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 the Italian class. They are developing literacy capabilities in English, such as writing in the Roman alphabet, which assists to some degree in learning Italian. They benefit from varied, activity-based learning that builds on their interests and capabilities and makes connections with other areas of learning.
Italian language learning and use
The development of oral proficiency requires rich language input in different modes and from different sources. Children develop active listening skills and respond through action-related talk. They strengthen their comprehension skills, using contextual and grammatical cues as well as phonic and non-verbal cues. The language they encounter is authentic, with modification when necessary, involving familiar vocabulary and simple structures. Children are supported to use the language themselves in familiar contexts and situations, such as exchanging simple ideas and information, negotiating predictable activities and interactions, and participating in shared tasks, performance and play. They continue to build vocabulary which can be adapted for different purposes, and to control simple grammatical forms to communicate in familiar contexts.
Contexts of interaction
The contexts in which learners interact in using and learning Italian are primarily local: the classroom, school, home and community, with some access to wider communities of Italian speakers and resources through virtual and digital technologies.
Texts and resources
Children develop literacy skills and textual knowledge through supported interaction with a range of spoken, written, visual and multimodal texts. Imaginative and interactive texts (such as picture books, stories, puppet plays, songs and games) engage the expressive and cultural dimensions of language. Procedural, informational and descriptive texts (such as negotiated classroom rules, planned activities, and family and class profiles) encourage students to use language to ‘get things done’.
Features of Italian language use
Students experiment with pronunciation and intonation in Italian, noticing similarities and differences with other familiar languages. They focus on structures and grammatical rules such as those relating to the use of possessive pronouns, prepositions and negation. They extend their knowledge of definite and indefinite articles, and of gender and singular/plural forms.
As they encounter Italian language and culture they make comparisons with their own language(s) and culture(s) and consider their own ways of communicating. This leads to exploring concepts of commonality and difference, and of identity, and to thinking about what it means to speak more than one language.
Level of support
Children’s grammatical knowledge and accuracy in spoken and written Italian are developed both through form-focused activities and through opportunities to apply this knowledge in meaningful task activity, as they build their communicative skills, confidence and fluency. Teachers provide models and examples; introduce language, concepts and resources needed to manage and complete tasks; make time for experimentation and drafting; and provide support for self-monitoring and reflection.
The role of English
The use of English, when appropriate, provides support opportunities for discussion and exploration of ideas which help children to build a conceptual frame and metalanguage for talking about language and culture, and about their experiences as learners moving between languages and cultures.