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Context statement

The place of the French language and culture in Australia and in the world
French is a major world language, spoken as the first language in more than two dozen countries on five continents and as an official language in 33 countries.

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PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Languages - French are available as PDF documents. 
Languages - French: Sequence of content
Languages - French: Sequence of Achievement - F-10 Sequence
Languages - French: Sequence of …

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Years 3 and 4

Years 3 and 4 Band Description

The nature of the learners

At this level, children are developing awareness of their social worlds and of their memberships of various groups including of the French class. They are developing literacy capabilities in English, such as writing in the Roman alphabet, and this assists to some degree in learning French. They benefit from varied, activity-based learning that builds on their interests and capabilities and makes connections with other areas of learning.

French language learning and use

A balance between language knowledge and language use is established. Activities that focus on grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are integrated with purposeful, varied communicative activities. The development of oral proficiency at this stage continues to rely on rich language input. Learners engage in a lot of listening, developing active-listening and comprehension skills, using contextual, grammatical, phonic and non-verbal cues. The language they hear is authentic with modification, involving familiar vocabulary and simple structures. The balance between listening and speaking gradually shifts as learners are supported to use the language themselves in familiar contexts and situations. They exchange simple ideas and information, negotiate predictable activities and interactions, and participate in shared tasks, performance and play. They continue to build vocabulary that can be adapted for different purposes. They control simple grammatical forms with some accuracy to communicate in familiar contexts.

Contexts of interaction

The context in which students interact is primarily the language classroom and the school environment, with some sharing of their learning at home. They also have some access to wider communities of French speakers and resources through virtual and digital technology. The familiarity and routine dimension of the classroom context provide scaffolding and opportunities for language practice and experimentation.

Texts and resources

Learners develop literacy skills through interacting with a range of spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts. Imaginative and interactive texts such as picture books, stories, puppet play, songs and computer games introduce them to the expressive and cultural dimensions of French. Procedural, informative and descriptive texts, such as timetables, tuckshop orders or class profiles, show how language is used to organise, to describe and to ‘get things done’. Learners may have access to resources developed for children in France, such as television programs, advertisements or web pages, as a way of developing cultural knowledge.

Features of French language use

Learning French contributes to the process of making sense of the children’s worlds that characterises this stage of development. As they encounter French language and culture they understand that French and English have many similarities and also some interesting differences. They notice features of French communication such as the use of gestures, facial expressions, intonation patterns and polite forms of address. They make comparisons with their own ways of communicating. This leads them to think about identity and difference and about what it means to speak more than one language.

Level of support

This stage of learning involves extensive support. This is primarily provided by the teacher, who provides instruction, explanations, examples, repetition, reinforcement and feedback. Tasks and activities are carefully scaffolded and resourced. Time is allowed for experimentation, drafting and redrafting. Learners are supported to self-monitor and reflect on their learning.

The role of English

Learners are supported to use French as much as possible for classroom routines, social interactions, structured learning tasks, and language experimentation and practice. English is used for discussion, explanation and reflection, enabling learners to develop a language for sharing ideas about language and culture systems. It enables them to ask questions to support their learning and to reflect on the experience of moving between languages and cultures. Using both French and English in the classroom develops a sense of what it means to be bilingual.


Years 3 and 4 Content Descriptions

Socialising

Participate in routine exchanges such as asking each other how they are, offering wishes and sharing information about aspects of their personal worlds

[Key concepts: communication, politeness, friendship; Key processes: interacting, listening, questioning, responding] (ACLFRC019 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • exchanging greetings in different contexts, for example, Bonjour, Madame Patou, comment allez-vous? Salut, Nicole, ça va? Pas mal, et toi?
  • offering wishes for particular occasions, situations or times of day, for example, Bonne nuit, Papa! Bonjour, Messieurs; Bonne fête, Hafiz! A demain, Mademoiselle; A bientȏt! Bonne année! Bon courage!
  • exchanging information about self, family, friends or interests, building vocabulary, using simple statements and cohesive devices such as the conjunctions et, mais and ou, and experimenting with gestures (for example, shrugging, thumb/fingers gesture for l’argent), intonation and expression, for example, J’ai deux soeurs et j’ai un frère; j’aime les sports et les voyages — mais j’adore la musique!
  • using common responses to frequently asked questions or comments (for example, très bien, voilà, oui, bien sûr, d’accord), imitating modelled intonation and stress patterns
  • asking and answering questions relating to concepts such as time, place or number, including days of the week, months and seasons, for example, Ça fait combien? Ça fait cinq; Quelle heure est-il? Il est dix heures; Aujourd’hui c’est vendredi? Non, c’est jeudi; En hiver il fait très froid
  • exchanging simple correspondence such as notes, invitations or birthday cards in print or digital form
Make statements, ask questions and collaborate in shared tasks such as science experiments, cooking or craft activities, building collections or swapping items

