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The Primary Languages White Paper

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Geekie, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Ooh, off to read . . . . :)
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    I've just read in the White Paper...
    "The DfE, working with professional bodies and lead researchers, should commission the development of non-statutory guidance on the minimum core content for primary languages at key stage 2, defining what children should know and be able to do across the key stage in relation to pronunciation, phonics, grammatical structures and vocabulary."

    I feel that I have lived to see the day when someone has at last realised that defined content for each year-group would be a good thing. We have had years of failure in Primary School language teaching because no one has been prepared to stipulate what aspects of the FL, in terms of vocabulary, grammar etc, should be taught. It's been everyone for themselves in an attempt to make a totally nebulous notion work.

    When GCSEs were first brought into play there was a visible defined content drafted for students in Years 10 and 11; it beggars belief that no one has been able to provide a defined content for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 based on what is desirable to be taught. Life has been hard enough for many primary teachers who have found themselves coerced into teaching a MFL as best as they can, but to give them NO guidance regarding what vocabulary etc to teach made their job next to impossible; not to mention the total lack of continuity at the transitional phase.

    I do hope that, at last, something clear-cut in terms of subject matter is about to be defined.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Actually 'way back' there were very detailed QCA folders which did precisely that.
    Big folders sub-divided into 24 sections, for Spanish, French & German (I still have mine), but for anyone not MFL trained, somewhat bewildering and off-putting. Many teachers didn't even realise there even were such folders and documentation:rolleyes:. Which is why I suspect you've made the comments above.

    They are, in my opinion, sound documents, but especially when Primaries went along the Topic teaching approach difficult to adapt without compromising grammar progression, though not impossible as I did it :D and few resources to aid the non-specialist teacher to adapt & deliver it.
    Hence they tended not to be followed and as many Secondary teachers were unaware of their existence or realised that they'd not been followed by many feeder Primaries, they decided to ignore any prior knowledge and start from scratch.:(

    I'm not a fan of SATs but actually some sort of assessment at the end of Year 6 would be useful to aid Secondaries have a basis for development of student's MFL knowledge.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    The paper is excellent. It recommends an hour a week in primary schools, but please can the government make this compulsory otherwise no one will listen. Like the way it emphasizes the importance of allowing EAL children to take part and not withdraw them for English interventions! MFL is normally something they can achieve well in.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    Quote...... "The DfE, working with professional bodies and lead researchers, should commission the development of non-statutory guidance on the minimum core content for primary languages at key stage 2, defining what children should know and be able to do across the key stage in relation to pronunciation, phonics, grammatical structures and vocabulary."

    If people do go to the trouble of drawing up " the minimum core content for primary languages at key stage 2, defining what children should know and be able to do across the key stage in relation to pronunciation, phonics, grammatical structures and vocabulary"....... why then make all that non-statutory? Why not make it required learning?

    Can anyone define "non-statutory" for me?
     
    agathamorse likes this.

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