With the introduction of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) as a compulsory part of the primary curriculum back in 2016, many Key Stage 2 teachers were tasked with getting to grips with a new a subject and new pedagogies. At the same time, the linguistic diversity of classrooms across England has continued to grow, with 20.9% of primary school children now using a language other than English at home (DfE, 2021). This combination of growing linguistic diversity and a new linguistic subject in primary classrooms has created an interesting intersection to explore.
ELAPSE (Embedding Languages across Primary and Secondary Education) has now published its resources online, free of charge to schools and teachers with a wealth of information and classroom materials for teacher interested in integrating broader curriculum content with language learning at primary and secondary levels, and for transition.
In recent years there has been a surge in the popularity of CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning – as a way to increase time on task for language learning and to link language learning with other curriculum areas. In New South Wales, Australia, four primary schools began CLIL programmes in 2010 and researchers were able to follow their implementation through a series of research projects. So, what exactly is CLIL, what were the results, and why do some language teachers like it as an approach?
A MOOC, as many of you will know, is a Massive Open Online Course, a hugely popular way of delivering interactive courses, and after several months of intensive work we have developed an exciting course on Teaching and Learning Languages in Primary Schools. Read on to find out more about this new initiative.
The mention of the term ?assessment? in the context of primary languages usually prompts two, related responses: should we be assessing learners; if so, how should we be doing it? Taking the first of these, an argument sometimes offered against assessment is that it takes the enjoyment out of language learning, and makes the experience too similar to other curriculum areas like maths and literacy where formal tests like SATs are an important focus. Read on to discover more!
It was the 2002 National Languages Strategy which put on the map a revived commitment in England to the promotion of primary languages. The Strategy offered three main grounds for investment in this particular curriculum innovation – read on to find out what they were, and whether they were successful.
Teachers in Southampton have been looking at the research behind some of their practice and have been exploring it in their classrooms. For example, research tells us that giving learners a sense of progression will support language learning motivation. We also know that encouraging teachers to experiment in their classrooms with teaching and learning activities fosters a sense of teacher pedagogic confidence.
In January, Bernardette Holmes, writing about languages for young learners in post-Brexit Britain, suggested that language learning is now of increased importance. It is indeed crucial now that we prepare our young learners to be culturally aware, linguistically able and economically literate if we are to participate on the world stage.
Read more of this thought-provoking piece by Gee Macrory, former Principal Lecturer at the School of Teacher Education & Professional Development at Manchester Metropolitan University.