Sparkling Summer Sentences.


It's a hot end to the school year. Here is the simplest of last lessons with your primary language learners. Build sparkling Summer sentences and sequences of sentences,appropriate to the age and stage of the learners.

The simple activity will work withh all KS2 primary language learners.You will just adapt the activity depending on the level of the language learner. Children are going to revisit, remember and air write greetings , farewells, simple phrases ,sentences, questions and answers and then draw their own "sparkling Summer sentences" to take home and keep until next academic school year.

As the class teacher you need a magic writing wand or a sparkling pen or pencil. 

On the board, write down sentences that you know the chidren have already met (greetings, farewells, simple questions and answers , feelings and emotions, personal information phrases , specific topic phrases phrases etc).

Ask the children to look at the sentences you have written down and to discuss with a partner what they think the phrases might mean.Take feedback and practise the phrases with the class with magic sparkling air pens. 

Ask the children to try to anticipate your sparkling air pen writing.Write one of the phrases from the board in the air using your magic sparkling wand or pen. Who can guess correctly the phrase etc you have written?

Allocate different words from the sentences on the board to different children in the class.More than one child may have the same word.Ask them to write out their word on white boards and add colour and sparkling shapes to make the word dazzle! Set a time limit of 5 minutes.

Ask all the children to hold up their white boards.Select a phrase or sentence from the board and invite one child to come to the front.Thos child's responsibility is to select other children,who are holding up the different words on their whiteboards that make up the sentence you have chosen from the board.The children selected must come to the front and help to build a whiteboard word chain that shows their words in the correct order to create the dazzling sentence. Ask the class to read aloud ther sentence in their most Summer time dazzling voices.

Select another sentence, another volunteer to organise other children and their whiteboards and repeat the word chain and spoken activity again.

Ask the children to select their favourite sentence and to create a Summer time dazzling sentence with sparkling Summer shapes and colours to take home , keep and read and remember until next school year.

Primary language learning. "PLN" at your service!


Welcome to the World of Primary Languages Network.We are here to help your school and staff develop the confidence to deliver effective and creative primary languages.Here's what one of our primary schools thinks about the service and resources we offer at Primary Languages Network.


We are a network of over 250 schools.Primary Languages Network has a dedicated team of primary languages teachers who work in 49 of these schools every week of the school academic year. We teach French ,Spanish and German and can offer support with other languages too. Our intention is to "keep the PRIMARY in language learning".


Find out more here about our vision and the progress we have made since Janet Lloyd founded the service in 2011. 

From 2011 onwards we have been busy developing the effective service we offer now to support all our network schools.These schools range from beginners and non-specialist linguists to established  and outstanding practice in primary languages' schools. Every school can access over 5,000 resources and benefit from the dynamic and bespoke support we can offer. As primary practitioners we understand the aims,challenges and requirements of the busy primary classroom and school.


All Primary Languages Network members have access to the PLN virtual learning environment .A one stop shop for inspiration,sharing of work, ideas, seasonal special activities and materials and a comprehensive Scheme of Work.


Together we have developed a SOW which offers primary schools effective, creative planning and total support with the teaching and learning of primary French and Spanish in KS2 from Year 3 (age 7) to Year 6 (age 11). 

Our intention is to empower teachers to understand the what,how and why of language teaching and learning activities.All our resources are primary focused and have audio and language support for class teachers with little knowledge of the target language.Every lesson plan guides you step by step through the activities. There are games , power point challenges , interactive videos and activities , follow up and consolidation sheets , differentiated tasks and Puzzle It Outs assessments in listening,speaking ,reading ,writing with a focus on progression in language learning skills (one per half term if required) 


Save your successes and share and demonstrate your progress with the whole school, the wider community and store your outcomes safely in your unique User files on the VLE. The VLE has a mobile APP so you can very quickly take a photo of an activity in class and share and save in the User files.


Our CPD webinars will help your school and staff bring language learning from the French and Spanish KS2 Ready Made SOW to life. Here are two examples of our webinars this year, devised and led by our PLN primary languages teacher team.

