Revisiting language Observation Game - Watching, Reading, Speaking

This activity works well with a video clip linked to culture or festivals – so a party, an event , a festival, a journey through the target language country, a visit to a famous place or town in the target language country.

At the start of the year it is a great activity to use with moving on learners to revisit familiar language and take a tour around the taret language country or set the scene for the academic year's learning with a cultural focus.

So select your video clip stimulus material!

Watch the clip carefully and select the key words (nouns,adjectives, verbs will all work well here!)

It's a game that I have played lots of times with all age groups of learners.Works well with adult learmers too.

You can revisit know language, practise new language or investigate unknown language using a bilingual dictionary first ..... 

Game One

Give each child five word cards. Each word is a noun of an object, place, person or building they will see in the video.

 Ask the children to watch the video clip and pick up a specific word card and wave it when they think they have seen one of the five words they have in front of them.

Ask the children to then share their order of the written words cards with a partner, by saying them in the order they have placed them and as they observed them appear on the video clip

Game Two

Working in pairs give them all the noun cards. The object of the game is to place the nouns face down in a pile when they see that object. Each partner should be holding 9 cards or have 9 cards face upwards on the table so that they can see the words. When they see one of their objects  , they place the correct word card in a growing pile of cards.

After they have watched the whole video clip, they should compare the words in their pile with those of   another pair. They must carefully pick up the pile. Turn it face up and take it in turns to read the noun at the top of the pile. Once read they should put this word at the bottom of the pile. Do both pairs have the cards in the same order?

Report back

Can the pairs now create a tourist information report using the phrase  e.g. “ A Paris il y a + nouns” in their pile , in the order they saw the places and objects etc.

Volunteer pairs to say their “Tourist information report” to the class.

Sunshine Sparklers !

This is my "sunshine sparkler" and here is a simple idea to use toward the end of the term with LKS2 emergent/ beginner target language writers!

The idea was inspired by this wonderful picture below of Versaille and its the illuminated fountains. I spotted it on Twitter

You can find out more about the fountains here on the le monde website

Firstly let's play simple games with "Summertime" words.
The following words immediately come to mind and you will probably be able to think of more!


  • Play familiar games like "Simon says " with an action for the words or charades and guessing the word as class mate has mimed or hunt thw word around the classroom or match the parts of words so that we can complete the word.Games that are class favourites fit here.
  • Then let's encourage children to look accurately at the words and write individual words high up in the air with their "sunshine sparkler" stick. Invisible but ,magical and everyone is taking part! and don't forget flicks and twists and wiggles for all those wonderful accents etc!
  • Each child could add their three top favouirte summertime words from the list to the sunshine symbol or start at the top of the sunshine sparkler sticks to take home too!
  • Can the children create their own "sparkling Versaille fountain style painted word art"" to add to a class display of "sunshine sparkling words.They could pick their favourite word from the list you have been playing games with and which they have written in the sky with the sunshine sparkler sticks. You could focus on the cursive writing of ther target language and ask the children to try to write the word in their word art in that cursive style !

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!

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?

Listening,responding and comprehending UKS2: une fourmi rouge

Just been listening to this silly but entertaining song which I think will be another way to extend and practise listening with our UKS2. Last week I shared Quiz Quiz Swap Listening and Responding with a twist- restaurant style as an activity to develop listening skills and here is another opportunity .Plus this would make a great song to practise ,sing in the end of year Y6 or leavers assembly and have some of your best actors performing the story too! 

Here is a link on Momes website to the words too une fourmi rouge

It fits in well with our UKS2 JLN SOW cafe culture focus too!

