Why Learning Languages is never wasted!

I stumbled across this article thanks to Simone Smala – a leading researcher in the field of Content & Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).

It has some great points on how the learning of a language can benefit children, even if they never achieve fluency.

The assumption that there’s no point to learning/teaching a language if a person won’t become fluent in it / earn money/get a job because of it is a big stumbling block to the experience and delivery of quality language programs, especially in Australia, where the capitalist mind-set says that it’s only useful to learn an Asian language because we might benefit financially from that.  No one seems to ever challenge these assumptions, not even with the obvious question:  which Asian language? Because you would still be excluding most of them by only choosing one!

Learning Languages has so many other benefits, including developing open mindsets, respect and an attitude of hospitality to those around us.  I love the way this article demonstrates this so delightfully through sharing the language experiences of a child.

Click here to watch the video – it’s worth the moment it takes to watch.  It summarises the article (link here).

 

https://bilingualkidspot.com/2017/04/08/learning-a-language-never-wasted-on-kids-even-if-never-fluent/?fbclid=IwAR0NgHs1N4BLhCAA2cbtEnC4MOFyB8ThlRCJquv4pWM0RkB7kuZMClu1jXI

 

Adjektiven

Klasse 3 is learning adjectives so that we can describe our favourite animals.

 

Here are some links to some videos we love that have helped us!

Groß und klein…

https://www.planet-schule.de/sf/embed.php?source=sendung:10015

Laut und leise…

https://www.planet-schule.de/sf/embed.php?source=sendung:10014

 

Schnell und langsam…

https://www.planet-schule.de/sf/embed.php?source=sendung:10011

Here’s one more with some extra adjectives!

 

What adjectives did you hear?

Can you teach them to someone in your family?

 

School in Germany

It is HOT! in Europe in the moment.  It’s probably hard for you to believe while it is cold in Sydney just now.  But even their hot weather isn’t as unpleasant as our really hot Sydney summer days.

I met some Year 5 students here who wanted to know if we have “Hitzefrei” (heat-free) when it gets too hot.  At their school, if the temperature goes above 30 degrees celsius, school is canceled.  Can you imagine that?  We would hardly go to school! They can’t believe that we don’t have Hitzefrei, or how hot it gets for us.  But they were glad to hear that we have air conditioning at our school (they don’t).

The students had many questions about school, and as I showed them photos, they couldn’t believe our uniforms!

Everywhere we go, people are astounded that we have been able to pull our children out of school, as German regulations around this are very strict – the maximum extra time you can take your child out of school is 2 days, and they cannot adjoin holidays. You have to seek permission and have a very good reason!  Police go to the airports on the last day of school, and if parents can’t produce the child’s report (issued on the last day), they receive massive fines for breaking these laws.

Austria’s rules are not quite as strict as Germany’s.  They are allowed to have a maximum of 1 week out of school, and permission is sought from the Government to do this.

German children have so much more independence and much more is expected of them.  School starts by 8, and is usually finished by 11.30.  There are no casual teachers, so teachers are not replaced if a teacher is absent (at least in upper primary and high school).  Many schools put their timetable online, and students can check in the morning to see what their lessons are, and if any are canceled.  They are expected to do some work on their own, or go home and come back again. High school starts from Year 5 onwards.

In Year 5, students learn German and English and 1 other language!!!, the level of proficiency is impressive, because they have at least 5 lessons a week of their other languages, so everyone has the opportunity to become fluent.

Students pass a “walk to school test” at around Year 2 age.  They receive their “Walk to School Licence” – then they are expected to walk to school on their own, and many will be allowed to walk home alone (even if their parents are not at home yet).

There is an after-school program for younger students whose parents work.

Schools also conduct bike riding lessons, and when the students are ready, the police assess whether they pass and receive their Licence.

In the towns and cities, there are so many aspects of life like this, that mean it’s easy to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.

 

What do you think about all the things that are different?  Which things do you prefer? The German way or the Australian way?

Which language would you like with that?

We have arrived in the UK, and already I love the way I can see how people are aware of some other languages that are spoken.

We popped into McDonald’s for some familiar food yesterday…  The kids love to use the screens to order their own meals.  Look what we saw!

 

Have you ever seen this before?

maccas languages 1

We had a look at the French screen:

 

maccas languages 3

And the German screen:

 

maccas languages 2

Are there any words you can work out?

 

Can you find out what the other languages are?

 

Can’t wait to tell you more!

 

Frau Holmes!

 

 

 

 

Das Geld

Have a look at the photo…

What do you notice about the money?

Have you seen money that looks like this before? Where?

Have you used it before?

What’s different from the money we use in Australia? Is anything the same?

What do you think is interesting?

Most countries have their own “currency” (the word for the type of money they use).

If you travel outside of Australia you need to get some of the money for each country. You swap some Australian money for whichever currency you need.

Lots of countries in Europe now use “the Euro” instead of all having different types of money – this makes it much easier when you go traveling!

What currencies can you see in the picture?

Can you find out which countries they are used in?