In all our lesson plans we make sure that effective primary stage appropriate progress is built in across all four core skills-listening,speaking,reading , writing , across language learning skills, basic grammar (nouns,adjectives and  basic verbs) and phonics/ phoneme-grapheme transfer. 


Our proven and refined tracking and assessment tools will help your school assess next steps and keep a record of progress and our network coordinator,Catherine, is on hand by email and pre-arranged webinar to help you with any issues or individual school challenges or requirements. 


Every year we hold our annual conference and premium members are entitled to a free place at the conference. In 2018 our conference is focusing upon "Making languages sparkle". At every event we make sure that the CPD is valuable and helps schools to reflect on practice , network and share own experiences and leave with next steps and support necessary to achieve these next steps. Here's a taste of our 2017 conference.

As your school progresses take advantage of our Primary Languages Development Award

You can follow us on our Primary Languages Network Facebook page or on Twitter account too.

We look forward to you joining us and thriving as a member of Primary Languages Network.To find out details of our different membership options plus our monthly subscription options or to contact us for more information then just click here. Further details and membership options.

World Cup Language Skill Speed Trials

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Getting ready for the World Cup fever that will hit your classrooms soon? The football World Cup means foreign languages are everywhere. From the names of players and teams and proper nouns for countries to sub- titles and people being interviewed in different languages! Great opportunty to set up our "World Cup Word Speed Trials". Challenge language learners to test their dexterity, speed and language skills. This morning thanks to Facebook,I was insoired to tweet about this game, originally created for EYFS and Nursery.

Here is the game, adapted for use with KS2 and possibly Year 7 language learners.

Aim of the game

  • To challenge each player to move the ball through each tunnel (tube) in the correct order as quickly as possible.
  • The order that the ball must travel is determined by the content and the sequence of the target language words e.g. days of week (Monday to Sunday), months of the year (January to December , numbers 1-10 , tens from 10-100 etcetra.
  • The game will work with verb endings too - so  take a regular present tense verb and can the player move the ball through the tunnels in the correct order from first person singular (I) to third person plural (they). 
  • You could give tables names of countries and see who is fasteste and best each week etc ,using different or same content.

A target language four core skill and grammar speed challenge.

  • Writing- recall and then write out the target language words on cards for the content required e.g. days of week / numbers 1-10 etcetra.
  • Writing - create a a written target language plan of the the tunnels positions on rough paoer first or gap fill missing letters on a pre-prepared target language plan of the game board.
  • Speaking -before starting the game, say the anticiipated correct route of the sequence of words or phrases that the player anticipates the ball will travel  as the ball passess through specific tunnels.
  • Reading out loud- call out the word on each specific tunnel as the ball passes through that tunnel. 
  • Reading - read the words of the verb phrases written out in the target language and create symbols to represent these instead of words on the card tunnels on the game.
  • Listening and responding- listen out for the word or verb phrase spoken by the teacher and then move the ball through the tunnel. 
  • Listening and responding-  listen out for the word or verb phrase spoken by the teacher and then move the ball through the tunnel. This time though the teacher will say the words in a random order.
  • Grammar- re-create the paradigm of a present tense verb by moving the ball through the tunnels in the correct order
  • Sentence structure- reconstruct a simple target language sentence using a noun, verb and an adjective or adjectives.
  • Sentence structure - reconstruct an extended sentences, using singular and plural nouns, personal pronoun ,verb, adjectives in correct position with correct agreement and a conjunction to create the extended sentence. Don't forget the capital letter on the first word , the full stop as a tunnel on it's own and a comma when required.  

To make the game:

Step One - Before start you need a tray, a small football (Subbuteo size really) , tubes to cut donw to make a tunnels , blu-tac , card and paints.

Step Two -Take a look at the diensions of your tray lid so that you can see the rough size that to cut up the tubes to make tunnels to fit on the lid and allow space to move the ball around the board.You could use cardboard and create your own game boards.