In the song I can identify the following key words as words we already know:

rouge,bleus,points,petits,cafe au lait, morceau,sucre,nez, cuillere

Listening ,Responding and Comprehending Activities Step by Step:
  1. .Explain that the song is about an ant taking a walk over a cup of coffee,attracted by the sugar.Ask the children to listen for pleasure- perhaps clicking or clapping along to the beat.
  2. Give out the text and ask the children with a finger to follow the words as they are being sung.Pause the recording and ask the children what word they have just heard.Restart the recording and then pause later in the text etcetra.
  3. Give out the key words that you think the children have already met.Can they tell you the meaning of the words?
  4. Ask the children to draw a large cup and saucer on a piece of rough paper or a whiteboard, as them  to listen to the song again and as they hear the key words to put them in the 2D cup and saucer.
  5. Ask the children with a bilingual dictionary to try and work out three important things from the text- the description of the ant ,the journey the ant takes across the cup of coffee and what happens to the ant.Take feedback.
  6. Now ask the children to listen a final time and to hold up the key words as they hear them in the text.

And now it's over to the class, to use the text and the sound recording to put together a class performance of the song , with rhythm (clapping or clicking) and a performance of the events in the text bu two of the class actors or actresses!

Spanish books to support language learning contexts and content

Last week in Barcelona I went book shopping for Spanish books (Castillian of course!) to support the schools in our network that teach Spanish.
Here are my finds!
The books were chosen because they will be useful for teachers who use the JLN SOW , follow similar themes or are happy to create their own schedule for learning.

A book to help all teachers and which is available in other target languages too,a book too to let your imagination run wild! Great primary teacher's resource.It's from Usborne!
I liked the way that there were activities for children to do independently but also that there were double page spreads dedicated to specific artist e.g. Gaudi.
One double page spread looks at how we the children could create a range of creatures in the style of the Gaudi lizard from Parc Guell.
The book also has double page spreads on designing your own town or city of the future ,with really useful instructions that a non-specialist teacher with some Spanish knowledge could use tp develop class instructions in the target language.

A fun book to use with children in KS1 and KS2. One simple repetitive question per page - in the style of  "Brown Bear, Brown Bear what can you see?" .I liked it for this reason as it would be a familiar style to KS1 and Year 3 and could be used as a reading to the class activity and a joining in  with the question activity.the green hair you can see on the face can be moved as the there is a space to pop you hand inside the green hair and move it about
In Year 4 and Year 5 we could take the book further,the children could design their own books and write their own full sentence responses with their own characters.The green hair isn't really hair - it becomes an astronaut's moustache,a martian's hair do , a caveman's brain,  a witch's hat trim, and guess what finally " an enormous caterpillar ". The book could then be linked to the hungry caterpillar too .
It would be a great book to use when describing people as a stimulus to using our imaginations and  creating our own simple target language descriptions.

We are always revisiting colour and so I wanted to find a book that was suitable for children who have already met some colours and that incorporated a guessing game too.This book met the requirements. On each page there are three questions about three different items.the children need to read the question , guess the object and then decide on the colour that is going to be revealed.There is a card in an inside sliding sleeve between the pages that you reveal and show the key colour and the three objects that the children should have guessed.
Great book for dictionary work- understand the question, guess the object and remember in the target language or locate in a bilingual dictionary.guess the shared colour of the three items.Finally see if the class is correct by revealing the slide card!  
Could  be a great book to use with Year 4 and Year 5 moving on learners to encourage them to write their own questions about three objects, that are then revealed once someone else has guessed the items.
Could be a great stimulus for lift the flap books or a hide and reveal interactive whiteboard game etc. 

We go shopping several times in the JLN SOW which allows us to practise dialogues etc.I wanted to find a book for out Year 4 classes which was authentic and shared incidental language of signage too in a Spanish food shop.This book about el supermercado fits the bill!
this is a book that  non specialist or specialist could use with a class and with the aid of bilingual dictionary work the class could investigate the signage independently.
On every double page there is a cartoon scenario in the supermarket.There is a statement about the aisle or the area in the shop and the character Clara participates in interactive activities and there are speech bubbles etc with language that might actually be used in the supermarket The signage is great as it share with the reader key items and objects that you would find in a supermarket plus there are examples of shopping lists and signs.
At the end of the book there is a pull out supermarket with detachable characters- great for role play activities or a puppet show! 
Once again the book could be the stimulus for independent writing and creating your own class supermarket role play area with signs etc.

