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Introduce 2nd language at primary

Discussion in 'Primary' started by misslingo, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. misslingo

    misslingo New commenter

    Hello, I wondered if anyone has any experience of 2 languages being taught at primary/ prep? The usual one is French, but if you were looking to introduce say Spanish, what years would you do it with? Any ideas would be welcomed, or experiences.

  2. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    There has been discussion on teaching two languages in Primary here on TES recently so it would be worth taking a look at those threads if you haven't already done so.
  3. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    My school is a little odd, misslingo, so just for interest - not a suggestion you should necessarily take to your slt...

    I'm in Spain, teaching Spanish primary children their entire primary curriculum in English. So, in my class, y4, the children are trilingual: English, Spanish and the local Valenciano lingo, which some say is a dialect of Catalan. In years 5 and 6 they do 3 x ten week blocks (one hour per week) of Chinese (10x weeks), French (ditto) German (ditto). In year 7 they choose one of the three to add to their English/Spanish/Valenciano (giving them 4 languages), then in year 8 they choose another to add to the four so they'll be studying 5 languages.

    A lot of the y5/6 4th language study is fun stuff, songs and games etc, to drive up interest and enjoyment so they can make informed choices in years 7&8, when they really start to 'study'.

    As I said, a bit odd, but hugely successful. I've been here 14 years and at the start I thought it was a bit crazy - I had year 3 children and their English was not what I had been expecting... 14 years later I'm a complete convert, the children I taught in 2006 are now in Universities around the world (including UK and USA). One girl (now in Leeds) is picking up a Yorkshire accent to add to the cockney twang I gave her.

    I wrote about that first year in the first Jeremy Dean book, Zen Kyu Maestro, if you want an insight into what (eventually) converted me into a fan of multi-lingual teaching there's a free sample chapter on the link below.

    Oh, and as an added bonus to teaching young Spaniards, in English, in Spain, I was also (at the age of 46) attempting to learn Spanish in a very 'non-costa' part of Spain. It was, as they say, 'an experience', but can't have been too bad as I'm still here.

    Mucha suerte.
  4. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Established commenter

    French was the core subject in my old school, however we did introduce Spanish too! Only for KS2 May I add.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I honestly don't think it would matter which year group you chose - I think any group would benefit. While we had a Spanish speaking teacher, our Year 5 learned Spanish a few years back. They learned French up to Year 5, then returned to French in Year 6. At my granddaughter's nursery, the nursery nurse is Spanish and teaches the children a few words - my granddaughter knows the names of colours in Spanish and a few phrases. She's very proud of them!
  6. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    The NC for KS2 Languages requires "substantial progress in one language". Substantial progress is a big ask. You would have to make it clear in your Intent and Implementation documentation that this will be achieved.
  7. misslingo

    misslingo New commenter

    Someone told me they teach French up to Year 4 and reach a good standard and then teach Spanjsh in Years 5 and 6 so they have 2 years to build a good knowledge in that? Sounds good as what you don't want is primary kids to get bored of languages before they get to secondary school where many have lost interest already.
  8. misslingo

    misslingo New commenter

    I agree, but also depends on the school as Independent prep schools have more freedom to teach what they want right?
  9. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    I have my KS2s for an hour week and we just about manage "substantial progress" after 4 years. IMHO there's no way you could reach the required progress in 2 years.
  10. misslingo

    misslingo New commenter

    Yes but what is " substantial progress", is there any official assessment criteria published? Otherwise it is just another general and subjective statement. If anyone has any ideas for primary MFL assessment please do share.
  11. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    I've replied on the MFL page to your assessment question.

    With regard to substantial progress, I feel the most important part of the PoS is the grammar bit at the end. I took that bit and mapped what that meant for grammar content - you can see the mindmaps for Fr and Sp here https://changing-phase.blogspot.com/2018/04/grammar-in-key-stage-2.html This is the language content that I think constitutes substantial progress. We then have to teach it using the other objectives of the PoS, in contexts of our choice. By the end of Y6, children should be operating at text level, using extended sentences and having a good understanding of the grammar mentioned. Hope this helps.
  12. misslingo

    misslingo New commenter

    Thanks yes I suppose if you have a grammar point in mind and work towards that it should be a good indicator.
  13. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    If you have any other questions, I recommend you join the Languages in Primary Schools (LiPS) Facebook group - really supportive and informative group

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