[Key concepts: collaboration, creativity, discovery; Key processes: contributing, collecting, exchanging] (ACLFRC020 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • making simple recipes such as crêpes or croques monsieur, using imperative verb forms (ajoutez, mélangez, versez, servez) and vocabulary for ingredients and quantities (la farine, le beurre, le lait, 100 grammes, un verre de...)
  • creating own instructional or procedural tasks such as making a model or designing treasure hunts, for example, Où se cache le trésor?
  • playing games that involve active listening, memory or information exchange, for example, Jacques a dit, Jeu de 7 familles, Loto
  • working together in collaborative tasks such as designing a poster for a specific event, composing a menu or creating a picture book, sharing decisions about content, vocabulary and design, for example, ceci ou cela? qu’est-ce que tu préfères? là ou là? petit ou grand?
  • swapping or borrowing from each other’s language resources such as word lists to complete shared learning tasks, for example, building an action wall or making adjective-snake-sentences (le chien est: petit, noir, fatigué, triste; Maman est: grande, mince, belle, gentille)
Follow the teacher’s instructions and use simple questions, statements and gestures to support own learning, such as asking for help or permission or attracting attention

[Key concepts: learning strategies, support; Key processes: requesting, clarifying, responding] (ACLFRC021 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • responding to instructions such as Encore une fois; montre-moi; chantez plus fort; regarde les photos, écoutez, écrivez/tapez la phrase
  • requesting help or clarification, for example, Je ne comprends pas; répétez s’il vous plaȋt; j’ai une question…
  • negotiating turns (for example, C’est à toi? Non, c’est à moi), and praising and evaluating each other, for example, Super! Pas mal. Bon travail! Excellent! Bravo!
  • developing and displaying classroom rules and routines, deciding on priorities such as le respect, la politesse and la co-opération
  • using appropriate language to ask for help or to attract attention, for example, Monsieur, s’il vous plaȋt! Je ne comprends pas
  • rehearsing words, phrases or interjections which can be used as ‘hooks’ or fillers in conversation, such as ah bon … voilà…eh bien…alors

Informing

Locate specific points of information in different types of texts relating to social and natural worlds

[Key concepts: community, family, friends, environment; Key processes: focused reading, information selection and organisation] (ACLFRC022 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • collecting information about different animal species (for example, les insectes, les animaux domestiques/sauvages), and creating a display with names and appropriate adjectives, for example, la fourmi — minuscule; le lion — féroce
  • listening to short spoken texts with some unfamiliar language, identifying points of information, for example, the name and number on a recorded phone message, the age of a child interviewed, some items on a recorded shopping list
  • locating information relating to school activities in a French context (for example, l’emploi du temps, la lecture, l’orthographe, le vocabulaire, les mathématiques) and comparing with own daily schedule
  • ‘finding French’ at home or in the community to create collections or displays, for example, French words used in English language advertisements, shop signs, recipe books or menus
Present factual information about self, others, and home and school life, using graphic support such as photos, maps or charts

[Key concepts: home, school, information; Key processes: selecting, presenting, comparing] (ACLFRC023 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • using simple descriptive language and supporting resources to introduce family members and friends, identifying relationships (c’est mon cousin/ma sœur/ma grand-mère/mon copain) and cultural backgrounds (il est chinois/espagnol/australien)
  • collecting information about each other’s likes, dislikes or interests, using checklists, surveys or question cues such as combien de…? à quelle heure…? to create a class profile, chart or database, for example, les sports préférés, les plats de choix
  • presenting information on events or topics of possible interest to French children of their own age (for example, les fêtes d’anniversaire, les vacances or les copains), using multimodal resources and realia support and building vocabulary to describe actions and feelings
  • creating a class book or digital display about topics they have been studying in French and/or other curriculum areas, for example, les animaux sauvages au zoo/dans la nature

Creating

Participate in interactive stories and performances, acting out responses, identifying favourite elements, and making simple statements about characters or themes

