Associate Language Teaching and Effective Progress (DfE KS2 MFL PoS ATs)

The Primary Languages Network Associate Teacher/Assistant Programme currently supports 47 schools.The service aims "to develop primary language learning which embraces the craft of the primary classroom and that addresses the DfE KS2 MFL Pos Attainment Targets". The DfE Attainment Targets require all KS2 pupils in schools to work toward being able to :

§ listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
§ explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
§ engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help*
§ speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
§ develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases*
§ present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences*
§ read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
§ appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
§ broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
§ write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
§ describe people, places, things and actions orally* and in writing 
§ understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.

The Primary Language Network Associate Teachers deliver French or Spanish but can also offer German and Russian in the primary classroom .The associates work from the PLN SoW long term planning and schools have access to this plus the medium term plans and lesson plans for each lesson taught in both KS1 and KS2. Class "Tracking Sheets" are available to establish dialogue and information sharing between associates, SLT  and class teachers.Children are provided with AfL Clouds so they can share their own assessment of progress. All the  resources are available to schools on the network VLE from story power points to class trackers and AfL clouds .

  • An example of the outer space family story(which was read and annotated with a Year 4 French class on nouns and body parts, during an associate observation).
  • An example of the Year 5 AfL Clouds for Spring (,which had been used to inform the associate teacher's next steps in the planning and preparation of learning objectives in the lesson observed).

The Associate Teachers now offer schools the additional service of assessment across the 4 core skills listening,speaking,reading and writing and also the tracking of progress in phonics and understanding basic grammar. All these tools are available to both schools and the associates via our  PLN VLE "Subject Planning Area" and can be shared in the "School User File" secure area of the PLN VLE. Learning can be adapted and bespoke cross curricular units created to dovetail with whole school curriculum and events. 

Progress in line with the DfE PoS Attainment Targets and the performance of the Associate Teachers is supported by regular CPD and planning meetings and webinars.Observations, feedback and support for each Associate Teacher is taking place this term.Outcomes are shared with both associates and the schools. 9 of the 14 associates have been observed so far. Snapshots of the lessons offer the associates informal CPD .Observations so far demonstrate how effective the programme has become in supporting children in schools to progress effectively in their language learning.Lessons observed include: 

  • links with culture and current celebrations and events in target language countries (for example, carnival)
  • authentic songs and games to encourage learners to appreciate authentic stories and songs
  • progression in asking and answering questions in the target language
  • active learning involving drama and dialogues to help children devise roleplays
  • explore and practising language learning skills of  memory and recall
  • encouraging our learners to becaome confident young speakers of the language , able to add opinions and make their case or contradict arguments in a simple way.

All associate teachers focus upon accurate pronunciation and intonation .The activities and strategies practised are appropriate for the age and stage of the  learners from sound spelling links in Year 3 beginners' learning to reading aloud confidently sentences in Year 4  to exploring unfamiliar language and looking for familiar sounds as the children progress. In all lessons observed the associate teachers explorered or reinforced target language learning stage appropriate phonics activities and strategies.Below are some examples evidenced:

Evidence of Year 4 reading aloud in French own creatiev sentence writing.

Spanish Year 6 challenge activity discussing and exploring unfamiliar adjectives amd applying  their bank of pronunciation and comprehension strategies to do this, to prepare spoken language to be able to create opinons about sport with interesting adjectives

Speaking and writing in full sentences was evidenced in all four year groups.There was evidence of progression in the development of the language learning skills to achieve this from: 

  • supported activities with sound spelling links and hesitant writers in beginners' Spanish Year 3 
  • to confident  access and use of bilingual dictionaries with Year 3 learners who have prior language learning in KS1.......

......and who can now produced imaginative target language writing ,using nouns and adjectives accurately and to work toward describing people,places and actions orally and in writing

  • practising writing sequences of simple sentences: noun, verb, adjective in Year 4,which the children were then goint to self check and correct if necessary.
  • independent writing  in Year 5 to describe people ,places and actions orally and in writing
Y5 message in a bottle .JPG


  • and practising writing from memory in Year 5
  • accurate writing in a range of sentences ,using verbs accurately to describe daily routine and actions

The development of reading skills from beginners to stage four learners in Year 6 was an integral part of the language learning evidenced. This ranged from questions and answers on carnival masks and envelope guessing games to domino en chaine and card sorts or dialogue building.

Understanding basic grammar was evidenced across Year 3 to Year 6 .It was age and stage appropriate and all the children in the classes were engaged in the explorations and the activities.The children demonstrated a clear understanding of the aspects of structure they were exploring. 

From exploring nouns to name animals with Year 3 beginners


  • to exploring masculine,feminine,singular and plural nouns with stage 2 learners 


  • to playing a dice game to create accurate simple sentences with adjectives agreeing with the noun
  • to exploration of extended sentences with conjunctions 
  • and practising the verb "avoir" in French to create a "wizard's spell".

The intention of the Associate Language Teacher/Assistant Programme is to provide a reliable, regular effective teaching and learning service.Depending upon the service the school requires it is sometimes not only for the children but also to upskill class teachers and teaching assistants. I have been delighted to see class teachers joining in and feeling confident in their own ability to learn a new language and to support children with their learning. So I will finish with snapshots of some wonderful non- specialists learning and working alongside some of our  associate teachers!

Learning and joining in (identifying masculine and feminine nouns,plural or singular)

Targeting support (during whole class French verb explorations) 

Teaching confidently the strategies to access language (explaining how to use the bilingual dictionary) !