Step Three- write out your word cards.

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Step Four- Cut down the tubes to size, paint the tunnels and blu tac to the tray. 

Step Five- Blu-tac the word cards to the tunnels .Use blu-tac so you can use the game board again and just change the word cards.

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Add the subbuteo size football and source stop- watches if you want to time the game or an egg timer to see if the children can complete the game before the egg timer runs out? The game is ready to be played.







Mexican waves football greetings!

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Let's celebrate the way the players and the fans will greet each other in all the various languages they speak at the football World Cup. .
Show your children this clip of 30 different ways to say hello from around the World

Now let's play the game.

  1. Ask the children to recall as many different ways  of greeting each other both in their own home language , school language and in other languages they have seen on the video clip
  2. Practise the greetings they suggest.Practise the sound of the greeting. Ask the  children to think of the shape of the greeting both as a  sound they hear (is it wavy/sharp/spiky etc) and as a written word.Ask the children to raise their arms in the air and peform the shape of the word/s as they say them say the same time.
  3. Stand the children up and table by table create a mexican wave of greetings that are both spoken and performed as sound shapes around the room.

Creative Teaching & Learning in the Primary MFL Classroom


Guest blog post : Susanne Wilson

How can primary practicitioners empower the next generation of primary class teachers and enable them to feel confident in the delivery of creative primary languages in their own future classrooms? 

Here is a guest blog post from primary languages teacher and trainer,Susanne Wilson, about her ITT CPD on 25 April 2018, exploring and addressing this very question. 

I was looking forward to seeing the Warrington Teaching School Alliance trainee primary teachers for the second time. Having met them in January we had already had a day’s training where I presented an introduction to MFL, so the trainees already had some experience in what MFL teaching in the primary classroom looks like.



Last Wednesday, the trainees came to the SMILE centre in Warrington full of enthusiasm and buzzing with ideas. Many had seen some of our Associate Teachers teaching French and Spanish in their placement schools so were keen to find out more.


The objective of this 2nd day of MFL training was to explore Creative Teaching and Learning, ways in which creative ideas can be brought to life and give excitement and relevance to Primary children learning a language.


First up we explored the theme of Dragons & Unicorns, a popular one with all our children and an exciting way of introducing SPAG points such as masculine/feminine, singular/plural. Well done for being such a great sports and taking on the Limbo challenge! An idea by Robert A which is great fun and believe it or not really helps the children to grasp the concept of masculine and feminine! The trainees enthusiastically played matching cards and dominoes too.  Plenty more Total Physical Response games gave a practical element to their training with plenty of ideas to take away. They soon realised that all the ideas are transferable to other areas of the curriculum too.



Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s Superlinguists!

By exploring the theme of using Superheroes to learn adjectives, personal information and so much more, the trainees further grasped how creative you can be when teaching another language. So many resources are on the VLE and ready for teachers to use, however the trainees came up with loads of fresh ideas and fresh takes on the theme.

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Here you can see the trainees making utility belts as a creative way of teaching classroom objects. Once again the extent to which this idea could be used across the curriculum was of great interest to the trainees. Plus once again they got stuck in with gusto!



Our third topic of the day was a cross curricular classic – The Romans. This time the trainees were tasked with creating their own series of MFL lessons on the theme, based on what we had learnt previously. Trainees worked brilliantly in groups and bounced great ideas off each other. Their new classes in September will be lucky to have them!



An afternoon exploring ICT and the use of Apps to creatively enhance language teaching and learning topped off a highly productive day. Michelle H’s expert and detailed webinar provided a platform from which the trainees could further explore the use of Apps in their MFL teaching. Creating Chatterpix characters and linking them to our morning’s themes of Superheroes, Romans and Dragons & Unicorns was fun, engaging and thought provoking, how can we get the most out of technology to inspire our children to learn a language?



The trainees really engaged with all the ideas and empowered themselves at the same time. They came away brimming with confidence, many saying that they felt ready to teach a foreign language now, even without being specialists.