In the Summer term our attention with UKS2 turns to the seaside and with KS1 we develop our sea creature puppet shows.This book meets the needs of both age groups.
Each double page shares items you may need to use to do something linked with the seaside e.g build a sandcastle,look for seashells, go swimming.....
The text is in Spanish cursive handwriting .
On each page an object is concealed and has to be revealed or moved etc.
with KS1 the fun would be in the reading of the book and the revealing or moving of the objects.
With UKS2, once again there is bilingual dictionary work, understanding the question posed on each page and then creating your own questions and guide to the items you need for example to sunbathe, go swimming or to have a picnic on the beach!

I loved this series of stories from Rose Forshall, which I found in the book shop all about "la abuela pirata" and her friends.
I picked this book out from the series not on,y because teachers and children love the context of pirates but also  next year is an Olympic year! 
The text is challenging but the pictures tell the story as the pirates get fit through Olympic sports to get that Olympic gold treasure!
It is humorous and is a great read, may be several pages each time you read it to the class and a discussion of what has taken place.There are a variety of tenses in the text but this wouldn't prevent primary language teachers  from using the book to develop performance and  class simple Spanish story about pirates or other characters (monsters for example ) getting ready for the Olympics 2016!

Above is a great book - that I actually saw one day and went back to buy as I couldn't leave it behind!It fits really well with the Anthony Browne book "mi mama" we sometimes use in our work around describing people. The  book above  is straight forward and describes the qualities of a well loved mum (or carer) .
It would be really useful when trying to look at adjectives or activities to describe people and their personalities .
This is a book to be read to the class by a specialist or confident (target language speaking) teacher either just to enjoy or pages could be acted out and phrases could be used to build examples of how to write extended and interesting sentences. 


Next to the book "te quiero mama" was this wonderful book about "el mejor padre del mundo" .I couldn't leave this book behind either!
Each double page has a text that explains why this Dad is the best Dad in the World and then a full page picture explaining  the text!
This is  a book that could  be read to the class by a specialist or confident (target language speaking) teacher, to stop,unpick the language and explore key words.
It is also a book that could be used as a double page focus to explore a text about specific content - for example Dad and daily routine and helping tie shoe aces, Dad at the seaside building sandcastles. Dad at the school concert, Dad looking after his poorly daughter etcetra.
It is a book that could be picked up used for one double page text and then put down and returned to when the content fits the context that the children are exploring etc.
In my opinion it's a book for UKS2. 

And finally will soon be European Day of Languages (26 September)
I found this book.What a find for Spanish target language work about children from around the World!
It describes the similarities and differences between children  from all over the World- physical descriptions, homes, food ,animals that the children may come in to contact with, and then finally ends with a view of the World as a globe.The final statement reminds us that
"Pero todos tienen los mismos sentmientos.Todoos quieren ser felices y tener amigos ....."

Under the sea fish puppet and triarama performance

A while back,a colleague of mine, Clare Seccombe sent me this triarama picture of "under the sea" and I added it to one of my Pinterest boards  Janet's Language Learning.She was interested to know how I would use this triarama to create a piece of spoken performance and/or drama!Well here we go ....!

It is an ideal " under the sea" triarama for our Seaside project as part of our DFE funded WTSA/ JLN project.Find out more here Language Learning for Everyone and li ks really well with our other Seaside "fishy" ideas.

The triarama you can see in the picture is from a blog post on colourful sea anenomes. You can find the instructions here in this blog on how to make the physical triarama.

My ideas below link this 3D triarama to the story book and the adjectives used to describe fish in this wonderful book: 

Setting the scene
  1. Read the story book to the class in French or German and share the wonderful drawings or create your own drawings and creative your own fishy emotion phrases in Spanish .Have a look at the blog post here to get a feel for the book and the ideas I have already written about.Fishing for feelings
  2. First create one large class triarama of an under the sea picture.Here is my class backdrop triarama.

Now let's focus on the adjectives.....

