PROGRAMA DE APOYO A LA ENSEÑANZA Y EL APRENDIZAJE DE LENGUAS
EXTRANJERAS (PALE) – FASE C: GRUPO DE TRABAJO
1.- CHECK PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE.
Speaking and list ening.
PUPIL GROUPIN G
- Snail. 2.- PRESENT THE NEW VOCABULARY.
- Sun (It’s sunny).
- Cloud (It’s cloudy).
(Ad ap ted acti vity) Activity 2B:
Listening and reading.
Whole class activity.
Nectar Hone y
Beekeeper Pollen Wax
MARÍA CRISTINA LÓPEZ GUERRA
GASPAR GRANADO SÁNCHEZ
INDEX OF CONTENTS
0. INDEX OF CONTENTS ................................................................... 1
1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................. 2
1.1. Presentation ...................................................................... 2
1.2. The Centre and the pupils .............................................. 3
1.3. Time Distribution .............................................................. 3
2. METHODOLOGY ............................................................................. 3
3. HOW IS THE UNIT STRUCTURED? ................................................... 5
4. THE DIDACTIC UNIT ……………………………………………………… 6
4.1. Didactic objectives ………………………………….…………… 6
4.2. Contents …………………………………………….…………….. 7
4.3. Activities …………………………………………….…………….. 7
4.4. Key competences ………………………………….…………….. 10
4.5. Evaluation …………………………………………………………. 11
5. TRANSVERSAL TOPICS …………………………………………………. 11
6. ATTENTION TO DIVERSITY AND TO PUPILS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL
7. BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................................................................................... 13
There are many reasons for learning foreign languages: today, more and more
people travel and work abroad, and English, in particular, is a requirement for many jobs;
English is a tool for international communication, and as such it has a role to play in the
development of peace and understanding between countries in the world; widespread use
of new technology and the media has led to a global society where children can have
access to limitless information if they have the necessary tools, and again, English is the
tool or ‘lingua franca’ in the world of computer technology. Moreover, the learning of
foreign languages contributes to the general development of the child, and aids in his or
her social integration by promoting respect and tolerance of other cultures and ways of life,
so permitting a wider and richer vision of reality.
For these reasons, the Council of Europe has issued guidelines on the teaching of
foreign languages, and the Spanish Educational Authorities have incorporated these
guidelines into their legislation concerning Primary Education through successive laws to
the recently approved Ley Orgánica de Educación, 2 / 2006 (LOE).
Here in Extremadura, the Regional Educational Authorities have recognised the
importance of early language learning and in the Orders of 30th August 2000 and 10th
August 2001 progressively introduced foreign language learning from the age of 3 years,
taking this step ahead of other autonomous communities. This was followed by the
introduction of bilingual sections in various centres, now being consolidated across the
region, and of the introduction of a second foreign language in the third cycle of Primary
Promoting this ability to communicate in English is the main aim of this
didactic unit, an aim which is foremost in the Curriculum for Primary Education (R.D.
1344 / 1991, 6th September, BOE 13th September).
1.2. The Centre and the pupils.
This didactic unit has been designed for the level of Primary 4 in a school in a
small town in Extremadura, a largely rural area experiencing a significant growth in the
number of pupils from diverse countries and cultures. Apart from any particular
characteristics resulting from its exact location, it can be considered typical in the facilities
it offers. There is a gym that will be useful for TPR or for staging a play. We obviously have
audio equipment and CDs, a library with a selection of books in order to encourage the
reading habits in our pupils, a playground, which can be used for any outdoor language
games, and an interactive digital board.
The pupils, aged 9 to 10 and in Primary 4, again apart from any particular
characteristics resulting from the specific location of the school, are of mixed interests and
abilities, of similar experiences and backgrounds, and motivation varies from pupil to
pupil but in general is satisfactory. As far as their language level is concerned, their ability
to communicate is still relatively very limited.
They require continual recycling and consolidation of the language covered in
class in previous years, and although the emphasis is still on the oral skills, little by little
they are progressing in their use of the written code.
1.3. Time Distribution.
Pupils in Primary 4 study English as their first foreign language for three hours a
week. This didactic unit is designed to be covered in five to six sessions, providing a
logical and coherent sequence of contents adapted to the time available.
