Developing the link with English, the mother tongue
This theme enables teachers to further develop text investigation through encounters with a range of languages and by translation activities already developed within English into a foreign language context.
- The teacher can show the pupils what a verb looks like in a given language and ask them to find as many verbs as possible in a text in the same language.
- Using linguistic expertise from within the class, pupils can share a simple sentence with the same meaning in many different languages e.g The world is very big and I am small. Then the verbs, nouns, adjectives, and connectives can start to be highlighted as well as comparative word order.
- An online translator can be used. They are usually more accurate with straightforward non-idiomatic sentences.
- A classroom display could feature examples of verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs in a range of different languages.
Text genres: Go to a foreign language search engine and find some examples of different text types. For example; a horoscope, a football report, an advert, a poem, a recipe. Place the texts around the class and ask pupils to identify the texts. This will help the pupils to determine the universal features of a particular text type.
Investigating a text
- Can you identify any nouns? Do any of them have capital letters?
- Can you identify any verbs? What is the position of the verbs in the sentence?
- Can you identify the root verb? How do the endings change?
- Can you identify any adjectives or adverbs? Are they positioned before or after the noun or verb?
- Can you identify the question words? Are there any common characteristics/patterns?
- Is the punctuation the same as English?
- Can you find any linking words?
- Which words look similar to the English words?
- Which words occur the most?
- Are there any pictures and diagrams that might help you understand the passage?
- How is the passage structured? Does this give you any clues to its meaning?
- What do you think the text is about?