Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Word Classes

Recently there has been a discussion in the Secondary MFL Matters Facebook group about students not knowing enough about word classes in English.  Students are quoted as not understanding, for example, why they can't say joli grand for "pretty big".  This points as much to dictionary skills, I think, and the importance of looking at all the meanings of a word and not just accepting the first on the list.

Personally, I have noticed a significant difference in children's knowledge and understanding of grammar since "enhanced SPaG" came into being with the latest incarnation of the national curriculum.  When a middle-ability Year 4 child can tell you about relative pronouns, you know things are changing.  However this has all made me think that, even though I use, for example, the words "noun", "verb" and "adjective" frequently in my lessons, I don't draw explicit attention to them and practise differentiating one from the other.

Last term I saw my Year 2s doing a colouring activity to practise word classes in one of their English lessons.  It looked a bit like this one.  A variation on the theme is this activity.

As a response I have made this activity for French and Spanish.  The idea is that children select three colours, and then colour in the boxes at the top of the sheet to provide their "key".  Each child having a different combination of colours will hopefully lessen the probability of them copying from each other!  The activity will also involve some dictionary practice as they check the word classes of the words that they do not yet know.

How do you study and practise word classes?

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