The way children learn a foreign language, and therefore the way to teach it,
obviously depends on their developmental stage. As children mature, they bring more
intellectual, motor, and social skills to the classroom, as well as a wider knowledge of the
world. All these can be applied to the process of acquiring another language. The wider
resources of older children should be exploited to the full while maintaining the philosophy
of making a language relevant, practical and communicative. This means the
development of all the four skills (listening, speaking and conversing, reading and
writing) and the use of a wide range of topics that can draw on other subjects in the
curriculum, with the aim of encouraging meaningful, significant learning. The focus
should continue to be on language as a vehicle of communication.
The kinds of activities which still work well are games and songs with actions,
total physical response activities, tasks which involve drawing, cutting and sticking, simple,
repetitive stories, and simple, repetitive speaking activities that have an obvious
communicative value. It is common sense that if an activity is enjoyable, it will be
memorable. This cyclical process generates a positive attitude towards learning
Listening is, at this stage, still the main source of new information for our pupils,
and therefore has particular importance. There is a special focus in this didactic unit on
both global comprehension of oral texts and on the comprehension of specific
information in simple contextualised situations, related to the interests and experience of
Speaking: Little by little they begin to produce language, firstly by repeating words
and set phrases in very controlled situations. Gradually, they progress to less controlled
and more creative use of the language, in non-threatening activities which encourage
receptivity and production (songs, simple dialogues, games, etc.). Stress, rhythm and
intonation are of fundamental importance, given the child’s natural ability to imitate at an
Reading: When the pupils have already heard and assimilated the oral form of a
word or structure, they are encouraged to associate the sound with the written forms, and
see the vocabulary and structures used in short simple texts. It is important to make the
reading task easy in order to encourage the reading habit. It is also important to give
practice in a variety of reading subskills such as skimming, scanning, predicting and
inferring, so that our pupils will become effective readers.
Writing: Although the level of production will be limited at this level, pupils will have
the opportunity to begin to write through a gradual progression of writing tasks from
controlled (copying, completing crosswords, etc.) to more creative writing (3-4 sentences
on a familiar topic).
3. HOW IS THE UNIT STRUCTURED?
This didactic unit covers the topic of bee which can be relevant and interesting for
pupils of this age. A variety of activities are included in the unit to develop the four basic
skills, though priority will be given to the receptive skills of listening and reading, as
production at this stage is relatively limited. Pupils will work individually, in pairs and in
small groups, in order to maximise participation in class, and therefore to maximise
learning. A variety of different teaching resources (materials, technological aids…) will
be used. It contains material and activities for five to six classes, and a quantity of
optional reinforcement and extension activities are also included, to attend to diversity.
The didactic unit contains the following sections:
A) Didactic objectives: specific to the unit, drawn from and based on the general
objectives of the stage and for the learning of foreign languages, and are appropriate for
the level and characteristics of the pupils.
B) Contents: distributed into the three main types (procedural, conceptual and
attitudinal), and complemented by the specific transversal topics, interdisciplinary areas,
and attention to diversity.
C) Activities: a brief outline of the activities, skills, groupings (distributes into 8
stages). Each stage represents a fundamental part of the teaching-learning process, and
each with a specific objective.
D) Key competences: Key competences for lifelong learning are a combination of
knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context. They are particularly necessary
for personal fulfillment and development, social inclusion, active citizenship and
E) Evaluation criteria: the specific evaluation criteria are drawn from and based on
the general evaluation criteria for Primary Education and are related to the objectives,
contents and activities proposed, attending to the heterogeneity of the pupils.
4. THE DIDACTIC UNIT
4.1. Didactic objectives.
- Promote communicative competence, especially socio-linguistic competence.
- Discriminate and give the names of honey and bee products.
- Produce short oral and written texts about bee products.
- Stimulate a positive attitude towards Foreign Language Learning.
- Be aware of the importance of the climate change.
PROCEDURES CONCEPTS ATTITUDES
• Associating spoken and written New: honey, pollen, wax, nectar, • Appreciation of the importance
forms. beehive, beekeeper. of the relationship between people
• Acompanying words with Recycled: bee, tree, flower, and the environment.
actions. mountain, river, bird, butterfly, • Awareness of the importance of
• Completing a text. snail, sun, cloud. keeping the environment clean
• Listening for specific and general Functions/Structures and tidy.
information. New: Present continuous: • Interest and curiosity for
• Filling information gaps. gathering, transporting, filtering, communicating in the English
• Developing computer skills. storing, extracting language.
• Playing games. Recycled: There is / There are.
• I like / don’t like…
4.3. Organisation and Distribution of Activities.
The activities in this unit have been grouped into eight stages, each with its own
objective, and with a degree of flexibility. Each session will begin with a question-answer
routine (e.g. asking the weather, the date,…).
