Years 7 and 8 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Students who enter the background language learner pathway in Arabic in Year 7 may have strong connections to Arabic language and culture through family and community and varying degrees of oracy in Arabic. Their textual knowledge developed through English literacy supports the development of literacy in Arabic. Skills in analysing, comparing and reflecting on language and culture in both languages are mutually supportive.
Arabic language learning and use
Learners use modelled and rehearsed language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and increasingly generate original and personal language. They interact in class routines and activities, expressing their ideas and feelings ( أحب جدي كثيراَ), exchanging opinions ( هذا الواجب صعب؛ الإمتحان طويل) and managing shared tasks (أولا؛ نختار أفراد الفريق؛ ثانيا نوزع الأدوار). They listen to, read and view a range of texts and create spoken and written texts to present ideas and information to a variety of audiences in different contexts. Learners work both collaboratively and independently, exploring different modes and genres of communication with particular reference to their current social, cultural and communicative interests. They explore and discuss themes, characters and events in Arabic folk tales, fables and films, and plan, draft and present imaginative texts, such as stories, plays, cartoons and comics. They make cross-curricular connections and explore intercultural perspectives and experiences through interaction with an increasing range of Arabic speakers.
Contexts of interaction
Learners come to the classroom understanding and using Arabic within the world of their experience, which is likely to be the home and community domains. At this level, possible contexts of interaction could include the world of learning, for example, discussing the shift from primary to secondary school, the concepts of home and friendship, family, shared events and leisure activities. Learners contextualise and use their background language and culture as much as possible while socialising and exchanging information. They pool language knowledge and resources to plan, problem-solve, monitor and reflect. This will not necessarily be characterised by the fluent use of Arabic, but rather by the way they use their background knowledge of Arabic language and culture in communication. Interactions are authentic in relating to the world of teenage experience, and performance based. Additional opportunities for interaction are provided through purposeful and integrated use of information and communications technologies (ICT), for example, videoconferencing and online activities such as e-learning.
Texts and resources
Learners work with a range of texts designed for language learning, such as textbooks, audio recordings, teacher-generated materials and online resources. They also use authentic materials such as blogs, newsletters, advertisements, magazines, video clips and apps. Their knowledge is extended through exploration of Arabic texts on the internet, and audiovisual materials, cultural performances, and community events and activities, such as the Arabic Film Festival. As background language learners, they are also likely to engage with bilingual, subtitled and captioned texts.
Features of Arabic language use
Learners understand and use features of the Arabic sound and writing systems, and make connections between spoken and written texts. They use appropriate pronunciation and intonation when communicating and interacting in a range of contexts, and apply spelling rules when writing in Arabic script. They explore Arabic syntax and linguistic structures and begin to use metalanguage by identifying grammatical terms. They apply elements of Arabic grammar to the production of texts, such as articles, nouns, adjectives, personal pronouns, verb tenses, conjunctions, adverbs, statements, negation and questions, to describe people, actions and events ( أستيقظ في الصباح), discuss preferences ( أحب طعام أمي؛ لا أحب الأكل السريع), expand on expression ( في الطريق إلى المدرسة ), and link ideas and information ( أو؛ أيضا؛ كذلك). They understand ways in which the English language works as a system and how English is similar to and different from Arabic. They discuss the influence of other languages and cultures on Arabic language, and recognise variations in language use across Arabic-speaking countries, regions and communities. They make connections between texts and cultural contexts, identifying how cultural values and perspectives are embedded in language and how language choices determine ways in which people, issues and circumstances are represented.
Level of support
Learners have varying degrees of Arabic oracy and literacy competence and are supported through multilevel and differentiated tasks. Support includes scaffolding, modelling and monitoring, explicit instruction and feedback, structured activities for practising new language, and the use of gesture and movement. Students are supported to develop autonomy as language learners and users, and to self-monitor and adjust their language use in response to their experience in diverse contexts. Opportunities to review and consolidate are an important component of learning at this level.
The role of English
Arabic is the main language of instruction and interaction. Arabic and English may be used when discussing concepts, functions and structures relating to language use, and when exchanging and comparing experiences in learning Arabic and English. English may be used for conceptually demanding explanations and discussions, particularly when making connections between Arabic and other languages and cultures and discussing how language and culture connect to make meaning. Learners are encouraged to reflect on how they interact in Arabic and English, and on their own sense of identity from a bilingual perspective.