Carnegie Education | Blog

Le Grand Départ!

In the spirit of effective collaboration, Leeds Beckett University is developing its partnerships further in the field of Primary Foreign Languages.

Le Grand Depart

The Grammar School at Leeds and the Carnegie School of Education are working together to raise the profile of effective practice in Primary Foreign Languages in the Leeds and Bradford area.

The work is set to build on previous successful collaboration with Carr Manor Primary School in Leeds. Leeds Beckett students delivered a series of Language Awareness days to year three and to year six children in the school. The multi-sensory learning experience was a huge hit with all stakeholders, especially the children.

In 2014 Primary Foreign Languages became a mandatory curriculum subject in Key stage two. This is a welcome addition to the curriculum for linguists in our profession and offers great opportunities for children to develop their cultural awareness, to nurture a curiosity for further language learning and to be able to celebrate similarity and difference.

Primary Languages are well received by children; they love the interactive nature of the teaching and learning and they are able to imitate sounds and key phrases more easily that older children. Children are able to throw themselves willingly into the learning as they have fewer inhibitions. Teaching Primary Foreign languages is a brilliant way to develop children’s literacy skills in their mother tongue, through developing basic grammatical knowledge.

Often, experienced teachers and newly qualified teachers can feel quite anxious about delivering Primary Foreign Languages due to a perceived lack of subject knowledge, so it is vital to spread the word about how valuable language learning can be for young children and to share good practice around effective pedagogy and planning.

This year’s collaboration will involve Vicky Cooke, Primary Foreign Language specialist teacher from the Grammar School in Leeds, team-teaching with Sarah Dawson, Lecturer at the University, on the year two undergraduate Primary Education Foundation subjects module. The partnership will give the students first-hand experience of the synergy between the theory and the practice in Primary Foreign languages and consequently aims to develop student teachers’ confidence and competence in delivering the subject once they take up their first NQT role.

Vicky and Sarah are also developing their collaboration through jointly leading the Leeds/Bradford Primary Languages hub. The first meeting of the academic year will take place on Thursday 6th December at the Grammar School at Leeds (4.30-6.00pm). The focus of the meeting will be to share good practice and to develop further partnerships with local schools, especially those willing to offer trainee teachers placements, where they will be able to develop their Primary Foreign Language expertise.

Please do come and join us.

About the Author

Sarah Dawson

Sarah is a Lecturer in Education at the Carnegie School of Education.

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