Games and activities lend themselves naturally to language learning. Games such as Simon Says and Chinese Whispers are all ideal and the children love it! By showing children that language learning can be fun, pupils will approach secondary school language lessons with greater enthusiasm and anticipation.
Primary pupils are very receptive to learning a new language. They are willing and able to mimic pronounciation without the inhibitions and self-consciousness of older students. They are like sponges and can pick up on and duplicate tricky sounds that adults, and even adolescents, often stumble over. Through studying a foreign language, grammatical concepts and rules in English become clearer.
Children gain a great sense of accomplishment from learning to say something in a foreign language – it’s like learning to crack a code! Language learning also provides frequent opportunities to perform before an audience. This can only have benefits for pupils’ self-esteem and developing strong interpersonal skills. International studies have shown that learning a foreign language actually increases the density of ‘grey matter’ in the brain and the number of synapses, that interconnect parts of the brain.
Language learning is more than just learning to speak and write in a different language. Learning about festivals and traditions from countries where the language is spoken helps children appreciate other cultures so that they can take a place in our global society- either on holidays or in future careers.
Currently Spanish is taught for approximately three terms of the year, delivering the following objectives:
A Spanish lunchtime club is currently running for Year 3s and Year 4s on Mondays with Miss Smith. We are currently planning and organising a Spanish day for later in the school year, involving cooking, painting in the style of Picasso, singing and more! Watch this space for more information.
You can explore modern languages further by visiting these websites:
Elena Smith, Year 3 class teacher, is our Modern Foreign Languages Coordinator. Elena spent a number of years teaching in Madrid before taking up her teaching role at Sefton Park.