And how did the next generation of teachers find the day?  Well,here are some of their evaluation comments: 

  • Really enjoyed the day. Have lots of creative ideas. Feel much more confident about teaching a language and linking it to other subjects.
  • Very useful training. Apps very useful.
  • Great ideas to help with building confidence in teaching a FL.
  • Lots of great ideas to take away and practical aspects. Engaging and informative.
  • Engaging and informative. Lots of great ideas that I can apply. Susanne was very helpful and approachable. I felt I could ask her anything. Took away lots of ideas that I will be using in my classroom!

For more information on our CPD courses for ITT or for existing specialist and non-specialist Primary MFL teachers, please contact Primary Languages Network

Wedding, Art and Selfies

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This blog post is all about exploring famous Art and linking what we can see in a picture to emotions, creating personalities amd characters and generating "Word and Art Selfies" in the style of the famous artist.It's easy to create links between Art ,Drama and performance, empathy and  simple language work

The piece of Art I have chosen in by Henri Rousseau "une noce a la campagne". The portraits of the characters are strong and lead to discussion about how happy the wedding guests and the bride and groom are,... etcetra. Or is this just a very formal Victorian style painting? 

Here are the stages of the language , Art and Drama investigations your class could carry out.

Step One

Reveal the picture to the children.Discuss with the children in the class, which people they think go to a wedding. Who might these people be?  Which family members do they already know in the target language and who do they think the guests are?. Can they come out and indicate the guest and say the phrase “This is + family member noun “ in the target language. 

Step Two

Play character charades. Show a noun card to a volunteer. They mime the person as they look in the painting and members of the class should try and guess in the target language who it is. Encourage the children to ask “Is it......?” and encourage the volunteer to respond to the correct answer with “Yes it is".

Step Three

Give out post- its. Create a word storm around the famous painting.Can the class add labels to each character in the picture. Can the children now add words and phrases in the target language that describe the picture e.g. characters’ feelings, ages, names , the colours they can see in the picture, weather etc.Don't forget the dog too!

Step Four

Ask the children in groups to create their own freeze frame of a wedding photograph in a similar style to the Henri Rousseau picture. The children must create a name , an age and an attitude for each of the characters. Each of the children in the group will take on the role of one of the characters. Children may use props if these are available. Allow children time to practise saying their name, age , how they are feeling and who they are in the picture freeze frame. Ask the children to add one action that they think represents the character.

Step Five

Bring the picture tableaux to life! Each picture could be filmed as they come to life or photographs taken and then the children could say their characters statements as a short introduction to the character.

Step Six

Word Storm Art:This would lead easily to a piece of art work in the style of Rousseau to depict/celebrate a wedding, surrounded by a "word storm" of phrases and words in rthe target language to create the frame of the pictrure each child paints. (E.g. I am called I am....years old I feel happy etc I am the bride / groom/bridesmaid/father etc).


Earth Day Plates


It's Earth Day on Sunday 22nd April. Here is a great opportunity with your KS2 classes to make links between themselves and the rest of the World and think about a common purpose- looking after our Earth. Steph P and her classes took a simple idea,often seen in classrooms. The children created these paper plate displays in the picture above to consider their position in the Universe and explore key nouns and two simple sentences "I am called.." and "I live in ..."in the target language. These can easily be adapted to focus on Earth as if we are looking down on Earth from Space.

Earth plates


Let's  create "Earth" plates.

Simply use the noun for Earth , the continent , the country , the name of the city , name of the  town and finally the sentence "I live in.." (in the target language) which the children need to complete with own address.On the reverse, writng in the target language the name phrase and a greeting add a cartoon drawing of the child.Make the class flip chart the "Ground control Chart".

Play "Astronauts to Ground control " games first. Divide your class in to small groups or pairs of word astronauts. Set up simple word sorting games on desks and tables .Give out packs of cards with nouns for Earth / continents/ a country in each continent including own country/ names of local towns and villages.

