Primary Languages Show 2011

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My notes from the Primary Languages Show, 4th March 2011

My notes from the Primary Languages Show, 4th March 2011

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  • 1. Primary Languages show 2011Liverpool ACC, 4.3.11Therese Comfort (introduction)Finding out how languages work, for KS2 children, is tantalising and fascinating:“For children at the primary level the pleasure of learning how to communicate in anotherlanguage is great. The pleasure of playing with a new code is tantalizing from a linguisticas well as a semantic point of view. To find out how a new language works is fascinatingto most children in the primary school. Pupils’ motivation and curiosity is of course the bestbasis for learning. To promote learning activities which are motivating, interesting and funis a great challenge.”Kerstin Sundin, Uppsala University 2003An Early Start: Young Learners and Modern Languages in Europe and page 155We have gone from 35% of children in KS2 doing a language in 2002 to 92% in 2009.What will the future bring?The phonology module on has now gone live. It will be availablein French, Spanish and German.French: many LA MFL advisers will no longer be in post, CILT are going to produce anewsletter to go straight to teachers.David Crystal – Keynote address“Multilingualism is the default human condition”A large percentage of the world’s population use two or even three languages in their dailylife. It’s a fact of their life.Multilingualism was evident in the Bible before Babel.Bilingual children used to be seen as a threat and a handicap to schools but are now seenas a resource.Some argue that if everyone spoke the same language the world would be a morepeaceful place, but “monolingualism is no guarantee of peace”. We have only to look atcivil wars in monolingual countries such as the UK and US.Myths (from Multilinguals are…? By Madalena Cruz Ferreira)Multilinguals are equally fluent in the languages they speak.This is very rareOne language needs to be given special educational attention for children to be able toachieve their full potential.Multilinguals have no mother tongue.They have several, of equal importance.
  • 2. “Mother tongue” is an expression that is really only used by monolinguals.Learning a foreign language is something that can only be accessed by children.Anyone can learn a language. There is no specified number of words that they have tolearn, they don’t have to have a native accent. Multilinguals often have an accent in alltheir languages.The brain cannot cope with multilingualism – there is limited brain space!Our brains can actually cope with an indefinitely large number of languages.Multilingualism impairs thinking, because one language gets in the way of the other(s).(Therefore a large percentage of the world’s population are deficient thinkers!)Multilingualism retards language development in children and causes speech defects andstammering.Parents need to structure the learning environment of the child and moderate whichlanguage they speak when.The parent needs to be ‘natural’ and the child will gradually be able to distinguish betweenthe different languages.David Crystal’s “CHAPELS” – arguments in favour of languages to use against thesceptics!Cognitive skills: languages make people think flexibly. They promote verbal and non- verbal IQ.Human understanding: Each language expresses a different vision of humanity. The totality of humanity cannot be expressed through one language.Achievement: fulfilment and pride in learningPolitical benefits: Mutual understanding and cooperation are enhanced.Economic benefits: in the modern, competitive market placeLinguistic benefits: the more languages we know, the more we understand about how language works, the more we understand the peculiarities of our mother tongue.Social skills: Learning another language is to learn another culture and a way of seeing things, which leads to more respect and understanding for differences.Today there is a “global awareness of planetary loss”, a loss of our tangible heritage, ourecosystem. But UNESCO also highlights the loss of our intangible heritage, likelanguages and cultures.Multilingualism is widely available now, in the street, on the computer.1991 – Internet arrives2000 – Texting becomes commonplace2004 – Facebook inventedIt’s a different world for young people now. Books and face-to-face conversation are nowmarginal.
  • 3. “The internet has become an increasingly multilingual phenomenon over the last 10years”.It started off mostly in English, now it’s only about 40%. Very soon there will be moreChinese-speaking users than English-speaking ones.Children therefore live in a multilingual “e-world”. Languages are more accessible andmore audible. They can be interacted with via Skype etc.Not so long ago, children had to travel abroad for an authentic language experience.Soon 80% of internet access will be made via mobile phone.“The monolingual parts of the world are slowly coming to realise that they’ve been missingout”.The Government has made some “confused decisions” recently (!)This is what we should do: • “recognise, publicise and generally celebrate” languages on European Day of Languages (26th Sept) and International Mother Tongue Day (21st Feb) • Institute awards for excellence in practice for children, at local level and upwards • Promote the role of the Arts in their broadest sense in language learning and teaching • Have a permanent “language presence” in schools. Displays (e.g. of different alphabets), cross-curricular work, permanent exhibitions“Casa de les Llengües” will be opening in Barcelona next year, and will be a languagemuseum. USA has a national museum of languages in development, and “even France” isthinking about it!
