Foundation to Year 2 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Children enter the early years of schooling with established oracy skills in one or more languages and varying degrees of early literacy capability. 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, share with others and participate in structured routines and activities at school. Typically they have little to no experience of German language and culture.
German language learning and use
At this stage, games, music, movement, familiar routines, and imaginative activities such as role-plays provide essential scaffolding and relevant contexts for language development. Learners engage with the sounds, shapes and patterns of German through activities such as rhymes, songs, clapping and action games. They identify and use simple formulaic expressions, one- or two-word responses to prompts and cues, and non-verbal German communication strategies. They learn to write by tracing and copying, forming letters legibly. They learn to write words and simple sentences independently using modelled language, for example, by matching pictures with single words, labels or captions.
Contexts of interaction
The primary context of interaction is the language classroom, as learners interact with the teacher and with one another. Their use of German relates primarily to classroom routines and activities, draws on curiosity about the world around them, and engages their interest in play, movement and games.
Texts and resources
Learners engage with a variety of spoken, written and digital texts. They listen and respond to teacher talk, share ideas, and join in stories, songs, play and simple conversations. Physical, virtual and digital resources provide access to additional German language and cultural interactions, connecting learners’ social worlds with those of their peers in other German-speaking contexts.
Features of German language use
Learners become familiar with the sounds and rhythms of German, approximating the pronunciation and phrasing of single words and short phrases, including distinctive sounds such as ch, r, th, u and z, and diphthongs such as au, ei, eu and ie. They use simple basic sentence structures and familiar vocabulary for everyday functions such as greetings, asking and answering questions, responding to instructions, and participating in games, performances and simple shared tasks. They learn to write single words and simple phrases, noticing the use of the Eszett and how an Umlaut changes the sound of vowels. They notice similarities and differences between German and English. They use modelled language to produce their own short texts and to interact. They begin to notice that language behaves differently in different situations and that German speakers communicate in some ways that are different from their own. As they communicate about differences and similarities, they begin to understand that they are part of a connected world. This introduction to the reflective dimension of intercultural language learning begins to develop an understanding of culture.
Level of support
Support is provided through visual and tactile materials such as pictures, realia, objects and charts, and through the use of gesture and movement. The teacher provides prompts, cues, and opportunities for repetition and recycling to help learners identify and remember frequently used words and simple phrases. Learners rely on modelled language, scaffolded tasks, feedback and encouragement to build their language capability.
The role of English
Learners are encouraged to use German whenever possible, particularly when engaging in classroom interactions and routines. The teacher uses German as much as possible for instruction. English is used for explanation and discussion, allowing learners to communicate about differences and similarities they notice between German and their own language(s), to ask questions about language and culture, and to consider their experience of learning German.