[Key concepts: response, action, expression; Key processes: participating, imagining, interpreting] (ACLFRC024 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • interacting with characters in stories, songs or cartoons such as Samsam or Titou, for example, by writing invitations, paying simple compliments (Viens chez moi! J’adore ton chapeau!) or preparing questions for an interview (Tu as quel ȃge? Est-ce que tu aimes le fromage?)
  • viewing excerpts from imaginative texts such as Ratatouille, listening for key words and phrases, picking up cultural cues, and choosing vocabulary to describe key characters, for example, Rémi: un rat, gastronome, chef, intélligent; Emil: un rat, le frère, gros, gourmand; Linguini: jeune home, timide, maladroit, bête
  • collecting and using favourite exclamations, words or expressions from different imaginative and expressive texts, for example, Terrrrible! Ça y est! Pas vrai!
  • reading simple narratives and responding to images that evoke positive or negative emotions such as affection, sadness or anger, and making connections with their own experiences by using stem statements such as Je suis folle quand…; Je suis contente si…; J’ai peur de…
Create short imaginative texts that allow for exploration and enjoyment of language

[Key concepts: fantasy, imagination; Key processes: experimenting, playing, creating, performing] (ACLFRC025 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • creating short imaginative texts designed to amuse or entertain, such as fantasy stories featuring imaginary creatures with names created out of two or more real animal names, for example, le chevaloon, le lapinat, les moutaches
  • producing and presenting picture/digital books or short scripted plays or animations that use favourite French words and expressions to build rhythm or rhyme
  • creating and performing alternative versions of stories or action songs, using voice, rhythm and gestures to animate characters, or using support materials such as drawings or story maps to create visual context

Translating

Translate high-frequency words and expressions in simple texts such as captions, story titles or recurring lines in a story, noticing which ones are difficult to interpret

[Key concepts: translation, meaning, culture; Key processes: noticing, explaining, comparing] (ACLFRC026 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • identifying and comparing key words in French and English versions of favourite stories (for example, La chenille qui fait des trous and The Very Hungry Caterpillar; La vieille dame qui avala une mouche and The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly), and comparing rhythms and vocal effects in the two versions
  • playing matching-pair games with French and English word cards, for example, Le Calendrier, matching words in both languages for days of the week, months and seasons
  • collecting and using French words and expressions which do not translate easily into English (for example, bon appétit, bon voyage, voilà!) and French words used by English speakers, for example, ‘café’, ‘éclair’, ‘mousse’, ‘chic’
  • finding English words in French texts (for example, l’Internet, le sandwich), and considering how French speakers might pronounce the English words and why they are not translated
Create bilingual versions of texts such as picture dictionaries, action games or captions for images

[Key concepts: translation, meaning; Key processes: selecting, code-mixing, explaining] (ACLFRC027 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • participating in Circle Time sessions, helping each other to use as many French words and expressions as possible
  • creating bilingual picture dictionaries, using colour-coded captions to identify words that are identical, similar or different
  • creating captions for images in simple bilingual storybooks modelled on texts such as Oops and Ohlala (A la plage, Vive l’école!)
  • alternating between French and English versions of games such as Un…deux...trois…soleil and What time is it, Mister Wolf? or Caillou, papier, ciseaux and Rock, paper, scissors
  • creating bilingual texts for the classroom or school community (for example, posters, library displays or online newsletter items), and discussing how to represent meaning in different languages for different audiences

Reflecting

Notice what looks or feels similar or different to own language and culture when interacting in French

[Key concepts: communication, difference, respect; Key processes: noticing, comparing, reflecting] (ACLFRC028 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • identifying elements of French language that feel most different to their own usual ways, including pronunciation of some sounds, gestures such as la bise, or facial expressions, and describing to each other what they are confident in doing in French, what they feel unsure of and what they most enjoy
  • talking about how it feels to use a different language
  • experimenting with respectful gestures and forms of communication, such as shaking hands or using titles such as Madame and Monsieur
Explore their own sense of identity, including elements such as family, friends and interests, and ways of using language with different people

[Key concepts: identity, friends, groups; Key processes: noticing, describing, identifying] (ACLFRC029 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • using simple words and expressions selected from word banks and modelled statements to create personal profiles, highlighting key characteristics and features, for example, je suis australien et grec, je suis sportif, je suis courageuse, je parle anglais et grec, j’ai beaucoup de cousins
  • noticing how they communicate with each other, their families, teachers and other adults, identifying differences in behaviour and language and explaining reasons for these
  • talking about identity and language use, and creating visual representations of their own memberships of families, friendship groups and communities, for example, ma famille, mon équipe, ma classe
  • reflecting on the experience of becoming bilingual (or in the case of some learners plurilingual), considering what advantages this brings and whether it impacts on identity

Systems of language

Experiment with the pronunciation of vowel sounds, letter combinations and intonation patterns, and recognise and write high-frequency words and expressions in familiar contexts