  1. Can the children identify what the words may mean and can they see links between target language nouns and nouns in English or home languages? Take feedback and gather information on the flip chart which you have named as "Ground Control Chart". 
  2. Can the children organise the nouns in different groups - alphabetically, from the smallest land mass (i.e. home / street where they live) to the largest space (Earth). Again take feedback and make a note of these investigations on the"Ground Control" chart. 
  3. Sentence building challenge. On your "Ground Control Chart"  write the target language phrase for "I live in ...".In pairs or individually challenge the children to write in draft (or organise cards as prompts for speaking) and create the longest "I live in ..." statement they can ( so I live in + street/ village/ town/ county/ country / continent/ Earth). Take feedback and write up several examples on your "Ground Control Chart".
  4. Set up an "astronaut" memory challenge - how much of one of the sentences can the children remember? Give the children thinking , remembering and repeating with partners time. Invite volunteers to come to the front and say as much of the sentence as they can .
  5. Time to create those Earth plates!

Snapshot of learning : Revision lesson: Personal information Q&A and colours with Year 3 at Barrowhall Primary School.


This morning I went to observe Robert Artingstall teach Spanish to a Year 3 class at Barrowhall Primary School – the Easter holidays are just around the corner and after finishing off this term’s topics including World Book Day and the Gruffalo in Spanish today was the perfect opportunity for a revision lesson.

As I arrived Robert was doing the morning register in Spanish: ¿Comida caliente? ¿Tostada? ¿Uno, dos? Some children answering in Spanish others in English. Then Robert started chatting across the room to Gonzalo, a native speaker from the class – there was no mistake, we were here to learn Spanish!

The lesson started with a greeting song and then another ‘action’ song that got the children moving and singing in Spanish.

Robert then explained that the children were going to do some revision work today.

They started with the ‘hide and reveal’ powerpoint from the Ready-made SOW (Year 3 > Spring 2) – the instruction is to try guess the phrase or the question as it slowly appears on the screen and before it’s completely revealed. Children were asked to quietly tell their partner what they thought the phrase or the question was. They did really well and it allowed Robert to do some consolidation work on pronunciation and mention question word ‘Cómo’ in Spanish and the fact it’s used in 2 different familiar questions (Cómo te llamas? Cómo estas?). The last slide on the powerpoint is then used as a support slide for children to make up their own conversation.

 Hide and Reveal 'Personal Information' powerpoint

Hide and Reveal 'Personal Information' powerpoint

 ¿Cómo..... te llamas or ... estas ? Place your bets! 

¿Cómo..... te llamas or ... estas ? Place your bets! 


Then they moved on to colours. First Robert asked the children to recap as many colours they could think of and write them on their whiteboard, they checked their answers and Robert took the opportunity to do some phonic work particularly about the sounds ‘j’, ‘ll’, z’ which are very different to English. They practiced the colours with actions and then played ‘Simon dice’.

 Lovely writing from memory.

Lovely writing from memory.

 Robert going over sound/spelling link and key sounds in Spanish.

Robert going over sound/spelling link and key sounds in Spanish.

Finally Robert used the ‘Rainbow writing sheet’ where children have to think of and draw an object that corresponds to each part/colour of the rainbow (for example a strawberry for red, a banana for yellow, etc.).


This task allows for bilingual dictionary work as children have to label the thing they are drawing. Before leaving the children to work independently or in pairs Robert checked that the children were confident using the dictionary and did a whole class example also reinforcing gender (fem/masc) recognition and understanding.

 First, find the line in the middle of the dictionary, on one side it's Spanish to English, past the line it's English to Spanish - know which side you need to use.

First, find the line in the middle of the dictionary, on one side it's Spanish to English, past the line it's English to Spanish - know which side you need to use.

 a cherry is 'cereza' and it's feminine because it says 'fem' and 'la'.

a cherry is 'cereza' and it's feminine because it says 'fem' and 'la'.

** All the resources mentioned are either from Youtube or from the Primary Languages Network VLE.

Celebrate our languages!


