bilingual dictionaries

Superlative Tshirts!

Look at the tshirts awarded in the Tour de France - explain that the tshirts are awarded for the fastest cyclist  up a mountain, the fastest on the road, the person who wins the most races during the tour etc.

Discuss in English what the "most" really tellls us- it means that on this tour no one can do better in that particular race or on the whole tour.
Share le maillot jaune with the class

Take a look at how to form the superlative in the target language!
It's a good activity at the end of Year 5 or Yerar 6 and would work well in KS3 Year 7 too.

Search for characteristics
Ask the class to help you to find adjectives in the bilingual dictionary that describe "positive " qualities in a person (e.g helpful, kind, funny, friendly, supportive,organised, tidy, sporty etc)

Take vote
Give out card yellow tshirts as voting cards - one per child.

  • Ask the class to take a vote on the most important characteristic they have found in the list of adjectives you have compiled if ..... they needed help learning something / wanted to be cheered up / wanted someone to keep them company etc

  • Now take a vote on which four characteristics have been most important in your class this week/ this half term/ this term/ this year?

Who is the most .....?
Practise with the children creating the superlative of the adjective. for "the most organised boy" / " the most organised girl" ,"the most creative boy " "the most creative girl etc - the tidiest , the most helpful, the kindest.
Can the children spot the changes when we are describing a boy and when we are describing a girl?

Design your class tshirts 
Ask the class to design a tshirt to award to their partner to say what the best quality of this person is.
They must design the tshirt and add the superlative phrase

Our class reward tshirts
Now can your class help you to design reward t-shirts for the duration of the Tour de France?
These can be awarded on a daily basis for the “superlative” people in your class during the Tour de France!
Display the t-shirts with their superlative labels for all to see and add the faces of the children who win these t-shirts one by one.

Shades of meaning,building vocabulary in a target language

I have just seen this tweet from @JaneConsidine .Thank you Jane! 
You can find this and more on The Training Space website
Such an effective tools for literacy but also such an effective tool for target language learning- "shades of meaning from "subtle " to intense" 

Time to get those bilingual dictionaries out again and this time pose the pupils individual  tasks to find "shades of meaning" based on an adjective that they may or may not already know.
You will need 6 adjective cards and sufficient of these cards for one card each .The pupils will swap cards as they repeat the activity three times with different adjectives.
(Immediately adjectives such as small / big/ naughty/ beautiful/ sweet/ lively.....come to mind)

  1. Give them a blank piece of paper
  2. Ask them to draw the "shades of meaning scale" on the left handside and ask them to help you to locate the descriptors for "intense" and "subtle" in the bilingual dictionary.Can the pupils help you to work out how to say "subtle" and then ask all the class to put the key language on the scale but in the target language .(in this instance in a foreign language I think "subtle" means - a gentle type of adjective and "intense" means a powerfuland strong adjective.
  3. Now give each pupil an adjective card.They mjust decide whereabouts on the scale they would place this card - first of all they may need to find the meaning of the adjective!
  4. Set the class a time limit for the next search and ask them to think of 3 adjectives that mean something similar and then find these in the target language dictionary.they must record them on their scale by writing them down in the target language.
  5. Set up a new "shades of meaning" challenge with a new piece of paper and ask the children to swap adjective cards.Can they find 3 adjectives they think have similar meanings to this adjective? (e.g big - tall,large,huge).Whereabouts on the chart do they think these words fit?
  6. Repeat the activity one more time.
  7. Now invite pupils to give feedback as you read out one of the 6 adjective cards. Can they say whether the adjectives they have found linked to the original adjective are more or less subtle or more or less intense- in their opinions? 
  8. How many different words have the class found? 
  9. You could record these on a class "shades of meaning" list in the target language. 
  10. Now you can encourage the pupils to alternate and use these new adjectives when describing people, things and places in speaking and writing.

Summertime Special Days' Suitcases

Summertime is one of those wonderful themes that allows us to explore so much language with children :going to the beach , the countryside, picnics, playing outside at the park,a day at the zoo etcetra!  
I have used this opportunity to focus on:

Reading and looking for language we already know and investigating nouns and verbs as infinitives that we may not know

The use of the near future in a target language . In fact here is a question.... can our young learners define for us first of all how we pass on a message in English that is on the near future? In fact what is the "near future" and why is it so useful ? (I am going to .......)

