Snapshot of language learning six

Meet Janet - not me- but a colleague of mine , an associate languages tutor with the Primary Languages Network.Janet is what we describe as an associate language instructor because up until two years ago she was a TA in a school (with degree level qualifications in French and German and first year degree level qualifications in Spanish!) , who helped to deliver the primary French. Janet is now learning how to move from this role to be a teacher of primary languages and applying all the primary creative and supportive skills she has already gained through her invaluable work as a TA.

Today Year 3 French and Janet in her "Friday" school, were exploring carnival. First the children explored the ways they could dress up for carnival. and added actions to the possible fancy dress Janet shared with them .Le clown,le cowboy , la princesse, le roi and le pirate. Janet and the children discussed the nouns, the sound and the way they were spellt .The children were fascinated by the sound of le clown and le cowboy and wanted to remind Janet that in Year 2 ,last year with her, they had looked for pirate's treasure in French! Janet asked the children what type of French fancy dress they could already describe and encouraged them to remembr the animal nouns they had learnt with her last half term .And then she played them this clip and set them all a task , to spot the animals they know *(everyone shouted out when they saw le lapin) and to find out who was the pirate (mon papa est le pirate say the words of the song!).Plus several children spotted the phrase "le superhero" and explained to Janet that they were certain it was a superhero because of what the little boy in the song was wearing for fancy dress ,a cape and a mask! 

Recently the children in this school have just started their school focus on Rio 2016 and Year 3 have just made their "Rio masks" for a performance later this term to Year 2. As the class was celebrating carnival in  France in the lesson, the two teaching assitants learning the language alongside the chldren , handed out their special carnival masks. They used these for their "faces in the crowd " conversations  using their personal information bank of questions.Aptly renamed for today as  "Carnival Questions"

Firstly Janet revisited the questions and answers and reinforced the newest questions  about animals and preferences.

If you look carefully Janet's mask has questions on oneside and answers on the other.She asked questions and handed the mask to a child who ahd to look for and then read aloud the answer Janet had written on the other side of the mask ,What was remarkable was the accuracy of pronunciation and how the children could then change the language to give their own answers.this was especially important for the child who wanted to tell Janet that his favourite animal was a mouse and he was getting a new one next week! When the children struggled ,Janet encoouraged the class for example to help count up to a specific number for a date or encouraged the individual child to "phone a friend" for support.

Then it was over to the children .The children had to imagine that they were at carnival- they had already discussed fancy dress, danced along to the carnival song and now they had to be the faces in the crowd and hold simple conversations with a partner wearing their very special Rio 2016 masks!

Finally Janet showed the children pictures of a real carnival in Nice and looked with the children at pictures of Harlequin in the parades.She explained the story in english to them about how Harlequin's mother had made the young boy a suit which was made up of bits of cloth from the tailor's where he worked ,so that he could go to the carnival parade. This led very nicely to an introduction to the game for next week - the Harlequin Game! Janet intends to revisit numbers,colours and practise full spoken sentences with animals.Janet had prepared the board game on the flip chart so the children could see her harlequin colour card patchwork.

How will the game work?Well Janet explained to the Year 3 children that during the week they needed to be thinking about their French numbers,colours and animals and to try to practise that special little phrase they use for their age and also to say what animals they have at home "J'ai..." Why? Well, because next week the class will need to be able to ask for a colour, turn over a card , say a number if that is what they see on the reverse or to win the coloured card for their team they will need to turn over an animal picture.The child then needs to say a full sentence and match the picture to the correct animal noun from the selection on the flip chart.