  • 4. Storytelling StrategiesChris Behagg, West Sussex LAToto et les graines magiques – original story in French for Y3-4.Pack available from W Sussex GfL includes the story and other cross-curricular activities,all in French. start at £40, but the strategies can be adapted for other stories for free!Example of strategies which can be adapted to lots of different stories.Scaffolding activities to prepare children to read the story:1. Take some nouns from the story and practise them with actions. Then attach articles. Use the written word for the practice phase. “Flip” the word card – rotate them slowly then quickly for more challenge. When you flip it quickly, children have to look carefully at the shape of the words and other aspects. Teacher mimes words for the children to guess and they respond with the action.2. Syllables – clap the syllables of each word together and say the word. Then teacher claps the word and the children say it. Teacher writes a word in the air, children have to say the word. Still working at word level and using the written word.3. Hide and reveal – Reveal the words slowly from the top, from the bottom or from the side. Makes children think about the spelling of each word. Can do on ppt or using flashcards.4. Practise phonics with words from the story, then introduce other words with the same phoneme, to apply the rule.5. Introduce adjectives – repeat and practise the adjectives using actions6. Put the adjectives to a tune (e.g. Frère Jacques) and ask the children to work out how the words fit with the tune. Then get them to sing the song with the actions. Fitting the words to a tune is Grade 1 Speaking on the Languages Ladder, singing it with the actions is Grade 1 Listening.7. Combining nouns and adjectives: Show children the page from the story where the birds are described. Ask children what it means, and get them to tell you the rule for description in French. Then practise this. Give children the list of nouns and the list of adjectives, and they come up with sensible or silly combinations, which they say using the actions to show that they have understood. Teacher can say the phrases, children can mime and vice versa. Can also use word cards on the desk for this. Children make lots of combinations in pairs and choose their favourite to tell the class.8. Sentence level work: Take a difficult sentence from the story, which has maybe difficulties with tenses and no cognates. Give out word cards, one word in the sentence per child, and line them up in the right order. Chant the sentence together, teacher pointing to each child as their word is said. Then click and first child flips over their card so it is blank. Keep repeating, flipping over the next card and the next card until eventually the children are repeating the sentence from a row of blank cards.
  • 5. Then you can start language work such as replacing the adjective in the sentence with another adjective, replacing one name with another and so on.9. More sentence level – play chef d’orchestre, which involves children repeating several sentences over and over again.10. Read the story, with children giving a physical response (action) to each of the key words and phrases. This will probably be the first time that they have read the story, but they will be able to understand a lot of it from the scaffolding activities.This story and the activities it uses promote literacy skills, thinking skills, personal skillsand social skills. It’s not just fact-based learning. Children are decoding, speculating.This story also raises bigger questions like “has there been a time when you have wantedto be like someone else?”, “What makes you happy?”
  • 6. Matisse MagiqueMaria Roberts, West Sussex LAMatisse Magique is a cross-curricular French and Art pack that has been put together byWest Sussex GfL for Y5-6 children.They chose Matisse as an artist because his work is more abstract, and so fewer verbsare needed.Collaboration with Art ASTs, who did the artwork “after” Matisse to avoid copyright issues. La nuit de Noël 1. Discuss in English: What colours can you see? Are they primary or secondary colours? Are they bright or dull? What shapes can you see? How are they arranged? What do they represent? How was the artist feeling? What would you call this piece? 2. Speaking work on the colours and the shapes in the picture. Then point to “un arc bleu”, “des lignes roses” etc in the picture Much of the language is cognate, so the children will be able to read and understand, but will need guidance on the pronunciation.3. Sentence level response:“Je vois une étoile jaune" – with actions Repeat and practise, reading from sentences onthe board. Then block out some bits of the sentences with “splats” and repeat them again.Children in the trial group had little sketch books which they used to map the learningjourney. They chose what they put in. They preferred little pages – non-threatening. Bigpages harder to fill. Les Bêtes de la Mer: 1. Can recycle vocabulary learned in with the previous picture, and then learn new vocabulary to do with sea creatures. 2. Poem and/or song to practise some of the vocabulary and the structure “des oiseaux qui chantent” Children can say these with actions and also make a drama activity of it. 3. Give groups of children the poem cut up into individual words, and they then have to work to recreate the poem. It emphasises the rhymes and also the repetitive nature of the poem. 4. Je vois / J’entends / Je sens – which do you do for each of the nouns ? Effectively categorising, using higher order thinking skills.
