Verbs, adjectives, suffixes, adverbs - requirement to teach in KS1

(61 Posts)
ipadquietly Fri 20-Sep-13 19:33:07

Some of my class are so verbally challenged many of them can't string a sentence together orally. Next year they will need to deconstruct a sentence using technical vocab, and recognise suffixes, prefixes, etc.

Does anyone else who teaches KS1 think this is absolutely mindbogglingly ridiculous and unnecessary?

pozzled Fri 20-Sep-13 19:48:20

I'm afraid I disagree. Although I'm a KS2 teacher so perhaps I don't count! I felt that my Y6s last year really benefited from using the correct terminology.

I know it's hard when children are behind where they should be, but the majority of 6-7 year olds can learn the word 'adjective' just as easily as 'describing word'. And when teaching spelling patterns for things like plurals/-ing/-ed etc it makes sense to refer to suffixes.

ipadquietly Fri 20-Sep-13 19:58:43

I love literacy with a passion and it's my mission to improve the vocabulary of the children! Any ambitious vocab is celebrated and seen as a power word that makes a story more powerful and effective. It really doesn't matter at the age of six whether 'crept' instead of 'walked' is using a more powerful verb, or that 'massive' instead of 'big' is using a more powerful adjective. Little children, who have been speaking for 3-4 years haven't got the linguistic frames of reference for these abstract words!

juniper9 Fri 20-Sep-13 20:09:45

I teach year 3, and we already introduce prefixes and suffixes. The children's targets use terms such as subordinating connectives and adverbial phrases.

They seem to get on OK with it.

souperb Fri 20-Sep-13 20:12:14

But don't they already learn specialist vocabulary in phonics? Such as diagraph, phoneme, grapheme etc. I wouldn't have thought it much more difficult to learn adjective (instead of "describing word") and I really, really dislike verbs being called "doing words" (so inaccurate!).

I think children will learn any term you give them (like the horrible "connective" that has fallen out of the sky in recent years). But I think understanding parts of speech is useful and not out of the reach of mostchildren unless adults "decide" it is too hard for them.

mrz Fri 20-Sep-13 20:13:05

I'm a Y1 teacher and my school started using correct terminology from nursery about a year ago and the children love it. We use the Pie Corbett progression doc

ShowOfHands Fri 20-Sep-13 20:14:00

DD is in Y2 and she has no problem with any of what you describe. You seem to be very negative about your students.

mrz Fri 20-Sep-13 20:15:08

We don't teach the terms "grapheme or phoneme" in phonics

pozzled Fri 20-Sep-13 20:19:43

I didn't mean to imply that you weren't doing those things- I'm sure you do them all well.

Two years ago I would have agreed with you completely that the children don't need to know the grammatical words, and I did find it quite daunting when the SPaG test came in. But I can honestly say I found it really helped my teaching, and the children's understanding. Especially some of the EAL children who couldn't always tell when they'd used a word incorrectly.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Fri 20-Sep-13 20:28:42

I did linguistics at university and found it incredibly hard to do systematic analysis of sentences as I did not know the correct terms for the parts. I regularly got trounced by international students at my own language. (70s child, comprehensive, little formal grammar was taught.)
I think explicit teaching of grammar using the correct terminology is great. Understanding language structure may even help with other languages.

ipadquietly Fri 20-Sep-13 20:35:26

I'm going to give up this job. I wonder how many of your pupils would be able to tell you exactly what a verb or an adjective is. From nursery...

I really really am not negative about my class. At all.

I just question the need for knowing this terminology at six.

mrz Fri 20-Sep-13 20:49:37

Perhaps you missed where I said we use a progression ipadquietly?
In nursery they learn their name is a proper noun and needs a capital letter...

mrz Fri 20-Sep-13 20:53:20

and yes they could tell you that because it is relevant and age appropriate

WidowWadman Fri 20-Sep-13 21:03:11

What's wrong with being taught the right terminology from the start? Surely, it's the concept that is taught that's new to the child, so teaching it with its proper name from the start can't make it any more difficult?

