding.”

“This gave a broad approach to the target language and showed ways to involve other members of staff – clear practical ideas that can be put into practice immediately.”


Project Facts:

170 teachers from over 80 schools from across London were involved in the project. We ran two 3-day summer schools and local borough workshops and developed excellent mentor relationships with our participating teachers. We aimed to help each school make significant progress towards excellent languages provision. We have now published written case studies by some of our LSEF teachers and there are some video case studies in the Resource section of our Network for Languages London website for you to watch, which demonstrate some excellent practice and enthusiam for languages we discovered during our project.


For more information about the project, contact:

Miss Domini Stone

Network for Languages London Regional Centre Manager

Network for Languages London

University of Westminster

T: 0203 506 9011

F: 0207 911 5106



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