  1. Adjectives add colour to nouns and give nouns character.Look at the sea anenome in the centre of the triarama at the top of the blog post, that's so colourful! 
  2. On strips of coloured card as the children to write the phrase "I am ....+  an adjective  that describes a specific  emotion - in the target language.Ask them to select a piece of  coloured card strip that they think conveys the meaning e.g red - angry , green- calm, yellow- happy , blue - sad etcetra. 
  3. Now ask the children to concertina their card strips with the written phrases on them,to make a sea anenome in the centre of your class "Under the sea " triarama".

Time to practise "performance".
  1. Invite children to the front to select a coloured strip from our sea anenome and to mime the emotion that they can read and understand on the coloured strip.Can the class guess the  emotion?  
  2. Now we need to add the fish and build a performance.Ask the children to work in pairs and to create four fish characters of their own.Each fish needs a colour, a fantastical fish name and an emotion.Each fish needs a character conveyed by the way the speech bubble information is delivered
  3. For example here is a fish I have just made would you convey the colour,emotion and name?

The grand class "under the sea"  performance!

  1. Ask the children to work on their tables (project tables would be best here so that we have a fair range of language speaking and writing ability on each table).The children on the table must  display all the fish characters and speech bubbles they have created.Each of the other children now selects a fish character to present in the class "under the sea" performance.
  2. They must attach their selected fish and speech bubble to a puppet stick, practise the way the fish sounds and moves and learn their lines!
  3. Invite each group with their fish to the front to use the class triarama stage set as their "under the sea" back drop for their "fish" performance!(Remember the fish puppet stick must have the fish and the speech bubble at the bottom of the stick as the child puppeteer will operate the fish from behind and above the triarama stage set) 

Wave sounds,words, reading and writing

We are going to be sharing ideas on "Seaside" at our DFE funded WTSA/JLN local network meeting twilights this next  half term. You would be very welcome to attend if you are near to one of these CPD twilights on the Training Schedule

Here are a few simple ways I think we can create some letter string and sound synthesis and then reading comprehension activities for beginner and moving on learners linked to "waves" in the sea.finally our young language learners can write some target language wave messages for other children to  decipher too!

Wave words 
This is a really simple idea! It involves the way the words sound.
This activity is about enjoying the shape and the sound of the words.with each word suggested ask the children to close their eyes and repeat the word after you and imagine that the sounds are waves coming to shore!

  • Ask the children to think of words they know in the target language that sound like a small wave gently moving toward the sea shore or a bigger wave that rolls along toward the shore or a huge wave that crashes to toward the sea shore .
  • What we are actually asking the children to do is remember and recall the "sound" of the word and the effect it makes as it is said 
 deux - is a small short word and makes a gentle thud
pomme is also a small short warm sound that could be a gentle wave at the sea shore
ananas has louder and more solid sounds and could be a wave that makes more movement as it comes to shore 
brouillard is big and strong and rolls mightily to shore.

Wave word shapes 
You need to consider the words that your children already know in the target language and then add the final sounds from the words to wave shape cards- a small wave, a larger wave , a big wave.
Here is an example of a completed wave word shape card.(I have thought of the words "moi", "lapin" and "grenouille" in French for the three waves here).

You will need 6 different wave word shapes and sufficient cards for one between two- 6 sets of 6 cards will work for most classes.
  • Ask the children to look at their card ,working with a partner and to think of three words that fit the waves.The words must end in the correct final sound and be soft gentle words ( for the small wave), bigger more syllable words for the medium wave and large exciting sounding words for the largest wave.
  • Once they have three words they can share these with the class .
  • Now swap cards and start the activity again , each pair having a new ste of lettre strings on their wave word shapes.
Reading waves
This is an activity that we have used before as snake shapes, where the children have to identify and break up the words so that they can understand the message written down.
This time we will use wave shapes and messages about the seaside .
Take a look here!  It actually says "J'aime la plage car je peux nager et jouer au ballon!
the children need to identify each word to understand and read the message.and they can add their own wave message underneath following the original wave pattern as a writing and prompt frame.

A taste of chocolate!

Well it's nearly Easter and therefore I can mention " chocolate...!
Here are some ideas that could make for a fun last lesson before Easter or even a celebration lesson later in the year as we break up for Summer.

