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Modern languages - Dictionary skills surface

What is it?

The Secondary MFL Dictionary and Reference Skills collection covers French, German and Spanish, and includes some of the best resources for developing dictionary skills with S1-3 learners.

Getting started

There is a useful PowerPoint on dictionary skills, from knotty80, which would give pupils a good grounding for languages. What is a noun? What is an adjective? Each part of speech has its own slide with definitions, and how to recognise it. Pupils are asked to use their dictionaries to find the French, Spanish or German word for birds, table, girls, posters and brothers. They are given advice on how to use a dictionary and information on, for example, verb tables.

Taking it further

A collection for French dictionary reference skills includes a Dictionnaire de Sons, which builds on the teaching of phonics and encourages learning to continue.

For German, there is an excellent introduction to nouns in a PowerPoint on nouns and dictionary work, with a useful worksheet for practising them. Webquest German offers a very nice lesson involving some online dictionary work, and a variety of other tasks covering numbers and food vocabulary are authentic and motivating. There is also a useful worksheet on German plurals.

For Spanish, there are three dictionary skills lessons for beginner learners (P7) and a useful introduction to using a dictionary, which gives tips on accents and pronunciation in Spanish, and explains how to look them up (for example, m, n, n, o, p).

Where to find it

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