Stage 1: the objective of this first stage is to check previous knowledge and
recycle contents from previous classes before introducing new contents. As this is a
testing stage, pupils are required to indicate their comprehension first orally, then in the
written mode, of words such as; bee, snail, butterfly, flower, mountain, sun (sunny)
and cloud (cloudy) and the structures there is /there are.
Activity 1A: Completing a poster: A poster provides an attractive way to check
listening comprehension, arousing interest in the new unit at the same time. In this
exercise we need a poster representing the country and seven flashcards representing the
recycled words. This is a whole class activity, playing in front of the class and following the
teacher’s oral instructions: Children listen and complete the poster.
Activity 1B: Word puzzle. This is a very attractive and useful way to check pupils’
reading and writing skills. In this individual exercise pupils first have to find the recycled
words among a group of letters and then write them to label the pictures on a worksheet.
Stage 2: the objective of stage 2 is to present the new vocabulary orally, then in
the written form (elements of computer aids).
Activity 2A: Some pictures will be used to present the new words, and the pupils
will be asked to listen and repeat, first in all together then individually. It is important to
provide a good pronunciation model. Pupils will associate the spoken form with the visual
image, and their attention will focus on the sounds of the new words.
Activity 2B: Flashcard games provide an enjoyable way to elicit the new words.
One possibility is that pupils look at flashcards stuck on the board, trying to remember
where they are, then they close their eyes while the teacher takes one picture away. When
the teacher tells them to look, they will say what’s missing. Another possible game would
be to stick the flashcards with the pictures facing the board. A child has to name a pointed
card. If the child is correct, we hand the card to him/her. The game continues until all the
cards have been named. Both are whole-class activities and cover listening
Having presented and practised the new vocabulary orally, the written form is
introduced (flashcards with the written words) following the golden rule for primary
teaching that a child should never see a word before he has heard it.
Activity 2C: Read and Link. Pupils will connect a series of pictures illustrating the
new words with their written form.
Stage 3: Following the presentation stage, we come to the practice stage. We
cannot expect pupils to hear a new word once and to remember it, so a quantity of practice
is necessary for assimilation to take place. The new words will now be practised in the
context of short sentences, containing familiar structures (I like, I don’t like, you like, …)
which will also be recycled.
Activity 3A: Listen and write. The whole idea is to help pupils attach meaning to
what they hear and encourage mental associations. In the first exercise pupils have to
write the sentences they are going to listen to and in the second one, correct the wrong
sentences. (Bees don’t like nectar; Honey is black, and so on).
Activity 3B: Listen and read. In order to improve pupils’ reading skill, pupils read
their sentences to the rest.
Stage 4: Consolidate the new vocabulary and introduce a new structure
orally. From a controlled presentation of words in isolation (stage 2), pupils are now
progressing to a longer context where various sub-skills will be developed, such as
listening for global comprehension (4A) and listening for specific information (4B). By
introducing the new structure in context with now-familiar vocabulary, children are
encouraged to work the meaning out for themselves, using their previous knowledge and
with help from visual clues. In this way, they are actively promoting their own learning.
Activity 4A: Listening to the process. This is a whole class activity and pictures
are used as visual support.
Activity 4B: Putting pictures in order. Having listening to the text at least twice,
pupils are require to put pictures in order while listening. This is an individual activity.
In stage 5 pupils will be introduced to the written form of the new structure,
again in a familiar and relevant context. At this stage, it is normal for pupils to make errors,
but these should be seen as evidence of progress. Reading is the most important skill in
stage 5, and various reading sub-skills will be developed.
Activity 5A: Listen and read. In this first exercise pupils have to read the process
of the honey written on the board; first in silence while listening, then in chorus. After that
each time the teacher will eliminate some words in order to improve pupils’ memory.
Activity 5B: Read and match. In this second reading pupils have to read the story
matching text to pictures. This is an individual skimming activity.
Activity 5C: Dramatization. Developing memory is important and dramatizing it’s
also motivating. This is a group-work activity mainly covering the listening and speaking
skills. It can be used to give pronunciation practice (stress, rhythm and intonation).
It’s important to mix pupils’ abilities because some of them can be good at
dramatization and others at English language. Two or three pupils memorize the text and
the rest can dramatize it.
Stage 6: the objectives of this stage are to recycle the new vocabulary and to
consolidate the new structure. Children progress through the unit and they accumulate
more and more vocabulary and structures. So, it’s essential that they recycle this language
frequently. Manual craft work will also form part of this stage.
