Years 5 and 6 Band Description
The nature of the learners
At this level, students are expanding their social networks, experiences and communication repertoire in both their first language and German. They continue to need guidance and participate in structured, collaborative tasks that both recycle and extend language. They are gaining greater independence and becoming more conscious of their peers and social context, and of the world around them. They are noticing additional similarities and differences between German language and culture and their own.
German language learning and use
Learners use German with one another and the teacher for an increasing range of purposes: exchanging information, expressing ideas and feelings, and functioning within a German learning environment. They are able to work increasingly independently, but enjoy working collaboratively as well as competing with one another. Learners’ ability to communicate within familiar contexts is developing in terms of fluency and accuracy. Their pronunciation, intonation and phrasing are more confident, and they control and access wider vocabulary resources and use an increasing range of strategies to negotiate meaning. Shared tasks develop social, cognitive and language skills, and provide a context for purposeful language experience and experimentation. Focused attention to language structures and systems, literacy skills development, and exploration of cultural elements of communication are conducted at least in part in German. Learners use digital technologies to support their learning in increasingly independent and intentional ways, such as exchanging resources and information with one another and with young people of the same age in German-speaking communities, accessing music and media resources, maintaining blogs and other web pages, creating presentations, and participating in social networks.
Oracy development at this level includes active listening to a range of input from different sources and building more elaborated conversational and interactional skills. This involves turn-taking, ‘reading’ language for cultural and contextual meaning, building on others’ contributions, and making appropriate responses and adjustments. Learners begin to engage in debate and discussion. Individual and group oral presentation and performance skills are developed through researching and organising information; structuring, rehearsing and resourcing the content of presentations; and selecting appropriate language to engage particular audiences.
Contexts of interaction
The contexts in which learners interact in learning and using German are sometimes extended beyond the classroom, school, home and community as they have some access to German speakers and cultural resources in wider contexts and communities such as through the use of digital technologies.
Texts and resources
Literacy development involves increasingly independent engagement with a wider range of texts. Learners use a range of cues and decoding strategies to assist comprehension. They make connections between ideas, contexts and language within and between texts. Learners are able to provide simple summaries of and responses to texts. They begin to produce clearly structured original texts for different audiences and purposes. With support they are able to edit their own written work for common grammatical and orthographic errors.
Features of German language use
Learners increase their range of German vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar and textual knowledge. They use present tense forms of regular
and irregular verbs, including some modal verbs and common separable verbs, and use plural forms of nouns and possessive adjectives. They add detail and expand simple sentences by using adverbs, phrases and some conjunctions. They move between statement, question and imperative forms and use simple negative constructions. They develop metalanguage to comment on grammar and vocabulary. As they use German to interact in different situations and to engage with different resources, learners develop an understanding of how language and culture influence each other. They learn to recognise how language features and expressions reflect cultural values and experiences, for example, language variation relating to age, gender, and relationship between participants, and how grammatical forms or vocabulary choices can affect the ‘meaning’ that is made, for example, using informal or formal forms of address, or using adjectives expressing approval or disapproval. This leads to considering their own ways of communicating and using language, and to thinking about the construction of personal identity and the notion of multiple identities.
Level of support
While learners work more independently at this level, ongoing and systematic scaffolding, feedback and review support the interactive process of learning. Modelling and scaffolding are incorporated into task activity. Support materials include models, stimulus materials, and resources such as word charts, vocabulary lists, dictionaries and electronic reference resources.
The role of English
While the use of German in the classroom increases at this level, the use of English for discussion, reflection and explanation ensures the continued development of learners’ awareness of the nature and function of language generally as well as of their own emerging intercultural capability. Using both German and English in the classroom develops a sense of what it means to be bilingual.