  • 7. Polynésie Le Ciel: Use language from the previous pictures to describe this one. Use a writing frame to put the sentences together Les Oiseaux: Show the children a picture they haven’t seen before. Working in pairs, one pupil has to describe it using language they know, and the other has to draw it.As a “plenary” activity, give each group of children an envelope of “bits” and shapes withwhich they have to make a collage, and each child has to contribute at least one sentence.They can also do this on an individual level in their sketch-books.Children can also evaluate their own and others’ work using a writing frame –“J’aime çaparce que c’est….” “Je n’aime pas ça parce que ce n’est pas….” Where the adjective hasto be sufficiently descriptive about the artwork and not just “bon” or “super”!Especially good for peer evaluation, where they swap sketch books and comment on eachother’s work. It invites a personal response and really makes them think.
  • 8. Story Making in FrenchJo Cole, International Learning and Research CentreStory Making is a way of helping learners to internalise the patterns of the language, andenables them to learn through visual, auditory and kinaesthetic methodology.Mainly for KS2 although teachers have been using them for KS3 as well.Traditional tales work well, as children already know the story and this helps withinternalisation.Stories need to be pared back to the bare bones so that they are simple enough for thechildren to tell themselves.Each story has 3 phases: 1. Imitation – Teacher tells the story with actions to the children, who listen. The 2nd time, the teacher draws a story map so the children begin to understand more about what happens in the story. This stage can’t be rushed. The children need to learn, remember and be able to repeat. The teacher moves from teller to co-teller to listener, while children move from listeners to co-tellers to tellers. Best if everyone stands in a circle, then move on to 2 smaller circles, where children are looking and supporting each other (teacher is more or less out of sight), then move to working in pairs, and the children tell each other the story in tandem. When drawing the story map, say the sentence first, then draw it, then say the important word again. Small cards for sequencing and matching Put the story map on display so that children can tell it to siblings and friends in their own time When the children know the story well, they can draw their own map on A3 paper. They can work in pairs, one drawing and one telling. Paired retelling: children face their partner and take it in turns to say a sentence, so telling the story together. Then one partner starts to tell the story, stopping where they like for the other partner to take over. Take story maps home to encourage retelling at home. 2. Innovation – Teacher then children make simple substitutions and additions to the story. Children make their own versions of the stories to tell to others. Get the original story map. What can be changed? Put it into the story map and then retell the story. Children have to concentrate hard as the story is different. 3. InventionImpact: • Improvement in listening skills • Improvement in pronunciation and intonation • Improvement in children’s ability to speak in full sentences • Improvement in confidence and motivation in language learning
  • 9. Transition Projects – Le Monde des AnimauxLiz Black, Stokesley SchoolIntention is to merge KS2 and KS3 pedagogy more, while providing challenge andopportunities for independent learning, as well as cross-curricular opportunities.Maintaining the “tantalising”!Poems:e.g. Haiku or cinquainCinquain - noun Adjective adjective Verb verb verb Adjective adjective nounFor KS3 colleagues, spending time with KS2 colleagues is crucial.Zoo Keeper challenge: Animal words in different languages, particularly Latin.Good for Y7 classes with different KS2 experiences with geography – Continents, interlinks with the work on animalsScience – adaptation of animals, camouflage etc.Environmental issues – more "grown-up" subjectsChildren already know animals and colours from the Zoo Keeper lessonsText in French about the adaptations, lots of cognatesChildren can research and present to the class about different animalsArt – funny pictures / sculptures of animals, descriptions can lead to poetry – “rougecomme une tomate” for example.Builds self-esteem for children with less KS2 experience.Citizenship – captivity of animalsPrimary schools always have an end-of-unit product. Transfer this idea to secondary.Recordings, ppts, oral presentations, posters, letters, movies….Differentiation by outcome. They can show what they know regardless of their forum is good for other children’s opinions on these kinds of topicsWall gallery / Wall quizzes – where the answers are displayed around the room and theanswer is not necessarily clear-cutSpeed word challenge – to improve pronunciation and concentration. Group of childrensay the list of words, as soon as someone makes a mistake in pronunciation, the teachersays stop and they have to start again. The rest of the class time them and they seewhich group can get through it the quickest.Providing challenge and extension for the most able – get children to discover the cross-curricular links / say which skills you can use elsewhere / name a different subject whereyou can study similar subject matter CAS 03.11