Activity 6A: Make double domino cards: the important thing is the process and
the language used (Can I have the scissors, please? for instance). In this craft activity
pupils cut, stick and colour in order to make the dominoes. This is a small-group activity
which mainly covers oral skills.
Activity 6B: Playing dominoes. A socio-cultural piece of information for the pupils
is that in British countries dominoes is played anti-clockwise. In this exercise children have
to memorize words in Spanish and English. Each team chooses a language and tries to
put the cards in the chose language following some simple rules.
Having begun with controlled use of the language we now come to the stage where
creativity is encourage and free production is the objective: Stage 7 A motivating
resource, in this stage, will be the computer, but pupils will also enjoy more traditional
creative activities such as projects.
Activity 7A: Computer activity a) Searching for material/information by
means of Mozilla (Grulla) and the Internet. b) Processing material running the programme
Writer (OpenOffice) with the help of the teacher.c) Printing the information found.
We are going to ask our pupils to look for information about the death of bees.
Although they can look for this information in Spanish language, this topic will give us the
opportunity to speak about climate changes in English if possible.
Finally, a necessary stage at the end of any educative process is the evaluation
stage, where progress is checked with testing activities involving the productive skills:
stage 8. Also, by regularly doing self-assessment activities like the ones proposed, pupils
become more aware of their own progress.
Activity 8A: Write words. Vocabulary learnt and revised.
Activity 8B: Order the sentences. Working new and recycled structures.
Activity 8C: My favourites (words or pages). Self - assessment.
Activity 8D: My classroom conversation. Self - assessment.
Activity 8E: My effort. Self - assessment.
4.4. Key competences
• Communication in the mother tongue.
• Communication in foreign languages.
• Basic competences in science and technology.
• Learning to learn.
• Digital competence.
Initial evaluation of pupils’ previous knowledge was carried out in stage 1.
Continual evaluation is done throughout the process. If the results of this assessment are
satisfactory, then our objectives are valid and realistic. If not, we still have time to modify
our objectives. Final or summative evaluation is done at the end of the process and it is
based on the evaluation criteria specified in the curriculum for Primary Education, currently
R.D 1344 / 1991. The final assessment reflects not only our pupils’ progress but also the
teachers achievements too (stage 8). The specific evaluation criteria for this didactic unit
are the following where the pupil:
• Can use the key language of the unit (vocabulary and structure) correctly and
• Can participate creatively in classroom activities.
• Can enjoy making his/her own learning materials.
Evaluation of the Educational Process and Teaching Practice.
Results obtained from testing reflect not only the pupils’ progress, but also the
effectiveness and success of the materials used and of the teaching methods, in short, of
the entire educational process.
5. TRANSVERSAL TOPICS.
Our task as teachers is not only to teach our pupils to use the foreign language, but
also to educate them, in order to help them become responsible citizens and to make a
positive contribution to the society they live in. A responsible citizen has moral values and
attitudes which have been developed through awareness and experience, and in the
classroom we can provide opportunities to gain awareness and experience through the
materials and activities we use.
In this didactic unit the most important topic is…
Environmental education: Talk to the children about the importance of the
changes caused by human activity and the responsibility of each individual as a citizen.
6. ATTENTION TO DIVERSITY AND TO PUPILS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL
Recent research (Garden, H. 2002) has shown that each individual adopts a
particular learning style based on his/her individual likes, interests and abilities. In order to
attend to diversity and special needs a variety of activities have been proposed.
• Reinforcement for weaker pupils: elementary exercises of familiar format
(some word puzzles with solutions present at the bottom of the page in jumbled
• Fast finishers: a variety of short activities to maintain the attention of quick
workers and consolidate their knowledge (some crosswords with verbal or non
• Extension for gifted pupils: a selection of more complex activities, involving
encouraging the reading habit, for example graded readers, or reading cards.
Basically these consist of a text, a picture or two and some questions. Using
these cards is voluntary for pupils. They are classified on a scale of difficulty, are
each different and make up a mini library.
In order to prepare individualised material for special needs pupils, we need
first to have a medical report and information from parent, the tutor and the school
orientation staff. Modifications to the curriculum may be quite significant, and social
integration will be the overall aim.
► Crystal D. The English Language. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
► Guillen, C. and C. Alario . Didáctica de la lengua extranjera en educación
infantil y primaria (ed. J.M. Vez) Madrid, 2000.
► Brumfit, J. The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching, Oxford
► Council of Europe: Common European Framework of Reference for
Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press,
► Bruster and Ellis. The Primary English Teacher’s Guide. Penguin, 2002.