UKS2 Free Trade Chocolate Video

Brilliant gift to the language learning classroom and also for global citizenship too!The clip is English and French with Spanish subtitles and  Free trade share the daily life of children who live in communities where the cocoa beans are picked for Free trade so chocolate can be made.

Letter Strings and Sounds in Spanish
This is the simplest of videos.....

  • We can practise key letter strings in the word "chocolate" 
  • We can investigate likes and dislikes of chocolates with additional flavours (lemon/ginger/chili/orange/raisin) in a class survey after singing the song
  • We can create our own version of the song using higher numbers and /or adding our addidtional flavoring
  • We can just song a long and enjoy the song  or conceal the screen and listen for numbers and hold up number cards or fans when we hear the numbers.
Chaud chocolat 
A very simple song to listen to and then create our own class version.
I like the clip because it's real and take a moment or two to settle the choir and the audience and then it's a brilliant at performance!

Un bon chocolat chaud
For older children why not ask them to listen to this wonderful song about getting milk from the cow to make a hot chocolate...listen out for "un bon chocolat chaud" add a clicking along with the song and then adding the spoken phrase "un bon chocolat chaud" with an action of drinking hot chocolate and again have fun listening,responding and joining in.

You can also get the words online (just google un bon chocolat chaud lyrics) so you could print them off and use this as a follow with your finger reading text too with more advanced readers).Thanks for the idea Vicky Cooke!  

And as a French grand finale at Easter 

Why not just enjoy listening to this beautiful song performed by les enfantastiques choir.
"La chanson chocolat".

A taste of German "Schokolade"
Here is a German song with the Gummy Bears just for fun and to join in with the chorus "Schoko Schoko Cho KaKao"
Perhaps a chance to hand out cards for each syllable and have cheer leaders with the cards at the front just to add to the fun!

Revisiting food in German but "the children eat chocolate!"
Great way to revisit foods and meals during the day .... practising word recognition of foods first with the screen visible , watching and listening and then with the screen concealed or minimised.
Second time round ask the children to order pictures if food on their tables as they hear them being sung.Can the class join in with the chorus "Die Kinder essen Schokolade"?

Creating a simple playground clapping game speed challenge 

The game below shown in the video clip (thanks to Fatima Duerden for reminding where to find this) works in Spanish and German with the original word "chocolate"
and in French we have tried it with cho-co-lat chaud ( four syllables) too!

and just because we can and it's bouncy fun and lively ....

La tartine au chocolat!

Making progress with listening.Activities using all four skills.

This year we have been focusing on how we make progress in language learning with our children and how we can track this and record this.
Here is a simple activity which can be used with all four skills...... to see how children are progressing.
In our JLN SOW we offer teachers sound files and podcasts to support themselves with upskilling in the target language, but we find that teachers can use these too to develop their own listening activities .The podcasts are great for children moving on from word level! 
Emilie Woodruffe @EWoodruffe   amd Ana Lavado Garcia @AnaLavadoGarcia have worked alongside me to create podcasts and sound file for every half term from Year 3 to Year 6- so we have lots of listening texts to work with .These ideas are therefore replicable with other podcasts. Simple too!

Step One 
Select the podcast and text that contains the language content you have been focusing upon with the class.
I have selected podcast one from Year 3 for this example (it's all about Emilie in French or Ana in Spanish)

Give out a series of words from the podcast text you want to use- in a muddled up order.:

  1. Can the children look at the words and decide what the listening text might be about?
  2. Can they spot any key language they have been practising e.g,question words,months, numbers?
  3. Can they put these to one side- you can now see who can identify these words individually.
  4. Can they anticipate in which order they may hear the words?
  5. Ask the children to listen to the text and put the words in the order from top to bottom in a vertical list as they hear them. 
  6. Would they like to listen again and see if they are happy with the order they have generated ?
  7. You can take photos of sample vertical lists of the children that you are following as progress pupils in the class  
  8. Now can they discuss with a partner what they think the listening text is about?
Step Two
  1. Can they now look at their list of words and gather facts about Emilie or Ana for example: 

Here is another opportunity to take photo samples of how the children can comprehend and link together sequences of words that belong together.