EasyFromNowOn Fri 20-Sep-13 21:06:28

My ds's y4 teacher asked me last year why his grammar homework frequently had bits translated into French. I had to explain that I didn't know what the various parts of the sentences they were identifying were in English, because it was never taught at school (80s English primary). All the proper grammar instruction I've ever had has been in a foreign language, and I have to think it in French and then translate it back in to English.

eddiemairswife South Korea Fri 20-Sep-13 21:34:57

I suppose it depends on your intake. In the school, where I was teaching, over 90% of the children's home language was not English. So much of the time in KS1 would be trying to enrich their spoken vocabulary. Even in years 5 and 6 I had pupils who did not know common words such as 'lucky' and 'snowdrop'. I remember reading a book to a Y6 class which contained the phrase 'full of beans'. The only child who knew what it meant was the one boy whose home language was English. I remember when I was taught nouns, verbs, adjectives; it was the year we took the 11+. I think we sometimes try to teach children to run before they can walk.

AbbyR1973 Fri 20-Sep-13 21:55:53

As a parent I agree that there is no reason that correct terminology couldn't be used. I suppose at a simplistic level it's like that annoying thing where people insist on calling trains "choo-choos" and cows " moo-moos" to babies and toddlers. Very young children are quite capable of understanding complex words and language if exposed to it in everyday life, after all that's how babies learn to speak.
On the other hand I wouldn't want stories to be deconstructed in a technical way for DS's to the extent that they lose the enjoyment of the story itself.

chantico Fri 20-Sep-13 22:03:13

It's neither ridiculous, not unnecessary, to use the ordinary, simple terms (such as ones cited in OP) to describe how language works.

I just asked DS, and he remembers learning all those terms (and quite a few more) in Reception and Year 1.

WidowWadman Fri 20-Sep-13 22:03:47

Why would a random idiom such as "full of beans" (which I first came across at the ripe old age of 25, when I moved to the UK) be something which a child should grasp earlier or find easier than a word such as "verb" or "noun" or "adjective"?

It's really irrelevant whether you call a verb "verb", "doing word" or [insertwhatevername], it's just a name for a concept. If the kid can understand the concept, then it's ok to give the concept its correct name.

ipadquietly Fri 20-Sep-13 22:08:55

but if the kid can't?

WidowWadman Fri 20-Sep-13 22:22:19

if the kid can't what? Do you suggest they shouldn't learn about word classes altogether until a later stage? Understanding the building blocks of sentences surely would help them stringing them together? What should they learn before starting on different types of words?

I'm not a teacher, so can only go by my own experience of learning - and by what my child is learning.

gintastic Fri 20-Sep-13 22:39:22

My DD is in Yr 1, and her homework this week was to identify the temporal connectives from a list of phrases.

I was a bit taken aback, but she is totally at ease with the terminology...

Not that I had to google what a temporal connective was or anything...

ipadquietly Fri 20-Sep-13 22:40:38

It didn't work in the literacy strategy. My child had no clue what the parts of a sentence were until he was old enough to deconstruct the sentences - in Y5-7 or so.

10 years later the same old thing is introduced. It doesn't work. 6 year olds do not have the frames of reference for all these abstract concepts. I don't know how anyone who works with a 6 year old can say they 'understand' them, apart from spouting the learned definitions.

steppemum Netherlands Fri 20-Sep-13 22:57:28

I think it is all a bit OTT at 6, but on the other hand, my Y1 dd was reading to me yesterday and said 'that is a connective mummy' pointing to the word and. She then went on to find all the other connectives on the page.

But she is in the top group, and having helped out in her class, I know most (maybe 2/3) couldn't.

I didn't do grammar as a kid, so I do want mine to know it, but think it is pretty unrealistic to expect all this to be the norm at Y1

Tiggles Sat 21-Sep-13 07:55:10

I guess it depends slightly why they are verbally challenged. If it is a lack of being spoken to then hopefully by the end of a year in school their oracy skills will be greatly improved. If they have specific language impairments maybe more awkward.
I have always been surprised how easily mine have picked up concepts in grammar that we didn't learn until around year 5/6 sometimes even in secondary school. Last year when DS2 was in Y1 and DS3 was in nursery, DS3 said something and DS2 said "That's aliteration" they both then spent the next hour or so finding 'aliterating' sentences. They happily natter about split digraphs etc when they are working on phonics etc.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now