Since October I have been out and about observing some of the associate PLN teachers and tutors as they deliver primary languages.
Thanks to their support I have been able to create a sequence of snapshot blog reports. These snapshots give us all a window in to the primary language learning classroom and what takes place at one moment in time in schools, where language learning is becoming or is established as an integral part of the weekly timetable.
"Specialists" is a term we keep hearing.The activities you rewad about we believe "you can do too!" whether you are a "specialist linguist and a non- specialist primary teacher" or " a non- specialist primary practitioner and a non-specialist linguist". The associate teachers represent so many of you - primary classroom teachers with language knowledge, primary teachers with a specialism in primary languages, secondary MFL colleagues now becoming primary language teachers or working still in both sectors ,SLT and HoDs working as primary language associates. Everything is accessible on the PLN VLE.
So what did I observe?
- progress across all 4 core skills,
- progress in pupils' confident ability to use language learning skills to recall,explore and use target language,
- focus and progress in sound-spelling knowledge in the target language
- focus and progress in the learners abiloty to pronounce language accurately
- growing confidence in and the accurate use of language learning tools (e.g. bilingual dictionaries),
- developing accuacy in listening and responding skills and exposure to incidental spoken target language
- progress in independent creative use of language, focus upon the understanding of basic grammar (nouns,adjectives and some common present tense verbs)
- very positve enthusiasm and engagement of learners
- teachers developing their own apporaches to primary language teaching and learning
As I observed I tweeted too, as I wanted to capture the moment then and there.
I did see "Fun" ! "Fun" is a word that is important too as I saw "purposeful fun" and engagement and developing self efficacy amongst pupils.
Below is a moment I won't forget, that I captured in a tweet! Here is a quote from a Year 5 boy in Warrington on a virtual tour to Lyon and to see where his French language teacher lived and then explore the city too!
I have put the blog posts in stage of learners order , not necessarily year group order, to try to give you a feel for the progress being made by primary language learners.(If you read the snapshots you will see that the teachers made explicit reference to phonics (sound spelling links) , bilingual dictinary skills are often practised, whole class,pair and group activities are planned for and the children are making progress in the 12 DfE ATs of the DfE KS2 MFL PoS)
Christmas nouns in Spanish: Year 3 Spanish (children learnt some Spanish in KS1).Categorising gender of nouns, exploring accurate pronunciation, exploring meaning of unfamiliar nouns in the target language using bilingual dictionaries.
Virtually visiting Lyon. Year 5 (low achievers) French. The children practised the sounds and sound spelling links of nouns, revisited numbers, practised using their memory skills and linked their in class learning to a real "authentic" city in Franch and a virtual visit.
Robots and commands:Year 5 (beginners with half term's Spanish language learning) exploring the imperative 2nd person plural. Practising their personal information questions and answers and building banks of responses in a "read aloud" and listening activity.
Building a snowman :Year 6 Spanish (second year of learning a language) .Practising use of nouns,practising famillar language - colours and using familiar language as clues to read descriptive phrases, understand new nouns and build a class snowman.
Finding the way and creating simple dialogues Year 5 French.The children here were using familiar language, recall , memory , bilingual dictionaries and map skills to explore a French town. Children revisited and practised the use of 3rd person singular with their personal information reading game warm up. They then practised using masculine and feminine nouns, building spoken dialogues with familiar questions and answers
Xmas Raps:Year 5 French (third year of language learning) exploring Christmas language, using language learning skills to understand unfamiliar language, practising pronunciation, building their own indepently written short raps, performing for the class.
Santa's Spanish wishlist :Year 5 learners.Majority of the lesson was in Spanish both incidental and instructional language.Children were exploring unfamiliar language in text,using bilingual dictionaries, practising pronunciation of key language,revisiting nouns and building spoken and written requests in target language.
House and home:Year 6 French,practising using their new nouns in written extended sentences to describe a house,listening to a text level description of a famous person's house, building descriptive sentences - reading and writing .
Daily Routine: Year 6 Spanish in fourthe year of learning a language. The majority of the lesson was delivered in Spanish.Children were very much encouraged to use their own developing language skills to understand target language in classroom instructions and learning objectives. Practising full sentences in speaking and writing,asking and answering questions, adding times as o'clocks,using daily routine verbs in 1st and 2nd person singular. Writing a dialogue as a group and performing the dialogue from memory for the class
I started by quoting a child who found the idea of virtaully visitingf France quite amazing and I want to end the blog post with a quote from a child in another primary school down the road in Warrington, where the children learn Spanish.I think thw quote speaks for itself! What a rewarding half term this has been .Thanks to everyone!