[Key concepts: pronunciation, accent, spelling, writing; Key processes: alphabetic recognition, discriminating sounds, recognising words] (ACLFRU030 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • creating an alphabet bank, collecting words that begin with each letter, for example, H: l’hiver, l’homme, l’hôtel; M: mai, mardi, le mouchoir; P: le pain, Papa, le poisson
  • recognising and practising the most common vowel sounds, such as ou (vous, jour), oi (toi, voiture), on (bonbon, mon), ai (aimer, j’ai), ain (train, demain) and eau (chȃteau, beau)
  • observing differences in pronunciation of word endings shared with English such as -tion and -ent, for example, attention, situation, commencement, accident
  • understanding that some letters blend to make single sounds (such as -ille, -eau or qu-), that some final consonants in French words are usually silent (for example, le rat, le tapis, vert, chez) and some are usually pronounced (for example, chic, actif)
Notice and apply elements of French grammar such as word order, gender and singular/plural forms, adverbs, pronouns and prepositions in simple spoken and written texts

[Key concepts: sentence, gender, number; Key processes: recognising, applying, naming] (ACLFRU031 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • developing a metalanguage in French for talking about language, using terms similar to those used in English, such as le verbe, l’adjectif, l’adverbe, la conjonction and le vocabulaire
  • observing the relationship between subject pronouns and verb endings, using je/tu/il/elle + present tense of verbs associated with familiar actions and environments, for example, il chante bien, je suis fatigué, tu aimes le yaourt, elle est en classe
  • expressing negation in simple sentence structures and colloquial expressions, for example, je ne sais pas; elle ne mange pas; tu ne viens pas? Pas du tout!
  • understanding the difference between definite and indefinite articles, and how to refer to a specific or unspecific person, place or object, for example, tu manges la pomme, j’achète un livre, une vȃche énorme, le climat français
  • understanding the function of verb moods, recognising and knowing how to use statements, simple questions and imperatives, for example, Tu peux commencer; je peux commencer? Commence!
  • using an increasing range of adjectives (for example, bizarre, magnifique, formidable), including additional gender forms, for example, blanc/blanche, gros/grosse
  • using some adverbs to elaborate on simple verb statements, for example, elle mange lentement, je chante doucement, il parle très vite
  • using additional prepositions to indicate direction or location, for example, à gauche, à droite, à côté de
  • strengthening vocabulary knowledge by making connections with known words (for example, triste, la tristesse; le marché, le supermarché, le marchand), recognising word patterns and building word clusters, for example, number knowledge to 60+, words associated with food, family members or sports
Notice differences between simple spoken, written and multimodal French texts used in familiar contexts, and compare with similar texts in English.

[Key concepts: mode, medium, language features; Key processes: noticing, comparing, describing, explaining] (ACLFRU032 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • noticing and applying features of familiar types of texts such as greetings, requests, weather reports or recipes through activities such as ‘genre-swapping’; that is, transferring features associated with one genre to a different one, for example, greetings that sound like announcements (Attention, Madame, comment-allez vous!) or weather reports that read like recipes (Un litre de pluie, six nuages…)
  • recognising how different textual elements combine to make meaning (for example, the images, font and script of a web page; the layout, title and illustrations in a picture book; the highlighting of names, dates and times on an invitation), and copying and creating templates to store as learning resources
  • analysing features of simple spoken and written texts in French, such as a verbal greeting or a written postcard (noting, for example, the sequencing of the message, terms of address and ways of signing off), and comparing with similar texts in English

Language variation and change

Understand that different ways of using French reflect different regions and countries, different relationships and different ways of making meaning

[Key concepts: variation, register, tenor; Key processes: observing, explaining] (ACLFRU033 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • recognising that there are many different varieties of French spoken in different countries and regions, involving different accents, dialects and vocabulary, for example, un pain au chocolat/une chocolatine in the south of France
  • reflecting on how they communicate with their own family and friends and with people less close to them, noticing differences in language use and communicative behaviour
  • understanding how changes in voice and body language can change the meaning of words, for example, Tu aimes les devoirs? (simple question) versus Tu aimes les devoirs? (expressing surprise, disbelief); C’est mon petit frère (statement) versus C’est mon petit frère! (pride)
  • finding examples of shortened noun forms in colloquial French (such as le resto, le frigo, le foot, le prof), comparing with the use of abbreviations in Australian English (such as ‘brekkie’, ‘ambo’ and ‘arvo’), and considering when or how they are used
Understand that languages change over time and influence each other, and that French has influenced many languages, including English

