Foundation to Year 2 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Children enter the early years of schooling with established communication 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 Spanish language and culture.
Spanish language learning and use
The initial focus is on listening to the sounds and patterns of Spanish through language-rich activities such as rhymes, songs, clapping and action games. Repetition and recycling help children to identify frequently used words and simple phrases and to recognise the purpose of simple texts. Children identify and use non-verbal communication strategies employed by Spanish speakers in greetings and other social interactions and experiment with simple responses to prompts and cues. As they progress to using Spanish for functions such as asking and answering questions, responding to instructions, singing songs, and taking turns in games and simple shared tasks, they begin to notice that language can behave differently in different situations and that Spanish speakers communicate in some ways that are different from their own. They practise and repeat sounds (such as j, ll and r) which differ in Spanish from those in English. Creative play provides opportunities for exploring these differences and for using Spanish for purposeful interaction, for example, asking for help or expressing surprise.
The transition from spoken to written language is scaffolded through shared exploration of simple texts. Children progress from supported comprehension and use of a small number of personally significant sight words to more elaborated simple texts. Writing skills progress from labelling pictures and copying words to constructing simple texts using familiar vocabulary and structures. As children learn to adjust language to suit different purposes and situations, they begin to learn the important role of culture in shaping language use.
Contexts of interaction
Learners use Spanish to interact with one another and with the teacher, with some access to wider school and community members. Information and communication technologies (ICT) resources provide additional access to Spanish language and cultural experience, connecting learners’ social worlds with those of Spanish-speaking children in different contexts.
Texts and resources
Learners engage with a variety of spoken, visual and written texts. They listen and respond to teacher talk, share ideas and join in stories, songs, play and simple conversations. Written and digital texts include stories, wall charts, Big Books and teacher-produced materials such as games, captions and flashcards. Writing skills progress from tracing and copying high-frequency words to independently writing modelled words and sentences (for example, greeting cards or labels) and co-creating shared resources such as word walls or storybooks.
Features of Spanish language use
Learners become familiar with the sound systems of the Spanish language, including pronunciation, rhythm, pitch and stress. They learn to pronounce individual letters and letter combinations, and recognise and use the intonation patterns that distinguish between statements, questions and exclamations. They use simple basic sentence structures and learn to write single words and simple phrases. They become familiar with the idea of grammatical gender and plural forms. They discuss differences and similarities they notice between Spanish and their first language(s) and culture(s), as well as how they feel when they hear or use Spanish and how they view different languages and the people who speak them. They begin to develop curiosity around the idea of difference, culture and communication.
Level of support
Learning is supported through the provision of experiences that are challenging but achievable with appropriate scaffolding and support. This involves modelling and monitoring by the teacher, provision of rich and varied sources of input, opportunities for recycling and reviewing, and regular cues, feedback, response and encouragement. At this stage, play and imaginative activities, music, movement and familiar routines provide the essential scaffolding for language development.
The role of English
While learners are encouraged to use Spanish whenever possible, with the teacher providing rich and varied language input, English is used as a medium of instruction, and for explanation and discussion. This allows learners to talk about differences and similarities they notice between Spanish and their own language(s) and culture(s), to ask questions, and to express their reactions to the experience of learning and using an additional language.