Last Thursday, I was observed by Jo Gierl (@JoBeeG73) who is first and foremost a secondary MFL teacher and also part of the Janet Lloyd Network team as she is currently teaching French in one of the network’s primary school.
Jo is also involved in the DfE programme ‘Language learning for everyone’ – a training programme for primary and secondary schools in the north west of England (more information here).
She was with me for a couple of hours and saw Y3, Reception and Y6… a busy morning!
Jo posted on own her own blog her impressions, from her point of view as a Secondary teacher, and I’d like to share here what I hope, on my side, came across in my teaching.
With Year 3:
Primary languages offer an opportunity to learn about the target language (France) as a country, its culture. It lends itself very well to cross-curricular work.
For example, at this time of the year or when I’m starting off with a new class, I like to spend 2 minutes at the beginning of the lessons to investigate the map of France using a child friendly map like the one I used in my virtual visit to Paris last year.
Children are interested to find out facts especially as they’re realising they can decipher a lot of information for themselves and so we can start develop language learning skills such as looking for cognates, etc.
Phonics –Now is the right time to have a go at phonics, children are eager, curious and keen to do well. They want to pronounce the words correctly and they enjoy 'putting on' their French accent.
This was my first lesson with this class as the children have just started full time after a couple of weeks of half-days.
They were a little bit shy as you would expect but I wanted to show that a little language goes a long way.
We practiced : a greeting song ('Bonjour Madame') and added some actions; saying ‘Bonjour’; played a circle game to practice Bonjour Madame/Monsieur and finally had a go at saying ‘Je m’appelle…’
So, not a lot of content, but lots of opportunities to listen and hear the language, have go at speaking through games, showing understanding through actions.
With Year 6:
The lesson was about school subjects and likes/dislikes.
Unintentionally, it was a very ‘secondary language lesson’ and Jo commented on the fact that this is the style of lesson she would teach a Year 7 class. And, so, we mentioned briefly transition and how it will be crucial to understand the range of experiences that the children are already/will bring in with them in Year 7 and how it is important to work together to ensure a successful transition.