Foundation to Year 2 Band Description
The nature of the learner, the pathway and particular language
Languages studied in the Second Language Learner Pathway (L2) are typically languages used in spoken form as the language of everyday communication by whole communities across all generations.
The second language learner pathway has been written on the assumption that learning will occur off-Country involving students who are typically not from the language community and have little or no experience of the language and culture. They are introduced to learning the language at school as an additional, new language.
The language chosen for curriculum development should have a sizeable set of resources in a variety of media, such as local documentaries, bilingual narrative and descriptive texts, and educational materials in print and digital form. Learning is enriched and authenticated by interaction with visiting Elders and community speakers, and where possible visits to Country/Place. Information and communications technologies provide additional resources to support a range of language and culture experiences.
The curriculum content and achievement standards in the Second Language Learner Pathway are generalised in order to cater for the range of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages that may be learnt as a second language. The content descriptions, content elaborations and achievement standards for the Second Language Learner pathway will need to be adapted for use with the particular language being taught and will need to be modified if the program occurs on-Country or if the learners are from the language community.
Children enter the early years of schooling with established communication skills in one or more languages and varying degrees of early literacy acquisition. For young students at this level, learning typically focuses on the immediate world of their family, home, school, friends and local environment. They are learning how to socialise with new people, share with others, and participate in structured routines and activities at school.
Language learning and use
The language is learnt in parallel with English language and literacy development. Learning in the two languages progresses at very different levels but each supports and enriches the other.
The language is used in classroom interactions, routines and activities and is supported by the use of visual and concrete materials, gestures and body language. At this stage, there is a focus on play and imaginative activities, games, music, movement and familiar routines, which provide scaffolding and context for language development.
Oral language is developed through listening to the sounds, shapes and patterns of the language, through activities such as rhymes, songs, clapping and action games and through imitating and repeating sounds in aural texts as modelled by the teaching team, visiting Elders and community speakers.
Learners experiment with simple formulaic expressions and with one- or two-word responses and single-idea phrases to prompts and cues. As they progress to using language for interactions such as greetings, asking for help, talking about self, friends and family, or asking and answering questions, they notice that the language behaves differently in different situations and that speakers communicate in some ways that are different from their own. Creative play provides opportunities for exploring these differences and for using language for purposeful interaction.
Students learn about Country/Place and community by interacting with visiting Elders and community speakers when possible, and by engaging with stories and songs and other texts such as videos, maps and pictures. They learn about the concepts of kin and social groupings, and how these are symbolised in the natural environment.
Students learn to use appropriate respect terms and to demonstrate respectful and appropriate behaviour when interacting with Elders, community speakers and community texts.
Learners will recognise the same alphabet they are learning for writing English. They write by tracing and copying, forming letters legibly. They learn to read and write words and sentences independently using modelled language, for example, matching pictures with single words, labels and captions. The use of repetition and recycling in instruction helps children to identify high-frequency words and simple phrases and to recognise the purpose and intention of simple texts.
They begin to understand how the language works, to compare it with English and to understand its place in relation to regional and national language diversity.
Contexts of interaction
Across Foundation to Year 2, learning occurs largely through interaction with peers and the teaching team, supplemented by some access to visiting Elders and community speakers. Information and communications technologies (ICT) resources provide additional access to language and culture experience.
Texts and resources
Children engage with a variety of spoken, visual, written and digital texts, which are short, clearly structured and supported by visuals and paralinguistic devices, for example, tone of voice, facial expression, gesture, with much repetition and recycling of structures and vocabulary. They listen and respond to teacher talk, share ideas and join in with song, dance, story and rap, and various forms of play, performance, conversational exchanges and activities mediated by language. Print and digital texts include stories, shared Big Books, songs, visual designs, photos, videos, environmental maps and wall charts and teacher-generated materials such as games, flashcards and items from both the local community and the target language community.
Level of support
Learning is supported through the provision of experiences that are challenging but achievable with appropriate scaffolding and support. This involves modelling, monitoring and moderating by the teacher; provision of multiple and varied sources of input; opportunities for revisiting, recycling and reviewing learned language, and continuous cueing, feedback, response and encouragement.
The role of languages
Learners are encouraged to use the language being learnt whenever possible in class interactions and daily routines with the teaching team, visiting Elders and community speakers. Using English for explanation and discussion allows learners to talk about differences and similarities they notice between the language and their first language(s) and culture(s), to ask questions about language and culture, to consider how they feel when they hear or use the language and to talk about how they view different languages and the people who speak them. This introduction to the ‘meta’ dimension of intercultural learning develops the ability to consider different perspectives and ways of being as mediated by language.