Author: Gwen McCrossan, Argyll and Bute
Argyll and Bute Council has recently developed Primary Language Learning classroom resource packs. These packs have been designed to promote active learning and to support practitioners with the pronunciation of a new language.
French and Gaelic resource packs have been created for all schools across the authority, depending on which language they have chosen as L2. Within the packs there are resources which all schools have, while some resources are intended for swapping with other schools within the local learning community.
Each pack contains a talking pen, a large foam pocket dice, a talking dictionary, a song book with CD, a reward stamper and stickers.
The talking pen allows practitioners and learners to listen to books which have been downloaded onto the pen. Learners can look up the talking bilingual dictionary to find new words and listening to how these are pronounced. The pen is also a recording device. The recordings are stored in the pen and can be activated by touching special adhesive labels. This means that not only books but also wall displays and games can be sound activated using the pen. The aim is for this tool to help boost teacher confidence in using the language and promote learner autonomy.
The packs also have a range of resources which are interchangeable. Each pack contains four books and one of these is a talking book which works in conjunction with the pen. The packs also contain at least one of the four core texts. The additional books are made up from a selection of cultural books and well-known French picture books.
There is also a selection of language learning games, talk balls, musical story CD-ROMs and puppets. Every pack contains an item from each of these categories.
The various resources are intended to be shared between schools. Each learning community will have the full range distributed amongst schools. This sharing of books, games, talk balls, puppets and CD-ROMs allows for maximum impact. For example, there are three musical stories in the CD-ROM series, which allows schools to create three different performances for parents through exchanging these resources. Each school will have two talk balls but one may have transport and animals while another might have body parts and weather. There is also a variety of puppets, which allows schools to exchange, depending on which stories they are focusing.
The aim is for representatives from each school within the learning community to meet up regularly with their cluster language leader in order to exchange resources, share practice and receive support.
Resource packs are currently being distributed to schools across Argyll and Bute and feedback is eagerly awaited.
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