[Key concepts: influence, change, exchange; Key processes: identifying, classifying, interpreting] (ACLFRU034 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • considering differences in how groups of people communicate, such as younger or older people, girls and boys, and how new words and expressions are constantly being invented or borrowed from other languages
  • collecting French words used in English (for example, le restaurant, le café, le chauffeur, le ballet, le croissant), and comparing how they are pronounced by French and English speakers
  • discovering some of the English words used by French speakers (for example, le coach, le blog, l’Internet, le football, le corner, le burger, le denim), and considering if they are the same kinds of words as those borrowed from French into English
  • exploring how languages mix with each other to invent new words or expressions, for example, le franglais, le texto
  • ‘finding French’ at home or in the community to create a class collection or display, for example, French products, labels or words used in English language advertisements, shop signs, recipe books or menus
Know that French is an important global language used by communities in many countries around the world and that it has connections with several other languages

[Key concepts: global language, culture, identity, communication; Key processes: collecting data, mapping, grouping] (ACLFRU035 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • knowing that French is spoken in many regions of the world (for example, le Québec, le Sénégal, le Maroc, la Suisse, le Monaco, la Nouvelle Calédonie), with different accents and dialects
  • understanding that French has close connections to other languages which have shared histories and many similar words, for example, English, French, Italian and Spanish (‘the bank’, la banque, la banca, el banco; ‘art’, l’art, l’arte, el arte)
  • identifying ways in which French language and culture influence the lives of Australians

Role of language and culture

Notice differences between French, Australian and other cultures’ practices and how these are reflected in language

[Key concepts: culture as process and practice, beliefs, values; Key processes: identifying, describing, discussing] (ACLFRU036 - Scootle )

  • Literacy
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • identifying cultural symbols such as art forms, flags, national dishes or sporting emblems associated with different francophone countries and regions (for example, le tricolore in France, le Fleurdelisé in Québec, le Kanak in la Nouvelle Calédonie), and comparing with different Australian cultural expressions and symbols, for example, flags, sporting logos, national celebrations, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • understanding that language carries information about the people who use it and that common expressions often reflect cultural values, for example, French terms of affection used with children often relate to either food or animals (mon petit chou, mon lapin)
  • exploring how and why some languages have more words related to particular things than other languages do, for example, Australian-English words associated with surfing (‘bomb’, ‘barrel’, ‘tube’, ‘snaking’), or French words for different kinds of breads and cakes (une baguette, une ficelle, une religieuse, un mille-feuille)
  • learning how to talk about culture and language, using terms such as ‘meaning’, ‘difference’ and ‘behaviour’, and thinking about values, ideas and traditions which sit inside language, for example, responding to prompts such as: What does it mean when…? What is the difference between…? Why do you think that people…?

Years 3 and 4 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 4, students interact with teachers and each other through classroom routines, action-related talk and play. They exchange greetings and wishes, respond to familiar instructions and to questions such as Qu’est-ce que c’est? and Qu’est-ce que tu fais? They share simple ideas and information, express positive and negative feelings (for example, Je suis très contente; Je n’aime pas la pluie) and ask for help, clarification and permission. They interpret visual, non-verbal and contextual cues such as intonation, gestures and facial expressions to help make meaning. They make statements using the present tense and present + infinitive form about self, family and interests (for example, Je suis australien et italien; J’habite à Brisbane; Je vais partir demain). They approximate the sounds, rhythms and pitch of spoken French. They comprehend simple, spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts, using cues such as context, graphics, familiar vocabulary and language features. They use modelled sentence structures to compose short original texts such as descriptions, captions or simple narratives, using conjunctions such as et and mais, and prepositions such as sous, sur and devant. They use vocabulary related to familiar contexts and their personal worlds, and apply gender and number agreements in simple constructions (for example, une petite maison, les grands chiens).

Students know that French is a significant language spoken in many parts of the world, including Australia; that it is similar to English in some ways (for example, it has the same alphabet and basic sentence structure and many shared words) and different in other ways (such as in the use of titles, gestures, some new sounds such as r and u and gender forms). They know that languages change over time and influence each other. They identify French words used in English (such as menu, mousse) and English words used in French (such as le weekend, stop!). They demonstrate understanding of the fact that language may need to be adjusted to suit different situations and relationships (for example, formal and informal language, different text types). They explain how French has its own rules for pronunciation, non-verbal communication and grammar. They use terms such as verb, adjective and gender for talking about language and learning. Students identify ways in which languages are connected with cultures, and how the French language, like their own, reflects ways of behaving and thinking as well as ways of using language.


Years 3 and 4 Work Sample Portfolios