Step Three
  1. Give out the words written out on a table that the children have been sorting.
  2. Working in pairs can they create spoken sentences that use all of the words (Remember they have listened to a modeled text already).In this text they can create up to four or five  sentences  speaking as of they are ~Emilie in the first person singular- name/age/ birthday/ where Emilie lives/ feelings
  3. Ask the children in pairs to write down their sentences .You can collect in  their work after the activities and keep samples as evidence of progress in writing from memory.
  4. Ask for volunteer pairs to show and read out loud  their sentences for the class.Now you can listen for pronunciation and intonation  as they read aloud their sentences. 

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.

Active conjunctions

Thanks to Vicky Bruff on Facebook for sharing with us this picture of an activity from Teaching Ideas
It is a very simple and effective way of explaining visually the use of link words in sentences.

I am currently working with the wonderful Julie Prince on ways to make grammar in primary foreign languages "active and kinaesthetic" plus how we can link the activities to learning objectives from the DFE KS2 POS. 

The picture inspired a really simple "active grammar" learning idea that could be so effective!

In this activity I am concentrating on conjunctions (connectives ) to link two sentences together to  make a more complex primary foreign language sentence.
In doing this we could explore with the children one or more of the following DFE POS KS2 learning objectives:
  • speak in sentences,using familiar vocabulary,phrases and basic language structures
  • read carefully and show understanding of words,phrases and simple writing 
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words
  • understand basic grammar to build sentences
What's the idea?
Well just as you probably already do,ask the children to draft write simple sentences on mini white boards that are linked to the content you are currently covering .Effective contexts for this activity may be: the market, describing a monster, clothes, the weather ........

e.g. here are some fruit examples.....
les pommes sont rouges
les bananes sont grandes et jaunes
moi j'adore les raisins

moi j'aime les oranges

First activity

  1. Ask the children to write a simple sentence using language content you have been practising with them.
  2. Ask the children to share their sentence with a partner and take turns to proof read each of the sentences.
  3. Ask the children to write the sentence on to a strip of paper or card- large enough for other people to be able to read from a distance.
  4. Stand the children in a circle with the sentences on card facing in to the circle.
  5. Take it in turns for each child to read out their sentence still holding the card facing toward the other children in the circle.
  6. Share with the children your conjunction cards.You can decide which are appropriate conjunctions for this activity- but I suggest that you have at least 5 options.
  7. Place the conjunction cards in the middle of the circle .
  8. Check with the children that they are confident about the meaning of the conjunctions and how to pronounce the words.I would play a "sounds like game" here.Can they make the word sound like the job the conjunction does in the sentence e.g contradicts/ joins together/offers another option etc....
  9. Invite a child to read out his/her sentence and to select a conjunction ,pick it up from the floor and walk over to  a second child and ask him/her to read out his/her  sentence.Now ask the two children to stand in the middle of the circle and say the whole new complex sentence together. 
  10. Repeat the activity with two more children and a new selected conjunction.
  11. How many sentences can the children write independently when they return to their tables that include a conjunction to connect two sentences together?  
Second Activity

  1. Blu-tac the conjunctions to the whiteboard or flip chart so they are visible to all the children .
  2. Play the "Sounds like" game" from above.This time though ask the class to say for you a conjunction that "contradicts" or "joins together" etc- do they all select the same conjunction?
  3. Divide the children in to groups of four.
  4. Can they connect each of their sentences to the other sentences using some of the conjunctions they can see on the board? They can not use the same conjunction twice in a row.
  5. Ask the children to write their "long" sentence containing conjunctions out on a mini whiteboard.
  6. Ask the children to practise speaking their sentence together.Can they remember how to say their complex sentence without looking at the written word?Ask them to add actions to help them with this.
  7. They must create a spoken performance of the class to include actions and a connecting movement  and "sounds like" performance of the conjunctions between clauses so that each of the original sentences flows via a conjunction on to the next sentence.
  8. Ask each group to perform their complex sentence for the class