It's a chance maybe as well to explore

  • bilingual dictionairies
  • paradigm of a common verb (to go)

And we can produce an outcome that shows how we have been practising reading comprehension skills.

The sequence of activities is based around three types of cards:

  • noun cards

  • near future verb sentence cards

  • short text cards using the verbal phrase "there is/are and nouns"

an empty cut out card suitcase template that opens up as a book.

Step One 

  • Decide upon your contexts.(I chose : the zoo, the playground, the picnic, the beach and the countryside)
  • Create your noun cards
  • Write the each noun that describes the context on a card.These are your "noun cards"
  • Write full sentences using the first person plural of the verb "to go" in the target language - so that you have written "Let's go + an activity that describes the noun and the context.I have tried to differentiate the challeng by writing some of these sentences with less familiar language than others.Write these sentences on individual cards - these are your "near future sentence cards"
  • Write out a short text using "there is/are" in the target language and selection of familoar and unfamiliar nouns of objects you may find , take or use in the specific context.These are your "short text cards".
  • You will need a set of cards per two children on the class
Step Two 

  • Ask the children to be explorers of "summertime special language".
  • Can the children working in pairs to look through the cards
  • Can they spot cards that just have "nouns" on them.
  • Ask the children to see iof they recognise these nouns or do they need to investigate them further using a bilingual dictionary?
  • Have a time limit to this activity and take feedback afterwards.What do the nouns mane in English? Does everyone agree?
  • Ask the children to see if they can sport the other cards in to two piles- don't give them any other information.Again set a time limit suitable to the class
  • Take feedback how have they sorted the cards? discuss why- e.g each card in one pile starts with the same two words (in this case nous allons...) or each of the cards starts with "il y a".
  • Discuss with the children the meaning of for example in French "nous allons" on the near future verb sentence cards
  • Discuss with the children the dual meaning in English of for example in French "il y a "( there is/are"). 
  • Ask the children to investigate the cards further and see if they can find out what the whole message on each card is telling them? Again set a time limit and allow them to use a bilingual dictionary and then take feedback.
  • Play games of charades or Simon Says based on the verbs and nouns they have explored and fed back to you.
Step Three
  • Can the children in pairs put the cards in to family groups ? They need a noun,a near future verb sentence and a short text card.The three cards shpuld make a complete descriptive text : noun (context) , near future verb card(what we are going to do etc) , short text card (what we take,eat,use etc)
  • Ask the children to share their decisions with a second group.
Step Four
  • Ask the children to make their summertime special suitcases.
  • Each child should make at least two suitcases
  • Now you have choices:
  1. Children can select and stick the cards on to their suitcase templates
  2. Children can write out the phrases using writing prompts that have parts of the sentence removed
  3. Children can try to write their own sentences from memory based on the cards they have been investigating
The front of the suitcase conveys the context

The inside of the suitcase tells us what we are going to do and some more details about the activity

And finally - don't forget the all important pictures on the reverse of the share with us the possible activities we can take part in based on the text the children have investigated!

Twizzle Stick Opposites!

Being in the target language country allows you to look for marvellous books - just to give you new inspiration!
In Spain last week I found this simple infant book and this led mt to think of a  creative idea.....that could be really useful to practise opposites with LKS2!  

The book in itself is a marvellous joining in text to practise opposites.The children can swivel the objects in the middle of the hard card page, can anticipate the opposite phrase used with  the next page.You can revisit the book  and play anticpation or memory games  too.

This made me think of "twizzle stick opposites"!
All we are going to need are lolly sticks,firm card, glue and seloptape,oh and some scissors!

First a little bit about the book!
The book shows  a picture of an item on each page and and a key word.It's opposite word and the same picture( but drawn to convey the new meaning) are shown on the reverse side of the page.The picture inbetween can be swivelled to match the key word .For example there is a smiley face with "contento" above it and when you swivel the face it is a sad face on the other side and reads "triste"

The pictures can be turned over or swizzled around! Just like this tortoise it can be "derecha" or can be flipped around and on the next page "izquierda"

Twizzle Stick Opposites Game 

  • This is my way of creating an interactive game to practise opposites using a physical activity.
  • Year 3 or 4 could create the twizzle sticks and share with KS1.
  • It will also help the Y3/4 children have a better understanding of the concept of "opposites" plus a physcial and visual memory of key words to describe or place objects.
  • I anticipate that each child should make 5 swizzle sticks and therefore explore the meaning of 10 words in 5 pairs of opposites.
  • The twizzle sticks can just have opposites written on them or could also have the nouns of ther objects the children have used too, hidden under a lift and reveal flap.

