Foundation to Year 2 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Children enter the early years of schooling with varying degrees of early literacy capability in Arabic and/or English. For young students, learning typically focuses on their immediate world of family, home, school, friends and neighbourhood. They are learning how to socialise with new people in settings outside the home, share with others, and participate in structured routines and activities at school.
Arabic language learning and use
Arabic is learnt in parallel with English language and literacy. While the learning of Arabic differs from the learning of English, each supports and enriches the other. Arabic is used at home and in familiar Arabic-speaking settings, and in classroom interactions, routines and activities, supported by the use of materials and resources, gestures and body language. At this stage, there is a focus on play, imaginative activities, games, music, dance and familiar routines, which provide scaffolding for language development. Repetition and consolidation help learners to identify familiar and new words and simple phrases, and to recognise the purpose of simple texts. Learners use Arabic for functions such as greeting (مرحبا؛ صباح الخير), sharing information ( هذه أختي لينا؛ عمري ست سنوات ), responding to instructions ( نعم؛ أنا هنا؛ حاضر ), and taking turns in games and simple shared tasks. The transition from spoken to written language is scaffolded via shared exploration of simple texts and language features. Learners use a variety of cues, including images, context and frequently used word patterns, to comprehend texts and communicate.
Contexts of interaction
The primary contexts for interaction in Arabic are the immediate environment of home and the classroom. Learners use Arabic to interact with each other and the teacher within the learning environment at school and with immediate family members at home. The use of information and communications technologies (ICT) enriches the learning of Arabic language and culture by providing alternative experiences, a range of resources, and opportunities to access authentic language in different contexts.
Texts and resources
Learners engage with a variety of spoken, written and visual texts, such as children’s songs and nursery rhymes, stories from Big Books and interactive resources. Writing skills progress from identifying the alphabet to tracing, labelling and copying letters, and then to constructing simple, short texts using familiar vocabulary.
Features of Arabic language use
Learners become familiar with how the sounds of the Arabic language are represented in letters and words. They practise pronunciation and intonation through activities such as reciting rhymes and poems and singing songs, and experiment with sounds, short and long vowels, phonemes, words, simple phrases and sentences relating to pictures, objects and actions, for example, طاولة صغيرة . They learn to recognise the letters of the Arabic alphabet, including new sounds, for example,خ؛ ع؛غ؛ ق؛ ص؛ ض؛ ط؛ ظ , and the way letters are joined to make words, for example, طار؛ طير؛ ذهب, and make comparisons with the English alphabet. They write letters, words and simple sentences using familiar vocabulary, prelearnt language features and structures, and formulaic expressions, for example, كان يا ما كان. They begin to recognise how language use changes according to the speakers and context.
Level of support
The classroom is a new context of communication where learners rely on the teacher to assist their learning. Learning experiences are supported by the teacher through scaffolding, modelling, cueing, monitoring, feedback and encouragement. Multiple and varied sources of input and stimulus are used, including visual cues, such as the use of gestures, and resources, for example, bilingual Big Books and picture books, subtitled cartoons and video programs, and realia, objects, maps and charts.
The role of English
Arabic is used as the medium for class interaction and to demonstrate and model new language acquisition. English may be used to explain features of language and aspects of culture. Both English and Arabic may be used when learners are communicating about similarities and differences between Arabic and other languages and cultures and reflecting on how they talk and behave in Arabic-speaking and English-speaking contexts.