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Reflections on language learning

language tree optSeñora Stevens asked the 2019 Language Leaders team for their thoughts on language learning. To help them, she posed some questions. Below are their thoughts:

 

Why did you volunteer to be a Language Leader?

I volunteered to be a Language Leader because I love learning languages; when I go on holiday I like showing off how I know how to speak the language. (RM)

I wanted to find out more about languages as they’re fun. (PS)

I volunteered as a Language Leader because I like learning how other people communicate. (AT)

I wanted to represent the school. (IH)

I thought it would be fun! (JS/SLG)

I volunteered because languages make me happy. (RS)

I wanted to explore the different languages and how to speak them (JJ)

I volunteered because I like to learn languages (AK)

I volunteered because I wanted to try something new (LD)

 

What do you like about languages?

I like speaking languages – it makes me feel proud! (GG)

It makes countries different (LD)

I like how other people talk and I don’t understand them. (AT)

I like that if you learn a language, you can communicate and understand people that speak other languages. (LE)

I like the sounds you make and how you spell words in other languages (JJ)

I like that different countries have different ways of communicating. (RM)

When I speak languages it makes me feel….. (RS)

It’s fun to learn! (IH/NH)

I like that everyone’s language is unique (PS)

I find them interesting, (JS/SLG)

When you go on holiday you can speak that language. (AK)

 

What do you find hard? What do you do when it’s hard?

When it’s hard, I practice what to say and find someone who already speaks that language to help. (JJ)

When it’s hard I just practice! (IH)

I find remembering the language hard. (LE)

Phonics and pronunciation can be tricky! (LD)

I sometimes find pronouncing words hard but I don’t give up as I have an open mindset. (GG)

When I find it hard I do some chants to help me remember (PS)

Sometimes I find writing hard so I ask for help. (SLG)

As a Language Leader I find it hard to choose the award winners! (AK)

I found writing my application letter for Language Leader hard! (NH)

 

Do you know any languages other than English? How did you learn them?

I know Arabic, Urdu Spanish and a bit of French! (IH)

I know Punjabi and Spanish – Punjabi from home and Spanish from school. (GG)

I know Hindi as my family speak it at home but I sometimes feel embarrassed speaking it in front of my friends. (RM)

I know how to introduce myself in French. (AT)

I know some Italian as we go on holiday there (LD)

My parents speak Tamil and I listen to them (JJ)

I know Urdu because I speak it at home (RS)

I know some Italian as my grandma was born in Italy (AK)

 

Do you enjoy learning Spanish?

A resounding yes!

I love Spanish – especially with Señora Stevens! I like that it has masculine and feminine! (RM)

I enjoy Spanish because my family go on holiday to Spain some years. (AT)

I like Spanish; I like how you have masculine and feminine and can explore how to decide which gender nouns have. (JJ)

I find learning Spanish with the great Señora Stevens really fun and interesting. (PS)

 

What would make language learning even better for you?

I could practice harder! (IH)

I’d like to learn some useful questions for the future; for example, how to ask for a cupcake in Italian. (AT)

I’d like to learn another language! (JS)

To do more mindmaps and diagrams to help me remember words (SLG)

I’d like to learn more languages and the differences between them. (LE)

Comparing more languages – for example hello is Vanakam in Tamil and Hola in Spanish (JJ)

I’d like to learn some gymnastics words as I love gymnastics (AK)

I think visiting the country would be a great idea! (LD)

If once a week we could read a story in a different language in assembly (PS)

 

Thank you to all the Language Leaders for your thoughts and ideas!

LANGUAGE LEADER

Green Kids - eTwinning project

childrenGreen optAs we approach the end of the school year, our eTwinning projects are drawing to a close too, particularly as many schools across Europe have already broken up for the summer!

At Christmas we reported that we had created and exchanged Christmas cards with schools involved in the Green Kids project (as well as others as part of a Christmas card project) However, the main thrust of the project was around safeguarding our environment so we really should report on what we're been doing in collaboration with schools in Spain, Italy, Turkey, Serbia, France and Greece. 

The project:

Green Kid´s a super hero who tries to save the Earth. He´ll teach children how to be Green Kids. 

The aims of the project are:
1. To create awareness about environmental issues and actions that can be taken for its protection.
2. To improve digital and communicative skills.
3. To promote creativity.

During the project schools firstly designed and voted on a Green Kid logo. then they considered an aspect of the environment each month, creating a collaborative storybook on each topic including trees, endangered species, pollution and the problem of plastic. Each school wrote their own story and they were all collated in one online storybook via Storyjumper. Alongside this, pupils from each school found out about the topics and shared their ideas on the Twinspace. You can see it here. We also thought about our role in the future of our world and predicted what would happen if we take care of it.