Making Twizzle Sticks

  • Ask the children to think of 5 pairs of opposites in English
  • Can they now find these woirds in the bilingual dictionary and cross reference their meaning in the front of the bilingual dictionary to check its meaning.(This could be a pair activity where the partner cross reference words and feeds back what they find)
  • The children need to write each word out in the target language on a separate small strip of firm card.
  • The children can now put the words with their opposite word in to 5 piles of opposite words e.g contento/triste or izquierda/derecha
  • For each pair of opposite words the children now need to think of an object that they can draw and use to explain both of the opposite words.For example with contente/triste - this will probably be the face of a child/person/animal etc or maybe with directions it could be a vehicle.
  • The children should draw the objects (twice per twizzle stick) so that the images of the objects conveys the meaning of the opposite words .
  • The drawings needs to be attached with glue or selotape to the top third of the lollipop stick and the correct opposite word card that they have chosen and written out needs to be glued or selotaped below the correct image of the object.

The Twizzle Stick Year 3 or Year 4 Game!

  • Each child shares with a partner all the twizzle sticks they have made and say the opposite word as they show each of the images.They will need to twizzle their sticks to share all the images and the opposite words
  • the first child lays out their sticks on the table with one side of the twizzle stick showing.
  • The second child  selects a twizzle stick , picks it up says the word that is face up on the stick, anticpates and says the opposite word and then twizzles the stick to see if he/she was correct.
  • If he/she is correct then the stick now belongs to the second child.
  • Which child wins the most sticks from am partner? 
  • Add extra challenge by giving each child a strip of coloured paper long enough to place across the five twizzle sticks of one player.The strip of paper should not conceal the picture but should conceal the face up word.
  • Who can now remember the face up word and the opposite word written on the face down side of the stick? 

When I grow up, I will be a .....

I spent last week in France and was delighted to meet five year old Sophie who had all her precious possessions in a most marvellous rucksack! (I saw the whole range of these rucksacks in a toy shop window in  Dijon last summer and was inspirec by them then!)
Thanks to Sophie though I now have a noun collector!

You see there is a whole range of rucksacks,pencil cases and bags sporting pictures such as:

The activities I now have in mind could be done in all languages!
  1. First of all ask the children to share their aspirations for the future in English
  2. Now ask them to look up in bilingual dictionaries their apsirational jobs and roles they would like to have in the future 
  3. Create an alphabetical list of the roles the children would like- in the target language.Ask the children to help you do this and to then sign their names against their aspirational jobs and roles on the list.How many doctors, nurses, farmers , dancers etc have you potentially got in your class?
  4. Engage the children with table or group games of charades to guess the professions
  5. Ask the children to create a a class display of characters (like those in the drawings above) conveying the roles/ professions.On each pucture ask the children to write the sentence in the target language "When I grow up I will be a ....".Ask them to omit the role or profession and to write this on a separate piece of paper or card
  6. Create a gap filler velcro or blu-tac display and invite children up to read the names of the roles and professions on the paper/ card and to place them at the end of the incomplete sentence under the correct drawing in your class art gallery
  7. Now it's time to design the rucksacks/pencil cases or bags to suit the aspirations of your class e.g the footballer/ prince/ doctor/ teacher/policeman etcetra. 
  8. Ask the children to design their container (it must be able to hold card strips with nouns written on the card strips). it could be a rucksack/pencil case or  bag.They must wirte the incomplete sentence on the container (without the noun for the role or profession)
  9. The children must then consider what objects  might be found in the  container etc if it belonged to a footballer/ prince etc. For example in Sophie's rucksack she had a crown,a dress and a ring- all for her role as "Princess Sophie"!
  10. Can the children use bilingual dictionaires to find the objects to put in their containers?
  11. And now we have our final game- display the containers and number them. Invite children to investigate the nouns in the containers - can they guess the role or profession from the objects in the bag?
  12. The children must write down the number of the container and the noun for the role or profession they have guessed.
  13. Invite the children to bring their containers to the front and to say the complete sentence with  the role or profession  .
  14. Which children have guessed the correct role or profession for each container?
  15. And finally we can take a photo of the container, insert the face of the child and load the picture on to Chatterpix or Yakit for Kids - now thew children can record for posterity their aspirational role or profession!  

