Children learn six languages
PUBLISHED: 12:01 03 July 2007 | UPDATED: 22:54 28 May 2010
CHILDREN aged nine to 11 are learning six languages at a March Primary School. Cavalry Primary School is one of only 10 in England to teach its pupils French, German, Latin, Spanish, Japanese and Punjabi. Teacher Catherine White said: It s really about i
CHILDREN aged nine to 11 are learning six languages at a March Primary School.
Cavalry Primary School is one of only 10 in England to teach its pupils French, German, Latin, Spanish, Japanese and Punjabi.
Teacher Catherine White said: "It's really about introducing the six languages and we don't expect the children to go away with a thorough knowledge of any of them. They learn how to say basic phrases and hold small conversations and they look on a map to see which countries in the world speak that language. They also learn about the cultures in these countries and the links between the languages.
"The aim is to get the children to develop a love of learning about different languages and cultures which they can go on to learn in more detail without fear as they get older."
The languages are taught to pupils in Years 5 and 6 over a two-year period and have been taught in the school for three years.
For one lesson a week the children learn languages through various practical teaching methods, including games, songs, making posters, watching DVDs and listening to CDs.
There is no examination or formal assessment throughout or at the end of the course.
Miss White said: "We also teach them in various other ways outside the classes, like, for example, we might do the register in the language they are learning at the time.
"It's gone down really well with the children and it's a joy to teach. You don't need to know the languages well to teach them. Many of the children have even given up their 'golden time', which is time they can use freely, to learn the languages and some find it their favourite subject."
So what do the children think?
"I really enjoy learning different cultures and it will be easier to learn languages when I go to secondary school.
"I like Japanese best because I like looking at the different symbols they use when they write."
"I think it's really good. If I go to another country I know how to talk to people. I just went on holiday to France a week ago and spoke French to a woman in the supermarket. It was difficult to understand what she was trying to say though, because she spoke in a different accent.
Spanish is my favourite."
"I like learning more about different cultures and it's given me an idea of what I will be doing in secondary school.
"My favourite languages are Spanish and French. My nan lives in Spain so I will be able to speak some Spanish in the shops when I go to visit her."
"I like French and Japanese the best. I'm really enjoying all of it and I like learning about the different cultures in each country.
"I've used some French when I was holiday and the French people seemed to be really impressed.