Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Apoyo Soutien Unterstützung SUPPORT

Primary languages has hit the headlines again today, following the publication of the 2013/2014 Language Trends Survey.  As usual, it's doom and gloom.  According to the BBC, 23% of schools will not have a teacher more highly qualified than GCSE level, and teachers feel "ill-equipped" to teach statutory languages come September this year.  Add to the mix this article from today's Independent (with a misleading headline) that highlights some of the difficulties presented by the transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3.  Thank goodness for the appearance on BBC Breakfast of Catherine Cheater, the voice of reason seeing the positive side and mentioning some of the support that is already out there waiting for primary teachers to access it.

You'll already know that I am very positive about primary languages and that I am determined that it should succeed.  I know that there are a number of schools where teachers are apprehensive not only about teaching the language, but about how they are going to fit it in to their already busy days.  I also know that there are a number of head teachers effectively burying their heads in the sand, not taking proactive steps to ensure that effective teaching will be in place in September.

There is already a huge amount of support available, much of it free.  How do we get the message across to schools about this support and where it is?  Here is the free support that I know about.  Please, if you know of anything else, let me know and I will add it to the list.

Social media

Twitter, especially the PrimaryLanguages UKlist.


Primary Languages forum coordinated by CfBT (email forum).  Email education@cfbt.com to join


¡Vámonos!  Lisa Stevens’s blog, with an emphasis on Spanish and using technology.

Janet Lloyd Network  All sorts of useful links, information and resources, plus Janet's blog Primary Language Learning Today.

Devon Primary Languages  Lots of resources and information

Bonjour Madame  Emilie Woodroffe’s blog, with practical ideas for the classroom

Zapatito Inglés  Erzsi Culshaw's blog, with lots of practical ideas for Spanish

Spanish Playground  Good for Spanish resources and ideas

Madame Belle Feuille  Shannon Wiebe is a French immersion teacher in Canada.  Lots of good ideas here, especially for teaching French to very little ones.

Zen Kyo Maestro  Jeremy Dean is a British teacher living and working in Spain.  This blog is particularly good for intercultural understanding.

On the web

Getting Started with Primary French project - from the Institut Français, ALL and the Network for Languages, written by Catherine Cheater.

GermanPhonology section (not as comprehensive as French and Spanish) 

MFL Sunderland  Schemes of work and lots of resources for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 French and Spanish
Plus sound files to help teachers with pronunciation and upskilling podcasts for French.

West Sussex Grid for Learning   Schemes of work and a large selection of excellent resources for French and Spanish

MFL Hampshire Wiki   Especially good for intercultural links

East Riding  Key Stage 2 resources from the East Riding of Yorkshire

Languages Online Australia  Download the interactive game makers for fun IWB and computer-based activities for your students.  They also have plenty of ready-made activities for many different languages.

Northern Ireland Curriculum  Resources with sound for French, Spanish and German

Hertfordshire Grid for Learning   Resources and the Primary Languages Toolkit

Languagenut  Interactive resources and scheme of work for Key Stage 2 in ten different languages

Teaching Ideas  Good ideas for games and activities in the languages classroom

EuroClubSchools  Excellent for Intercultural Understanding in French, Spanish and Italian


  1. Thanks for collecting all this together Clare! Very useful! Here’s one more: The Oxford German Network http://www.ogn.ox.ac.uk/ supports all things German learning and teaching, and more. Join the 700+ primary and secondary teachers on our mailing list to express your interest and receive updates re networking between the primary, secondary and HE sector: http://www.ogn.ox.ac.uk/german-survey. Stop Press: we are working hard behind the scenes on setting up a Modern Languages Forum. Watch this space! Best wishes, Heike

  2. There is also a lot of information, including a comprehensive Getting Started guidance pack, on the CILT Cymru website here: http://www.ciltcymru.org.uk/primary/

  3. North of the border we're working hard towards supporting the implementation of a 1+2 approach to language learning, where all school children have the right to learn their mother tongue (L1) then begin their first additional language (L2) when they start school in Primary 1 (Reception), continuing with that L2 through to the age of 14. By 2020, all schoolchildren in Scotland will also have the right to learn a second additional language (L3), to be introduced no later than Primary 5 (Year 4). Whether or not you are in Scotland, here are two places primary teachers involved in teaching languages will find some useful support in terms of ideas for planning, resources, soundfiles and much more:
    http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/0to9/a1plus2approachtolanguagelearning/introduction.asp?strReferringChannel=&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-615801-64 and http://www.scilt.org.uk/Primary/tabid/1291/Default.aspx

    1. Pinterest eg http://gb.pinterest.com/b56c/

    2. My blog: http://funfrenchactivities.blogspot.co.uk

  4. I would just add to the above websites: Linguafun (like Languagenut a pay-site) - 5 different languages and a mass of interactive resources with greater emphasis on listening and speaking.

  5. Thanks Clare for gathering all the information. It's very useful :-)

  6. Thanks Clare. I have added a few of these to my list of primary French resources. I couldn't get the west Sussex grid link to work.

  7. I notice the East Riding page has many dead links. Maybe all?