Foundation to Year 2 Band Description
The nature of the learners
Children in this pathway enter the early years of schooling with established oracy skills in Turkish, English and sometimes other languages or dialects. There will be variation in terms of proficiency in Turkish depending on variables such as home language environment, generational language shift and parental cultural and linguistic background. Children will have varying degrees of literacy capability in both/either Turkish and/or English, and share the experience of belonging to worlds in which languages play a key role. Cognitive and social development at this stage is exploratory and egocentric. The curriculum builds on children’s interests, sense of enjoyment and curiosity, with an emphasis on active learning and confidence building. Turkish is learnt in parallel with English language and literacy, which for some children will be being learned as a second or additional language. Learning in the two areas differs significantly but each supports and enriches the other.
Turkish language learning and use
Rich language input characterises the first stages of learning. Children are familiar with the sounds and patterns of Turkish and their fluency and accuracy is further developed through activities such as rhymes, songs, clapping and action games. Children identify and use high-frequency sentences and phrases, and recognise the purpose and intention of simple texts. They use culturally appropriate non-verbal strategies, and produce statements and expressions in response to prompts and cues. They are supported to use Turkish for different language functions, such as asking and responding to questions, expressing wishes, responding to directions, and taking turns in games and simple shared learning activities. They notice differences between the languages they know and use, and differences in how they communicate in some situations when using Turkish or English. Creative play provides opportunities for exploring these differences and for using Turkish for purposeful interaction in some less familiar contexts.
Contexts of interaction
Children interact with one another and the teacher, with some access to wider school and community members. Information and communications technology (ICT) resources provide additional access to Turkish language and cultural experience, connecting children’s social worlds with those of Turkish-speaking children in communities other than their own. Turkish is the dominant language used in classroom interactions, routines and activities, supported by the use of English when required. The early stage of language and literacy development is supported by use of concrete materials and resources, gestures and body language. Play and imaginative activities, games, music, movement and familiar routines provide essential scaffolding and context for language development.
Texts and resources
Children engage with a variety of spoken, visual, written and digital texts. They listen and respond to teacher talk, share ideas and join in songs, rhymes, stories and chants, and various forms of play and conversational exchanges. Written and digital texts include stories, shared Big Books, walls charts and teacher-generated materials, such as games, labels, captions and flashcards.
Features of Turkish language use
Children’s familiarity with the spoken form of Turkish supports their introduction to the written form of the language. They become familiar with the Turkish alphabet and writing conventions, and are introduced to the sound–letter correspondence of the 21 consonants and eight vowels that make up the alphabet. Writing skills progress from labelling and copying high-frequency words to co-constructing simple texts using familiar vocabulary, language features and structures such as subject–object–verb word order. They apply this order to simple statements, imperatives and questions such as Ali gel. Ali okula gel. Ali okula geldi. Ali okula geldi mi? They learn to describe things, such as colour, mavi, size, büyük/küçük, and shape, üçgen, and recognise that adjectives come before nouns. They use cardinal numbers such as bir-yüz and ordinal numbers such as birinci, ikinci, and use the ending -ler/-lar to express plurality with countable nouns such as çocuklar, ördekler. They form affirmative and negative responses, such as evet, hayır, değil, doğru, yanlış, and use simple suffixes and subject and possessive pronouns, for example, ben/benim, sen/senin, o/onun and evim/evimiz, evin/eviniz, evi/evleri. They describe actions using simple verbs, such as otur, kalk, elini kaldır, koş, yürü, gel, git, oku, yaz. As children learn to adjust language to suit different purposes and situations, they begin to understand how culture shapes language use. They are supported to talk about differences and similarities they notice between Turkish, English and other languages they know, and also between cultural behaviours and ways of communicating. They talk about how they feel when they use different languages, and how they view different languages and the people who use them. This introduction to the meta- dimension of intercultural learning develops the ability to ‘decentre’, to consider different perspectives and ways of being, and to become aware of themselves as communicators and cultural participants.
Level of support
Learning is supported via the provision of experiences which are challenging but achievable with appropriate scaffolding and support. This involves modelling, monitoring and moderating by the teacher; provision of multiple and varied sources of input; opportunities for revisiting, recycling and reviewing; and continuous cueing, feedback, response and encouragement.
The role of English
While learners are encouraged to use Turkish whenever possible, English is used, when appropriate, for discussion, comparison, reflection and explanations. Mixing the two languages is common at this level and reflects children’s experience in their home communities.