People Pillar Portrait Poem

I am looking for really easy and effective ways to create writing opportunities with young learners who are working out how to use nouns and the relationship between nouns and adjectives in the target language.
For all the ideas you need a picture stimulus and bilingual dictionaries and card strips  to write down their people pillar portrait poems .
i think that this activity would work  really well to for a Father's Day focus, for a Year 6 leavers focus on what describes  a Year 7 "ready to learn" new starter etc .... the potential is almost limitless

Stage One  
Focus on one masculine singular noun and a stimulus picture e.g "un clown"

  • Ask the children to look up and cross reference adjectives to describe a clown
  • Are there any adjectives that the children need to write in French before the noun- talk about these first!
  • Ask the children on rough paper to write the adjective in the correct position next to the noun in a list - therefore you repeat thre noun"clown" and write a different adjective next to the noun each time.

Un clown amusant,
un clown actif,
un grand clown,
un clown .........,
  • The children can now make your first "people pillar portrait poem".All they need to do is to write their list written in rough on to the card strip. 
  • Create plasticine or blu-tac feet for the card strip and add clown heads to the pillars.
Stage Two 
Focus on a feminine singular noun and a stimulus picture e.g. "une reine" 

  • Ask the children to look up and cross reference adjectives to describe a queen.
  • Ask the children to anticipate the familiar changes that they can remember to the spelling of the adjectives if they are being written next to a feminine noun
  • Explore the spelling of unfamiloar adjectives and find the feminine ending spelling 
  • Are there any adjectives that the children need to write in French before the noun- talk about these first!
  • Ask the children on rough paper to write the adjective in the correct position next to the noun in a list - therefore you repeat thre noun " reine"  and write a different adjective next to the noun each time.

  • Une belle reine, 
    une reine magnifique,
    une  petite reine,
    une reine.....

    • The children can now make your second "people pillar portraipoem".All they need to do is to write their list written in rough on to a new card strip. 
    • Attach the new card strip to the  plasticine or blu-tac feet  so that the card strips for the clown and the queen are back to back.Add  a queen's clown head to the new card pillar.
    Stage Three 
    • Ask the children to find their own two nouns -one masculine and one feminine.The nouns should represent people or professions.
    • Ask the children to create their own people pillar poems and challenge the children to try to use some of the same adjectives to describe both the masculine and feminine nouns.
    • This will allow the children to make comparisopns on spelling of the adjectives when being used with a masculine or feminine singular noun.
    Making the activity 3D
    Clare Seccombe and I have been busy challengimng each other to take ideas we have generated or found and add a twist.Recently I challenged clare to create a 3D version of the People Pillar Portrait Poem. The challenge was successfu; and here is Clare's blpog post response....

    Tea bags full of adjectives and flavour!

    Today,whilst training teachers,we explored creative ways to expand my blog post ideas on holding a cafe conversation based on a 

    Mad Hatter's Tea Party


    One of the ways we explored ,was based on the work we did earlier in the CPD session on adjectives and looking for adjectives in the bilingual dictionary and thinking about the agreement of adjectives.

    There are two levels to this creative activity.....

    • First of all each child needs a tea bag- made of paper, folded like a tea bag with an opening at the top- wide enough to pop a  small strip of card through
    • The children also need access to bilingual dictionaries.

    Level One

    Each child has to create an original "fantastic" tasting tea!

    In French and Spanish the noun is masculine - so this makes it ideal for  level one activities,as there is no agreement required.

    All our children need to do is to think of persuasive and exciting adjectives in English e.g. refreshing, sizzling, tingling, sharp, spicy

    They  need to look up these adjectives in the english section of the bilingual dictionary.

    Cross reference the adjectives in the target language section of the dictionary to check meaning.

    Write each adjective on a small strip of card - one per adjective ,making the written adjectives look the meaning of the word.

    Now they have their words to describe their  fantastic tea! 

    Adjective by adjective they need to squeeze out the tea bag ( take out each word and create a fantastical sentence about the tea in whichever target language you teach:

    " the tea is sizzling, spicy and fruity"  

    Now they can create their own drawing of their tea bag with symbols on the bag to explain each fantastical part of their drink of tea and the sentence written under the tea bag itself!

