I was delighted to be invited a few months ago to run a Gifted and Talented event for selected Key Stage 3 students in a local school, Chulmleigh Community College. All of the students learn only French and the Head of Department was keen to get them reflecting on HOW they learn and how they can begin to take more responsibility for their own learning, thus allowing them to become more independent moving forward.
And so we decided to teach them some Spanish. I needed very little persuasion with this, as those of you who know me won't be surprised to hear.
However, I also wanted to learn from the fantastic Alex Blagona, who I consider to be the King of Gifted and Talented, having run numerous sessions over the years in Suffolk to really stretch his learners. He advised that we just give students some language and allow them to mould it into something productive- he recommended to create a campaign on cyberbullying.
I took that concept and ran with it, but wanted to get students reflecting on the nature of how a language fits together and how you can take responsiblity for progressing your own knowledge base.
So we looked at...
- language patterns, in particular standard suffixes
- memory skills
- developing accuracy
- logic and deduction
- reworking language into personalised sentences
- risk taking and redrafting
All of which, in my eyes, help to make fantastic language learners.
Now, and I might be doing myself out of future gainful employment, but I've spoken up about sharing recently, so I'm going to stick to that. Please find the resources that I used below- I hope they help!