Moving beyond bonjour and counting to 10

A study by Katherine Granger from the University of Nottingham found that, while primary school children enjoy learning a foreign language, most of them feel that they don’t progress beyond learning to say hello and counting to 10.

Encouraging progress and enthusiasm in the second and third year of foreign language study can be quite a challenge.

After the first year or two of learning a foreign language, the initial buzz of excitement may well have left some pupils.

The children have learned some vocabulary and can use and manipulate some set phrases and psychologically they really don’t want more of the same.  It is, in fact, time to move on.

So part of the aim at this stage must be to encourage children to realise that they can manipulate the language and use it to communicate with others.  From this point on they can feel ownership of the language and realise that they can use it.

In short they need to be empowered with the knowledge that they can indeed manipulate the language, something that is achieved through activities which incorporate competition, surprise, movement and secrecy.

Such activities are the cornerstones of “More Fun Ideas for Advancing Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom.” The resource contains 77 activities which help pupils learn to manipulate the language, improve their decoding skills and discover how the new language functions at sentence level.

And so, out of this recognition comes the empowerment.  It enables creative communication and gives young learners a feeling of ownership of the language being learnt.

The inherent rationale behind each activity is that it is enjoyable and interactive, challenging children’s understanding of the language and furnishing them with a purpose for their learning.

With activities ranging from the Human alphabet and Foreign language detectives to Secret signal and Be the teacher, you will never be stuck for ideas.

The activities support the Year 5-6 objectives for the KS2 Framework for Languages.

A contents page and a number of free resources are available on our website.

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Filed under Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Teaching Ideas

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