How Speekee’s KS2 Scheme of Work is the perfect fit for the 2014 MFL primary curriculum
The National Curriculum in England
Framework document (July 2013)
Purpose of study
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
Speekee’s KS2 Scheme of Work (SoW) for teachers includes around 200 simple activities which practice the four language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. All activities are unique and draw upon various sources.
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
Emphasis in the SoW‘s activities is always on improving communication in Spanish; many of the activities are based on the Question / Answer format typically found in two-way communication.
The video content for the SoW, which features real Spanish children with very clear Spanish, impacts profoundly upon the children’s ability to begin speaking Spanish with excellent pronunciation and intonation. Children copy!
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
Writing activities in the SoW include so many variations. There are dictations, deciphering tasks, guided writing (such as gap filling), free writing, survey completion, and more.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Key stage 2: Foreign languages
Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. The teaching should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.
The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication. If an ancient
language is chosen the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.
Pupils should be taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
How does Speekee aid you the teacher to accomplish this goal?
Here’s an example activity from the Speekee KS2 Scheme of Work:
This activity is suitable to start any class on any day of the school week! The children form a column facing you. The first child says “Hola”, waving to you at the same time, then goes to the back of the column. Then it’s the next child’s turn. And so on. Each child has two turns. You can use praise words for each child’s performance (the more extrovert the better!): “Perfecto”, “Sensacional”, “Fenomenal”. These three examples work well because they are cognates (words which sound similar in different languages).
- explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
Example activity from the Speekee KS2 Scheme of Work:
The English rhyme Five Little Monkeys has an exact translation Spanish: Cinco monitos. Search for the simple lyrics online (video clips are also easy to come by). Note how “-ito” at the end of a Spanish word denotes “little”, so “monito” means ‘little monkey’. Sing the song with the children, who can also copy out the lyrics
- engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
The children cut out a large piece of card in the shape of a ball and write a heading on it: “Me gusta” (I like). Then they draw various illustrations of sports on the card and cover them with liftable flaps. On those flaps they write the name of the sport. For example, the flap named “Tenis” (Tennis) reveals an image of that sport, such as a court. See how many different sports the children can think of (they can use their dictionaries for help; many sports are cognates). For feedback, ask around the class “¿Qué deportes te gustan?” (What sports do you like?). Example answer: “Me gusta el tenis y me gusta el baloncesto” (I like tennis and I like basketball)
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
In this chain game the question is asked “¿Qué hay?” (What is there?). Show the children an image of a hamburger so they can answer the question with “Hay una hamburguesa” (There is a hamburger). Next add three bananas to the ‘chain’ so the answer becomes “Hay una hamburguesa y tres plátanos” (There is a hamburger and three bananas). Keep the chain going for as long as possible as you add more items to the chain. You needn’t focus on food; add any vocabulary you like
- develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
Perhaps you have been praising the children’s Spanish using these words and emphasising the syllables “Per-fec-to”, “Sen-sa-cio-nal”, “Fe-no-me-nal”. Let’s add a couple more: “Fan-tás-ti-co” and “Gen-ial”. Essentially, all these words mean “Great”. Download and hand out the worksheet which contains all the syllables in isolation. The children’s task is to write out the words using each of the syllables just once, then practice the pronunciation of the completed words
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
Show a series of animal images in 60 seconds. The children indvidually write down as many animals shown as they can remember. Then they pair up and compare answers. Ensure the children are saying out loud the words they have written down. Next they make groups of four and compare again. Then groups of eight, and so on until all the children have compared with each other. Did they remember all the animals?
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
Cut out small images of the modes of transport from this level and show the small boat to the children to elicit the sentence: “Es un barco pequeño” (It’s a small boat). Then randomly stick one image at a time on a far wall. In a pairs activity children have to go up to the wall, check the mode of transport on show, return to their partner and dictate a similar sentence. For example, if it’s a plane the sentence would be: “Es un avión pequeño” (It’s a small plane)
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
The children work together to create a large banner with the words: “Feliz Cumpleaños” (Happy Birthday) written on it. The banner can go on display and/or be presented to whoever has a birthday on that particular day. Remember to sing Happy Birthday in Spanish too – check for the words on the internet; note that the words for Happy and Birthday are swapped around (this is an example of how in Spanish the adjective and noun positioning can be interchangeable)
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
First introduce some new vocabulary by writing these words down and getting the children to look up their English meanings in the dictionary: Tiburón (Shark); León (Lion); Perro (Dog). Who can find the words fastest? Point out that ‘naming words’ (nouns) in Spanish are either masculine or feminine in gender (unlike nouns in English). The three nouns for this activity are all masculine so if we want to add an indefinite article in front of them it would be “Un” (A). For example, “Un perro” (A dog). Next the children draw the animals. Finally, you conduct a Question & Answer game using “¿Qué es?” (What is it?) and the children respond with indefinite article plus noun, for example: “Es un león” (It’s a lion). Why not also point out that the feminine indefinite article is “Una”, for example “Una vaca” (A cow)
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
Download and copy the house worksheet image onto the whiteboard (it includes all the rooms from the previous activity). Introduce the word “zapatos” (shoes). Then draw (or stick on) an image of shoes in one of the rooms and ask “¿Dónde están los zapatos?” (Where are the shoes?). Note: “Los” is masculine and plural (the feminine equivalent is “Las”). The children will likely answer with the name of the room, for example: “Dormitorio” or “El dormitorio”. Help them extend that to “Están en el dormitorio” (They are in the bedroom) and ask them to write that sentence down on the downloaded worksheet. Next move the shoes to a different room and ask the question again. The children write down all the correct answers as the shoes are moved to each of the five rooms
- understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
The most common spanish verb is “Ser” (To be). To conjugate this verb in the present simple tense, help the children create a ‘verb flower’. Written in the center of the flower is the infinitive of the verb (“Ser”) and written on each ‘petal’ is one of the verb’s forms. The forms are “Soy” (I am), “Eres” (You are), “Es” (He/She/It is), “Somos” (We are), “Sois” (You are – plural), “Son” (They are). These verb flowers make for lovely wall displays
Why Teachers Choose The Speekee Scheme of Work
Primary language educator and consultant Lisa Stevens says: Speekee is a brilliant resource
* Learners love it – the little ones love the fluffy characters and songs whilst the older KS1 learners like to see ‘real’ Spanish children and compare the places with where we live.
* They readily join in and ask for the songs to be repeated over and over!
* Non-specialists love it thanks to the oodles of support it offers them.
* The videos and sound files do the ‘hard bit’ so the teacher doesn’t need to worry about their pronunciation, and it’s fun so engages the learners.
* And MFL coordinators love it because the comprehensive Scheme of Work and constant new ideas that are shared through the blog and via email updates mean they don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but can add their own touches to make it especially perfect for their learners.
And the best thing? Spanish becomes everyone’s favourite subject!