It's the Commonwealth Games this month! .What a great way to look at languages that represent the nations of our British Isles that will be competing against each other at the games.Plus this time it's being held on the Gold Coast of Australia so what about taking a look at Aborigine culture and language too? Maybe your school could start its school assemblies with a greeting in one of the languages and finish with a farewell too .Or maybe there is a class teacher who speaks the language and could perhaps tell a story in the language to the children.

We work and live in the North West of England and the languages of Gaelic,Welsh and Manx are spoken by children not too far away from us. 

Using an APP such as Chatterpix and the mascot at the top of the blog record what you investigate and create speaking mascots for the different languages.

Let's explore the language of Gaelic with the children .Here is a great site to get you started: Gaelic4Parents.  

You could explore Welsh and this site will be of great use

This lovely You Tube clip could help your children learn a little Manx too and find out more about the Isle of Man.

Snapshot of learning : Easter Poem with Year 1 at Palacefield’s Primary School


Today I went to visit Sarah Gibbons and the lovely Year 1 at Palacefield’s Primary School in Runcorn. As it is nearly Easter the focused of the lesson was an Easter Poem (in the Seasonal Specials folder on the PLN VLE) including colours, numbers and Easter vocabulary.

As the children came in and settled down, Sarah asked the children to help her display the weather on their ‘homemade’ weather chart – what a lovely idea!


Sarah started by recapping numbers to 10 using number flashcards that selected children became in charge of, then using a number song the children practiced counting up and down to 10 in Spanish. Children had to listen carefully for their number.


They, then, moved on to colours using the native speaker voice on the ‘Simply Colour’ powerpoint. The children had to first say the colour in English and then tried to remember the colour in Spanish, they were able to check if they were right by clicking on the colour. If they remembered correctly they received the matching coloured flashcard.


Finally they were ready to listen and join in the Easter Poem – they had already practiced it the week before so they were able to remember quite a lot. The children were also presented with the written word on the video clip so they were also practicing reading skills and the phoneme/grapheme link.

After a quick recap of the actions they were ready to act out the poem.

Finally after quite a long ‘carpet’ time the children went back to their table to make ‘Felices Pascuas’ cards to take home – Sarah encouraged them to think about the vocabulary from the poem and the colour work they did at the start. Whilst they were working independently Sarah walked around the class and asked children what colours (in Spanish) they had chosen



Well done Year 1 and Felices Pascuas a todos !

Mothers Day poem and book.

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Mothers' Day is next Sunday in Great Britain.A great opportunity to focus on the use adjectives to describe people with UKS2 children and possibly younger KS3 language learners .

We have created a lesson called "Spoken from the Heart". The lesson has sound file support,a step by step lesson plan plus children's writing frame in French and in Spanish.We try to support all teachers whether specialist or non-specialist teachers to be able to help their pupils achieve a quality target language outcome and in this instance this will be a take home book as a present for mums and carers with a recorded message too perhaps.  

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The children listen,practise,join in and perform the poem alongside the video clips below. Everyone can access these on our You Tube Channel . (Network members can also access and download these from the VLE Seasonal Specials Spring 2 "Mothers Day " file,where you will also find the lesson plans and writing templates too). They have been created with native speakers and can also be used to produce your own class recorded performances for mums and carers and booklets based on the poem. Last year children who were working with our associate teacher,Joanne, created their own IPad video poems for their own mums.They were fantastic! 

The writing frame supports all the children to create their own "Spoken from the heart" booklets.

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Network members can find all these resources in French and Spanish in Seasonal Specials on the Primary Languages Network Virtual Learning Environment.

Non-network members can access these from the Active Lingo French and Spanish shops on the Primary Languages Network website.  

You may like to listen in or listen after to our  Out of this World APPS and IT with primary languages webinar on Wedneday 15 March .More details here.

You can find out more about all we can offer schools here on Primary Languages Network website.

Contact the sales coordinator for a FREE tour of our Primary Languages Network virtual learning environment and take a look at our Ready Made SOW for KS2 and the stories within the SOW.