French at little cost
This project gave primary school pupils the chance to learn a foreign language regardless of academic ability or physical disability. They had half an hour of French per week, delivered in the target language with the emphasis on speaking and listening - basic yoga exercises followed by songs. Then reading and writing were introduced. Pupils who struggled with reading in English enjoyed reading simple French words and matching the word to its picture. Some pupils copy the word from a sheet in Braille. No child was excluded from French.
Report from project coordinator:
This project gives primary school pupils the chance to learn a foreign language regardless of academic ability or physical disability. Our lower and upper juniors each get half an hour of French per week. At first we wondered if it would really be worth doing, but we find that we get a lot done and pupil progress is good. From the start most of the lesson is delivered in the target language with the emphasis on speaking and listening. Once the register has been taken, we do basic yoga exercises followed by songs such as Alouette, Voici les mains to learn parts of the body. We also make up our own songs... numbers 1-10 sung to the Eastenders theme tune. We have a star system in place so that a pupil gets a star each time he/she uses a French word in class. A prize is given at the end of each term. As we progress, we introduce reading and writing. Pupils who have struggled with reading in English enjoy reading simple French words and matching the word to its picture. Colour-coding is a popular activity. When writing is introduced, some pupils copy the word from a Brailled sheet, others have the appropriate font size for their condition. Older pupils are taught to spell words using the National Curriculum Strategy and they follow the instructions in the French language. We also use the DVD "Salut Serge" which is very popular. Firstly no child is disapplied from French. In the first two years the lessons follow the same format so that pupils know exactly what to expect and don't feel threatened. Lessons, although short, are pacy and action packed. Secondly, we decided, that to be successful the lessons would have to be delivered by a French specialist. With an already tight school budget , this could have been a problem, but our French teacher in our secondary school is junior/secondary trained so time was found on her timetable to deliver the course.
Priestley Smith School
Consistency with the European policies in the field of language learning