teaching Spanish in KS2(22 Posts)
I'm starting a my NQT year in... two weeks! and I have to teach Spanish to Y4 once a week.
I never did Spanish at school, and didn't take a language GCSE because I was so bad at French my school didn't enter me. I've tried to learn some Spanish over the holiday, but I can't take it in, and the only thing I can confidently say is 'my name is Sawdust', and I've made Spanish signs for things in the classroom. I also can't do the accent to save my life. I only taught one MFL lesson during my PGCE, which was last-minute cover from someone else's plan. I'm also worried about PE (I didn't teach ANY on my training), but it's a lot easier to learn!
I am completely at a loss how I'm going to teach it. I'm worried that my teaching will be negative - worse than if they just did nothing.
Does anyone have any ideas of resources to use, the kind which build on themselves to move the children, and me!, on? I don't want to teach them how I was taught (pointing at things and naming them for ever, no connections or fluency), but at the moment I can't do anything else.
What a horrible position to be in!
Hopefully some MFL teachers will be on here to give you some advice,but in the meantime, I notice that Duolingo have an online learning App designed for schools - I think it's free. I had a quick look,and it seemed like the sort of thing you could do with a whole class. You might need to sign up to get a proper look, but, like I said,it's free, so no problem there.
Thanks, that sounds brilliant! I've been using their mobile app to try to learn some, I didn't know they did things for schools.
I think whatever I do is going to be me learning with the kids.
I am a secondary MFL teacher and I'll spare you the rant, you already know that this is
a fucking disgrace and if I found out as a parent I would go ballistic at your head a less than ideal situation.
If I had to teach a language I don't speak I would look up a good free course online or on YouTube (Google "free Spanish for children", lots coming up).
Realistically, you have to learn alongside the children. Avoid any instruction, especially if you don't know the correct pronunciation, and do things like singing along or labelling. If you have access to iPads I second duolingo or free online games.
Do you have native speaker children or parents? Get them to model/help.
Some secondaries around here offer evening courses, get your school to send you on one as CPD! If you are a feeder school for a secondary, ask for help? Some secondaries offer to teach MFL in primaries.
Thanks, I'm definitely going to do as much CPD as possible, I'll look into local secondaries. I'm also going to raise when I get into school for INSET that this is a weakness, so they might do something. If I'm honest I'm hoping they'll schedule my NQT time as the Spanish lesson so someone else can teach it!
Am now watching Spanish for kids videos, thankyou.
It's making me more frantic I think because my subject knowledge in most other areas (if I do say so myself!) is very good, so I'm used to my lessons being able to invite lots of questions which I can answer reliably, and extend/support properly. I'm just not that skilled in being just one step ahead (or behind) the kids and I'm not sure how to teach like that.
If you are at primary, would it not be possible to simply put the Spanish into your PPA time? Are you expected to be given a timetable? I usually create my own timetable and decide what I want the PPA teacher to teach (unless we've got outside teachers coming in). It might be an idea to put Spanish and PE into your PPA slot in the first instance.
Additionally, speak to your PE coordinator. You might have external coaches coming in throughout the year and they get allocated to different classes. (I was going to ask for them to take my PE until I go on mat leave. I'm fully trained in PE and I love teaching it...but I'm also aware that I'm not in the best state to take it at present. I've been pulled off class teacher responsibilities now, though, so that's not an issue anymore.)
For Spanish, take a look at Lightbulb Languages. It provides you with a scheme of work, detailed lesson plans and resources. Alternatively, check whether your school might be following a scheme for MFL.
Then talk to your school to see whether they can help you get some cpd for Spanish and PE in place. I'm amazed that you didn't do PE during your training, though. We did loads and had the option to do additional qualifications for very little extra money.
I had three hours of training how to teach PE, the same as the other foundation subjects, but my first placement class were doing swimming (taught by instructors), and the other placement was end of Y6 so they were basically doing nothing but SATS, then nothing but school play and being unpleasant to each other .
Lightbulb Languages looks great. I will see if there's schemes of work in place, but they gave me reams of info before the end of tem and none of it's for languages. I would LOVE to have it during my PPA. I'd quite like to teach PE myself, though, I just need to keep researching.
Start simple. Alphabet - try Basho on YouTube.
Sing repeat,say the letters and kids bang them on the whiteboard in teams.
LIghtbulb is great. BBC very useful for songs and games. Your school may have a subscription - Linguascope is a common one.
Do some cultural stuff to ease you in - loads of quizzes on TES.
Ask for help. It is a disgrace that this happens ,up it is what it is. Your local high school may help - if no link, it could be a project for you?
Disclaimer - not a teacher! Sorry for butting in to the Staffroom board . I am learning Spanish alongside my home ed DCs (I'd planned on doing French, as I know that, but they wanted to learn Spanish and Japanese, neither of which I knew at all!). Obviously this is not as pressured as having to teach a whole class a brand new subject - I agree with other posters, it's abysmal that you've been put in that situation.
Is it mostly vocab based, with a few useful phrases? My memory of primary school French (late 90s) is that we mainly learned sets of vocab like clothes, food etc, as well as being able to introduce ourselves and ask basic questions, rather than grammar, verb conjugating etc, but perhaps that's changed now to be more like secondary MFL?
Usborne do a few really nice Spanish language books.