    Level Two

    In French and Spanish , a cup of tea has  a feminine noun! 

    So now each child can follow the activity described in the stages for Level One ,collecting adjectives and writing them on cards and putting them in their paper tea bag containers.

    The children then hand their tea bags and adjectives to  a second child in the class.

    This child has a template of a cup of tea:

    The second child empties the tea bag of its card strips and must write the adjectives on the tea cup with correct adjectival agreements to match a feminine noun in the target language!

    Now can they use  the adjectives to create a complete sentence in the target language? e.g "the cup of tea is fruity,sparkling,warm and refreshing!"

    They can now make a poster to advertise their cup of tea with a complete sentence.

    And finally can they remember their sentence and act it out for the class to try and sell this fantastical cup of tea top the class?

    Blotting paper memory challenge!

    I love working with teachers! They often challenge me to think of new ideas and approaches!
    This morning I  was working with a group of new teachers and we were trying to think of ways to encourage children to explore the world of grammar and also to look at strategies that will help children when learning a language!
    This idea came out of very simple discussion and I think would make a great activity to encourage memory,

    1. Give each child five minutes to locate between three familiar words in the bi-lingual dictionary specific words in the target language - think nouns or adjectives or verbs....
    2. Ask the children to write one of the word out carefully in felt tip on a piece of blotting paper.
    3. Can they now commit the word to memory - before it disappears from the blotting paper? (Add water droplets to the blotting paper - so it becomes "Now you see it! now you don't !)
    4. Ask the children to try this with the other two words
    5. Take feedback from the children on how they approached this challenge and what memorisation strategies they employed to complete the blotting paper memory challenge!

    Fishing for letter strings and sounds

    A few years ago we trialed this sounds activity with Year 3 and it worked so well that we will be using the activity again during our "Seaside" focus CPD with the DFE funded WTSA/JLN project.
    It is so simple .....and great fun too.
    First of all you need to create a class magnetic fishing game .

    You need a rod with string attached and on the end is a magnet.
    You need a pool /pot pot bowl with no water in but with card fishes in it
    Each card fish needs a paper clip nose so that when you pop the "fishing rod over the side of the pot,pool etc you can "catch" a fish with  the magnet and its paper clip nose.
    Each fish needs a letter string written upon it.

    Now go fishing with your class.

    • Put the rod in the pool, pull out a fish and then as a class look at the letter string.What does this letter string sound like in the target language?
    • How many fish can the class  catch and keep because a member of the class can think of a word with that letter string in it? If the class can't think of a word then the fish goes back in the pot,pond,pool!
    Add more challenge.How many fish have you got in the net?

    • Add to the challenge, how many fish can they catch as a class .... this means how many words can they say and write that have the specific letter string in the word in the target language and put in their imaginary "letter string word net" ? Count them up? this is how many words the class can catch as fish in that particular net
    • Try a new fish from your magnetic pool.Which letter string word net contains most fish at the end of the game? . 

    Table games 
    • Ask each table to write down on a shared mini whiteboard the target language words they can think of that contain the letter string.
    • Allow the table three minutes bilingual dictionary time too.Can they find new useful words with this letter string in the word.(They must be able to say the word and tell the class the meaning of the word too when it comes to sharing time!)
    • Each table shares their words with the class and then as a class the table with the most words that are real target language words are counted up and that's the number of fish that class can catch with this particular letter string in the words.

    Table against table game 
    • Make it a table against table fishing challenge- so the table with the most words , wins the magnetic card fish.This is a memory activity so differentiate the ability of the children on the tables to make this a fair game.Also words can not be looked up in the bilingual dictionaries this time , so this game would follow on well, from the game above.
    • Which table has the most fish at the end of the game?

    "Who are you?" and scarecrow caricatures of "I am....".

    A few years ago on holiday in France , we drove in to a small bastide to find a very special festival taking place! A celebration of the local jobs and shops in the village! What a gift to a teacher of foreign languages .
    Every shop keeper had created a full size caricature version of him or herself and his/her role in the village! 
    These pictures allow us to practise and  consolidate children's knowledge of  the first person and second person singular of the verb "to be".

    Scarecrow caricatures 
    Take a look here!
    Can you spot the baker,hotelier, butcher (!!!),pharmacist and doctor?

    Take the pose!

