Out of this world

8th June 2007 at 01:00
Joanne Jones backs a website that supports primaries teaching languages

Primary Languages.

www.primarylanguages.org.uk Free online training and resources for teachers of languages at seven-plus.

The Primary Languages website www.primarylanguages.org.uk is an innovative tool for teaching modern foreign languages in primary schools, published and funded by the National Centre for Languages.

It has examples of classroom interactions, training in action and guidance to online training - all free.

Languages covered include French, German, Spanish, Italian and Bengali.

There are sections for leaders, teachers and trainers, and a media library and support and guidance area.

Video clips for whole-school training, sound files, interviews and "think pieces" can be selected as a basis for discussion. There is also help for teachers and trainers who need to improve their languages skills.

There are links to the National Advisory Centre on Early Language Learning, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the Primary Framework and teaching assistant materials and training.

Heads, senior managers and language co-ordinators will appreciate the support in planning and teaching modern languages to pupils and the extracts that can be shown to parents to demonstrate the framework's philosophy.

The teachers' section can be searched by topic or age group and is arranged under themes. There are sections on song and rhyme, drama, storytelling, pair and group work and games.

The video clips from actual lessons are particularly useful. Footage on teaching about the planets offers a superb example of how to combine subjects - in this case, science, French and literacy work on compound sentences and conjunctions.

This site is a valuable tool and should help to ease language teaching into every primary school by 2010

Joanne Jones is a primary languages consultant and until recently was a literacy co-ordinator in a primary school

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