I do mostly game based stuff for vocab - things like find the pair, but instead of just being actual pairs, one is a picture of the animal or whatever, and the other is the word in Spanish. Including 'the' (el/la etc) in brackets as the idea of gendered nouns is a new one for the DCs and it helps to learn whether each word is m/f right from the beginning, rather than trying to add that knowledge in later. Also things like taking turns to dress teddies in particular items etc. Doing it as a game helps me learn the vocab alongside them, more than just reading it in a list IYSWIM.
I get through a huge amount of these cards - really useful and versatile.
YouTube and maybe even Muzzy if you can get hold of it? There's an online subscription for Muzzy as well, we got an educational group discount for ours so presumably school memberships are available. Duolingo is great as well.
Do you know anyone who is Spanish - maybe there will even be a child with a Spanish parent who wouldn't mind coming in now and again? (No idea about the rules for that sort of thing.)
Thank you for the Lightbulb Languages recommendation, will be taking a closer look for sure.
One other thing. What has been really helpful is doing a little of another subject in the new language. DD and I got into the habit of doing mental maths on our walks - I'd say some numbers in Japanese and she would have to add them and give the answer in Japanese too. They do things like spelling (English) words using the Spanish alphabet too. Not necessarily when we are explicitly doing a Spanish 'lesson' but just thrown in at random points of the day. Again, this really helps me learn too.
Oh and playing games like Uno, naming the numbers/colours etc as you play a card, and learning phrases such as 'my/your turn' etc.
Get your HT to clarify if there's a particular rule on pronunciation - I've found it quite confusing as some pronounce c/z etc differently. I didn't realise that until I watched a few videos and got confused about why some words sounded different in each one!
Please don't panic the OP on pronunciation issues! there are huge regional differences across the Spanish speaking world. Just as there is with English. It is not something she needs to worry about at the moment.
OP message me if you need any support. Am high school MFL teacher who teaches at primary as part of our transition work.
And join Languages in Primary Schools on Facebook. And also see the secondary equivalent for ideas aswell - Secondary MFL Matters.
Ah ok Cannot sorry, that's good to know. I have just been a bit confused when trying to figure out how to pronounce certain words as I hear them differently - but nice to hear that it's not really an issue at this stage thanks for clarifying.
Do the school not have any resources for teaching Spanish ? It seems pretty odd to pick a language unless either you have a teacher who will cover it for all forms or they have bought some cd/DVD course. My dc learnt French at primary - most teachers just used these - plus a bit of taking the register in French - so the children had to say Oui Madam or Bonjour. They left being able to sing a terrible song and that was about it.
For Spanish you could look at Dora the Explorer. They will feel it is too young for them but I bet a surprising number will be able to count to 10 and know some colours due to having watched it when younger. They might even secretly like the chance to revisit the program.
If you can't find anything online I've got an old copy of BBC Muzzy Spanish I could send you.
I'm not a teacher, just a parent. My ds is learning two MFL at home on line, with Duolingo and these site, though not Spanish.
One of my concern is, when he was doing online lesson, he said "That's not what miss X said, she said ...", but obviously I believe these online course is correct, and it was. I think the key is, if you don't know, tell the children, and tell them that you will find out, rather than tell them the wrong answer. I think children find it great to learn together with their teacher.
If you are at beginner-elementary level, Babel might be the best option, it is much faster than Duolingo, it covers more vocabulary and it is more entertaining so you are likely to cover more lessons in less time.
You have to pay for it (£15 for a 3 month subscription), but it is a small price to pay if you want results in a very short time.
Oh my goodness, thanks for all the ideas! I did Muzzy for French at school, I just assumed it was a French thing, so I'll look out the Spanish.
I love the idea of doing bits of other subjects in the language, too. It's a good way to get used to it as well as practice it.
The school do have resources, but not a program of study. I think they assume that most people did Spanish at school (the teachers starting the same time as me all did), but I think I'm just that fraction older than them that Spanish hadn't quite hit the heights it's at now in schools! My school only offered French, German and Latin. (I did Latin, but it's 'dead' so taught completely differently to spoken languages)
I'm less panicky now!
Are you the only y4 teacher or do you have a parallel class? For a while I worked alongside a native speaker of my school's chosen MFL. They taught the language to my class while I did PSHE or RE with theirs. Worked a treat.
I teach secondary MFL and we provide a course for our feeder primaries to follow. Could you ask a local secondary to give you some pointers?
Could you buy yourself a beginners' textbook and follow the pattern of vocab and structures from that?
Also, the TES may have some good resources. We use linguascope.com which is excellent for beginners and youngsters, but your school would need to subscribe.
For -ar verb endings in the present tense, we learned the the "chinese rhyme":
O, as, a,
Amos, ais, an.
Total lifesaver. At that age they won't notice your accent really, but another very un- PC trick in our class was known as, er, the South Asian type accent. Put that on and you'll be fine.
How's it going Sawdust? Have you started the Spanish teaching yet?
I hope it's going well. I just came on to recommend following Lightbulb Languages SOW. If you've had a good look you'll have seen there are all the assessment sheets and loads of resources and if there's anything you need to ask about the teacher who developed it is a member of the Languages in Primary Schools facebook page and is always helpful.
I use babelzone (if you have the money - it's about £99/year) which has nice games and songs.
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