    • Share the pictures with your class.Can they decide what jobs they might do in a town or village?
    • Do they know the names of the jobs in English? Can they find the names in a bilingual dictionary in the target language.What might they notice about jobs in the target languages - is there a different word for a male or a female person with that job title? What do they think about this? Do they think this is a good idea?
    • Ask them to find some new nouns for jobs in the target language using the dictionaries- are there male and female versions here too?
    • Write up on the flip-chart all the nouns you have found.Can the children "take the role" and in a voice which reflects the job they do  e.g mixing the dough or slicing the meat ,carrying heavy suitcases or looking carefully at medicine ,can they practise full sentence spoken introductions of each of the people and their jobs. The children will be using the first singular of the verb to do this (I am .....)
    Guided scarecrow caricature tour of the town
    • Now let's try adding "Who are you?" and begin to conjugate the verb "to be" 
    • Ask children to volunteer to be a character  and help create a "scarecrow caricature tour" of the town.
    • Each volunteer  must think of an action representing the job you give them (If you can get hold of  the dressing up box from KS1 then they can get in to character with an item of clothing or a prop too). 
    • Can they take the pose?
    • Can they create the voice - what do the characters sound like? 
    • Can they add an action?
    • Can they put it altogether and become the scarecrow caricature?
    • Can the rest of the class ask as a choral question of each scarecrow  caricature in turn..."Who are you?"
    Scarecrow caricatures
    • Can the children design their a scarecrow sculpture of one of the people you may find working in a town.Can they add the written question "Who are you? and the full sentence response "I am ....." ?      

    Any Word X Word APP and bilingual dictionary practise

    I have recently tried out Alan Peat's Any Word XWord  APPs in French,Spanish and German.It exists in other languages too.
    I found that it was  really simple and easy to use and a game that could be played in pairs, tables or individually by all stages of language learner.
    What I like, is the immediate freedom and challenge it gives a young primary beginner language learner.The learner has to think for his/herself and for example think of three letter target language words they may know and try to fit them in to their own puzzle.If the learner forgets the accents the game prompts you - as the word isn't accepted until correct.You can play against other children too - to add competition.There is an option to keep a record too.

    As always I think we could take it further...... and make it a useful learning tool when exploring  how to use bilingual dictionaries.

    Here are my ideas ......

    The APP could allow us to investigate bilingual dictionaries.....
    1. Game One: Working in pairs ,Partner A says the word he/she wants to write and Partner B has to find the word in the bilingual dictionary (even if the meaning is already known) .Both partners need to check spelling before Partner A is  allowed  to write it down on the APP crossword board.They then  swap roles and move on to find the next word that will fit on the crossword board.
    2.  Game Two: Working with a partner- Partner A locates a word in the bilingual dictionary and writes it on a mini whiteboard.Partner B must try to apply sound -spelling knowledge to say the word and try also to remember or work out its possible meaning.The meaning needs to be checked in the dictionary before the work can be added to the puzzle.The children then swap roles.
    3. Game Three:Working in pairs , Partner A locates a word in the bilingual dictionary and Partner B must find out something grammatical about this word- is it a verb (is it a reflexive verb?) /noun/ adjectives.Is it masculine/ feminine or neuter? Now Partner B can add the word to the puzzle.
    4. Game Four: Two pairs working together, can both pairs complete a simple level one board and then share the board with the other pair.The second pair must look up the words in the bilingual dictionary and write them out on rough paper with grammatical information included e.g noun, masculine , feminine , neuter etc , adjective, noun.The second pair must now try to write complete sentences that contain some of the words.This could be a sequence of sentences or one sentences using several of the words.

    Reading and Writing in the Primary Foreign Language

    Yesterday I delivered an afternoon of CPD based around reading and writing in primary foreign languages.
    The CPD was based around DfE KS2 POS Learning Objectives:

    First of all we explored how all four skills (listening,speaking,reading and writing) are interconnected and support the development of each of the other skills.
    This was a light bulb moment for some of the delegates and led to group discussion about how much,when,what to introduce in different skill areas.

    During the CPD we considered  these objectives from the KS2 POS specifically:
    • Explore the patterns and sounds of the language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
    • 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 the ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written materials, including using a dictionary
    • Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
    • Understand basic grammar……….how to apply these, for instance  to build sentences.
    The highlighted key words and phrases helped us to discuss and explore the links across skills (so for example "show understanding of words"  can be explored,practised and  demonstrated across all four skills). 

