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Ideas for MLPS. Practical and creative suggestions to help motivate children and teachers Making language learning fun and engaging for everyone. My Background. Teaching English in primary schools in France Having bilingual children Teaching French in primary schools in Scotland

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Ideas for MLPS

  • Practical and creative suggestions to help motivate children and teachers

  • Making language learning fun and engaging for everyone

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My Background

  • Teaching English in primary schools in France

  • Having bilingual children

  • Teaching French in primary schools in Scotland

  • My experience has led to my continual search for creative ways to teach languages.

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Motivation is the key to success

  • Making the learning relevant is crucial

  • My strategy has been to plan topics around stories

  • CfE has been beneficial in giving me the freedom to create cross-curricular links in teaching languages

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Freedom can create issues

  • Where do I start?

  • What content should my lessons cover?

  • Research is time consuming

  • Issues of confidence: is it easier to follow a prescribed pack?

  • Issues of funding: will my school buy resources?

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Choosing the right stories

  • I will provide websites to give you a head start.

  • Choose stories which are simple and repetitive. This helps improve everyone’s confidence.

  • Active learning and use of the target language can be accomplished on a very simple level.

  • Games and songs to reinforce the language of the text. These give plenty of opportunities to use the target language simply.

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Get The Order Right



Word Recognition


Group, Pair, Individual

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Flashcard Games

  • comprehension- card above head, beat the teacher, corners

  • speaking- missing card

  • word recognition- matching word/image, putting words and images in order of story

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  • Many songs relating to stories available on websites e.g. youtube: ‘Nous-promenons dans les bois’ linked with ‘Je m’habille et je te croque’ by Bénédicte Guettier

  • Be inventive using simple well known tunes e.g. frère Jaques to compose songs with chosen vocabulary. (See film clip)

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Written Work

  • Printable resources available from various French websites designed for pre-5 and early primary stages in France

  • Creative writing: creating French speaking avatars using the Voki website

  • Writing simple stories using the Storybird website

  • Creating simple texts using Tesiboard literacy section.

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Literacy: Fairy Tales

  • Using familiar stories to create a focus on literacy

  • Good stories to begin with as children can follow and enjoy the stories because they know them

  • Repetition in the stories helps children look for patterns and notice differences and similarities between languages

  • Reading stories help children think about how their own language works and gives prominence to grammar

  • Versatile can be used on many levels

  • Plenty of free resources available on the internet

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Little Red Riding Hood

  • An example which I used in a recent ‘Traditional Tales’ Topic

  • Used a storyline approach

  • ‘Annette la Chouette’ was the main facilitator

  • For Little Red Riding Hood I used several versions of the story and puppets. We progressed towards the final outcome of a drama production for parents.

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Planning Little Red Riding Hood

  • Pros and cons of different versions of the story

  • Focus vocabulary depends on chosen version

  • Balance of nouns and verbs

  • Always remember the importance of constructing a sentence

  • Possibilities of other stories which link in with the main story (see resources after)

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Time and Energy

  • Make a range of resources to suit your needs and make the learning active.

  • Flashcards provide a great stimulus for a range of activities

  • Bingo cards and matching cards

  • Dice games (Nexus blank dice)

  • Worksheets from the internet or LJR and GSG Taskmagic generated sheets

  • Resources can be recycled in early years literacy and in future topics

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Final Outcome

  • Work towards exciting and creative summative assessments

  • Written work and recorded drama

  • Emphasis on oral production

  • Examples: a simple short story, a collaborative wall display, a play

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The Primary School is the perfect setting for interdisciplinary learning

  • Real opportunity to be creative with cross-curricular links.

  • Modern languages can be developed in every area of the curriculum.

  • Subjects which are active lend themselves to being delivered in the target language.

  • Non-specialists can deliver an elementary form of CLIL.

  • Plan topics which develop language through art, dance, drama.

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Examples of interdisciplinary learning interdisciplinary learning

Hungry caterpillar

  • Eating and food Vocabulary

  • Numeracy with caterpillar theme

  • Final outcome: Performance of story and French Café for parents

    Mardi Gras

  • Cultural and religious traditions

  • Cooking: following recipe and making crêpes

  • Dance

  • Final outcome: Animal Carnival parade and singing at Easter service

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Methodology interdisciplinary learningThe importance of learning approaches

To ensure the motivation and engagement of pupils

  • Collaborative learning

    Working in teams helps the children to social construct their learning e.g. Making a board game for ‘La Surprise de Handa’

  • Active learning

    Children learn naturally by actively engaging with a task e.g. participating in an action chant to learn the verbs used in ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’

  • Experiential learning

    Children should be given opportunities to live experiences in the target language.

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Le Goûter Français interdisciplinary learning

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La Surprise de Handa interdisciplinary learning

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French Websites for Pre-5 interdisciplinary learning

  • La Maternelle de Moustache

  • Des albums en maternelle

  • La Classe de Lilli

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Websites for teaching Languages through stories interdisciplinary learning


  • A fantastic collection of stories for different levels. Differentiation within the stories, games and worksheets. (subscription)


    Free resource: good collection of fairy tales and teaching notes


  • Free resource although you need to pay to print stories. Great site for writing simple stories with beautiful illustrations.


  • Good literacy resources which can be adapted for modern languages

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Websites for songs interdisciplinary learning

Now available in schools. This has fantastic resources for songs accompanied by animation.

Great collection of children’s songs from around the world

Good collection of French children’s songs

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Other useful resources interdisciplinary learning

  • To find suitable picture books the European bookshop and little linguist websites are good.

  • Amazon is also great but can be difficult to look for books if you don’t know what titles you want.

  • La Jolie Ronde CD-ROM ‘La Ronde des Histoires’ is good for printable resources for fairy tales (French/Spanish).

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Amusez-vous bien interdisciplinary learning