All the work that we've done at Whitehouse Common on each of the themes (and others!) has been uploaded to the Padlet you can view by clicking here, or by reading the QR code below with a mobile device. I'm sure you'll agree that the children of WCPS know plenty about their role in our world and that the future is safe in their hands!

QR code opt

 

Languages Celebration Assembly

weallsmile

On Thursday afternoon, KS2 gathered in the Oaks Hall to celebrate Languages. 28 children bravely volunteered to share their language skills with their peers as we were treated to songs in French, Spanish and Makaton, a poem in Polish, a German tongue twister, a joke in Latin and children introduced themselves in Burmese, Sinhala, Tamil, Turkish, Punjabi, Italian, Hindi and French. The assembly concluded with the poem about languages below that was written especially for the occasion by S-L in Y4. 

It was lovely to see the children celebrating languages that they know and love, whether because they speak them on a daily basis or know them via family, holidays or clubs. It was also good to consider the importance of communciation, through languages both spoken and signed, to ensure inclusion and a sense of belonging. 

Thank you to all those who participated. 

languages opt

In case you can't read the poem:
LANGUAGES

There are so many languages; I can't count there's so much.

There's Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, African and Dutch.

There are so many languages 

In this world

But very few of them have I been told.

There's Spanish and French

I'm sure,

And Dutch, Maori and many more.

There are so many languages, every one is unique.

There are so many languages about which we can all speak.

 

 

 

Lo que hemos aprendido en mayo

In what has been a very short half term with SATs to deal with as well, we've still been working hard on our Spanish.

Year 4 have completed descriptions of monsters and learned the names for parts of their bodies in Spanish using this song from Rockalingua that proved very popular!

que hora diagram

Year 5 have been learning how to tell the time in Spanish. It's hard enough for some of us in English but they persevered and some even started working out various ways of making it easier - and harder - for themselves using 24 hour clock and digital clocks too.

 

tener opt

Year 6 enjoyed the distraction from their SATs provided by Spanish grammar and the verb TENER, translating phrases using tener in set expressions such as

tener prisa - to be in a hurry;

tener éxito - to be successful;

tener dolor de cabeza - to have a headache;

and also inventing sentences such as

Tiene cien mil años - s/he is 100,000 years old;

Tenéis un perro pequeño - You have a small dog;

¿Tienes cola? Do you have a tail?

Tenemos pepinos y berro - We have cucumbers and cress (harking back to Y3!)

IMG 5262 opt 1 3JM have been very industrious. They have been trailling a new way of learning called Symtalk that uses symbols to help create sentences in Spanish as well as learning about the gender of nouns. To use their new skills as well as to show that they can successfully use a bilingual dictionary, they wrote minbooks called ¿Qué veo? (What can I see?) The minibook were beautifully written and illustrated, and below is a little video showcasing three of them.

 

And finally, whilst Señora Stevens hasn't been teaching in the Acorns building this year, she's really enjoyed finding out what children have been learning when she's popped along, and was particularly impressed the other day when a Y2 stopped her and asked 'Señora Stevens ¿te gustan las manzanas o las fresas?' in beautiful Spanish, and also answered the question herself when Señora Stevens turned it back to her. ¡Bien hecho Claudia! (y Señor Cope también)

Querido Zoo - FKS1 assembly in Spanish and Makaton!

1677 Dear Zoo SpanishFor World Book Day this year, all pupils in KS2 learned how to tell the story Dear Zoo in Spanish and Makaton. At the end of the week we held an assembly in which all 270+ pupils simultaneously retold the story with Señora Stevens and the Language Leaders. After this, the Language Leaders suggested - and Señora Stevens enthusiastically agreed! - that Reception, Y1 and Y2 would love the story too. 

A few weeks ago, posters went up around the Oaks building asking for volunteers to come and help with the assembly in which we would present Querido Zoo to the younger pupils. Lots of volunteers attended the planning meeting and 20 were able to help Señora Stevens with the assembly on May 9th.

They practised over the weekend and attended two rehearsal in their free time, and were word and sign perfect! It was lovely to see the younger pupils looking up to older ones and trying to join in with the signs even before they were taught!

We started by introducing the signs for the animals and then told the story. Everyone listened beautifully and lots of children joined in with the signs as well as some trying to join in with the Spanish too.  After the assembly a few children wanted to share with Señora Stevens about their experiences of Makaton, how their older siblings had been teaching them or how they knew some from outside school. And at the school disco the following evening, one child even sought out Señora Stevens to show her that he hadn't forgotten the signs and the Spanish words. ¡Impresionante!

Muchas gracias to all the volunteers who were able to help, and to 3JM who couldn't help on this occasion but who have another mission for Señora Stevens!

zoo opt

Dancing in the street (HOTW April song challenge)

handsFollowing on from This is me!, A million dreams and last month, I'd like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony), the April song sung and signed in Makaton was DANCING IN THE STREET.
Year 5 had a marvellous time discovering the Eighties through the music video as well as photographs - they all decided that Señora Stevens looked very different then - before learning the song. This time the chidlren took complete charge of all the details - they chose the location, the costumes (with a bit of guidance so it didn't get too adventurous!), the choreography and they also volunteered to film our lines. It was great fun but also a challenge, and I know that Sharon who coordinates the project loved the enthusiasm with which our line was delivered even if it made editing a little tricky!
Below is the final video incorporating lines from 36 schools in 29 countries, all dancing in the street! We hope that you enjoy it! 

 

May will see our last song (for this year at least) - watch this space for news of what it is!

We'd like to teach the world to sing - in Makaton! (HOTW March song challenge)

singHot off the press is the collaborative video for the March song in the Hands of the World (HOTW) eTwinning project. Masterminded by Sharon Tonner-Saunders at the University of Dundee, the project aims to reach across land and language barriers and unite children across the world using music and Makaton. 
This month's song was inspired by an advertisement from the 70s! How many of you have seen the 'Hilltop ad' advertising Coca Cola? It starts with one singer atop a mountain and then the camera pans out to reveal another then another until the final shot is of a mountain top of people of all nations and heritages, all united in singing. If you haven't seen it, here's the link!
This month, instead of a single line as in previous challenges, schools were asked to decide if they'd like one, two, or four lines to learn. In this way, the effect of people joining in has been achieved in the final video. If you watch, you'll see that Whitehouse Common sign four lines of the song. After the first line, they are joined by another school and both sign line two. After the second line, a third school joins to sign line three with them, before a fourth school joins and everyone signs line four. 
There's also an instrumental break in which you can see the hands (and feet!) of some of 5MM playing instruments. 
The video was recorded by the pupils, and they suggested the location too as they wanted to show the world Abigail's Garden.

So here's I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing in Makaton, sung and signed by 38 schools in 21 countries!

HOTW Makaton Weekly Challenge Feb/March

handsAnother part of the Hands of the World (HOTW) project is a weekly Makaton Challnge to learn a few words or phrase in Makaton. Y4 are leading the way with this, and below are some of the words and phrases they have learned recently. It's lovely to see how they are combining signs and words to make short phrases, asking questions and interacting. 4CC now ask to go ot the toilet in Spansh lessons in Spanish AND Makaton!

FEBRUARY

Week 3 - Goodnight friend!

Week 4 - Toilet, drink and help please!

 

MARCH

Week 1 - yes and no (complete with Scottish accent!)

Week 2 - car, bus, tractor

Week 3 - Happy birthday!

Week 4 - eat and drink

A million dreams signed in Makaton

The February song in our eTwinning project, Hands of the World, was A million dreams. It has just been pointed out to Señora Stevens by the pupils that we still haven't shared the amazing collaborative video on our school website. So here it is below. 
The video features children from 40 schools across the world, this time starting with the youngest in China and Croatia (aged 4) and ending with student teachers at the University of Dundee. It gave us all goosebumps when we watched it. We hope you enjoy watching it!

 

¡Me gusta el Slime!

4cc me gustaAs Year 4 had their Spanish lesson on Valentines Day this week, they did something a little different. Knowing how much the children love using the bilingual dictionaries, Señora Stevens gave them an opportunity to do some revision and also expand their vocabulary.

Firstly they reviewed how to say 'I like' and 'I love' in Spanish - me gusta and me encanta - and then how to make that negative and say 'I don't like' - no me gusta. Some children even remembered that if you say that you like a plural noun, it becomes me gustan or me encantan. 
Then they recalled as many words as they could from Year 3 to make up some I like sentences including Me gusta el chocolate and Me gustan los plátanos.
Finally, they reminded each other how to use a bilingual dictionary, which half they needed to use to find Spanish words, and how to 'read' the dictionary and choose the correct word. 

Their task was to fill in their heart with things that they like in Spanish. They produced some lovely work, and the six best from each class are shown here. A very successful lesson for all, including Señora Stevens who learned that the word for slime (as in the sparkly play slime!) in Spanish is... el Slime!

4af me gusta

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