    Consideration One 
     We considered how the four skills can be interlinked right from an early start using some of the activities here in this blog post Stretchy sound and letter balloon .All linked to this learning objective
    • Explore the patterns and sounds of the language and show understanding by joining in and responding.
    And we discussed how the development of this skill is always important to the linguist no matter what level of language they may be able to operate with.We looked at how the types of activities here could be adapted for different stages of learning and new content/contexts.

    Consideration Two
    Our next consideration was the use of bilingual dictionaries and the teachers discussed ways they might introduce dictionaries for the first time to young learners and the suitability of certain types of dictionaries and pictionaries for different children.
    • Take some time to look at alphabetical order and play some alphabet sorting games
    • Pop a variety of dictionaries from different languages in a basket in the reading area perhaps including home languages of children in the class or school 
    • Let the children explore the"mystery" book on their tables with no information or clues.What do they think it is? How does it seem to be organised etc?
    We discussed how bilingual dictionaries can play such a key role in  language learning across all types of activities and how children need to see the resource as a valuable language learning tool which they will use and refer to often .
    This led to discussion of the use of simple pictionaries with younger children, the use of junior dictionaries with KS2 children and the introduction of more detailed dictionaries with Year 6 UKS2. 

    I was really impressed by the way the teachers wanted to explore how the language was presented in the junior dictionaries, the colour -coding and the way that examples supported or could potentially  confuse the young learners.
    We decided that 15 bilingual dictionaries could be sufficient for a class activity (pairs for example) and that schools could have a signing in and out process on the staff room so that the dictionaries could be booked in and out. Most of the teachers felt 30 copies would suffice across KS2 (Y3/4 and Y5/6 split).

    We considered  the activities here in this blog post as introductory activities or 10 minute revisit activities to familiarise the children with how to use a bilingual dictionary.

    Bilingual Dictionary Wizards

    And the teachers tried out the sequence of activities that they could take back in to school and link using a bilingual dictionary to the exploration of nouns

    I spy nouns

    Really importantly we identified that bilingual dictionaries are not just to 

    • "broaden ... vocabulary and develop the ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written materials, including using a dictionary".
    Bilingual dictionaries could become an integral available resource whatever the language learning taking place and we considered how we may use the dictionaries in any of the objectives being considered in the CPD session.

    Consideration Three
    Our next step was to explore this learning objective:
    • Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing

    and to do this we looked at how the learning objective can be a driver for a series of activities that are very "primary" and "age appropriate" linking language learning across the curriculum.
    We explored: the activities in this blog post .What is important to understand is that the activities are not just linked to the context and content described in the blog post but that the type of activities and stages of learning can be lifted and used in other contexts and with other content.We were able to identify the progression and deeper learning that potentially is taking place and how all four skills are interlinked and support development in of the other skills.

    Consideration Four
    We looked  at the learning objective below from the immediately obvious viewpoint of authentic books, rhymes and songs for young children and how they bring " authenticity and colour" in to the language learning classroom.

    • Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language.

    • I shared a range of materials that could be used as a  resource to listen to or read for pleasure, maybe because the resource links to the content being practised or also because it allows the teacher  to explore and reinforce another curriculum focus but in a foreign language. We thought about how we could create our own mini versions of books and create written sentences about characters and link our reading in a foreign language to World Book Day for example. Here are three examples we discussed: 

      We also looked at how poetry could be a resource to support literacy and creating written images ,an example of this is here in the blog post on a French authentic poem which allows us to engage with French poem painting of a Summer's Day.
      Familiar nursery rhymes can be used as a listening and reading resource to link all four skills together.Here in this blog post Dame Tartine we are able to link phonics,listening,joining in,speaking,singing, reading writing, APPs and DT!  I felt that this was really important to consider this as some colleagues were uncertain as to how in short limited language learning time all skills and progression could be catered for .Here  in Dame Tartine is just one example of how this can be planned and catered for over a series of lessons and week.

      Consideration Five
      And finally we were able to bring all our considerations together and look at how if we focus on developing progression in the other four considerations we can work toward Year 6 learners in their fourth formal year of learning becoming competent writers in the target language, who are able to .....
      • Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
      • Understand basic grammar……….how to apply these, for instance  to build sentences.
      Perhaps by looking for real writing opportunities that link across the curriculum then the writing has a dynamic purpose ?
      Here is one recent topical example that some of my colleagues are working on: