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Parcours linguistiques des jeunes enfants

Cette page sera disponible en français en 2024. Veuillez vous référer aux pages en anglais pour le moment.

Using observation, documentation and assessment in practice

The following examples are case studies that teachers and educators have shared from their own practice – they show how the pedagogical approaches of observation, documentation, and assessment are interlinked and how different language learning pathways can be made visible within the educational setting.
Example 1: Eliot (Scotland) – 5 years old
Eliot lives in Scotland with his family. At home he speaks English and Spanish with his parents. His extended family lives in Spain. Eliot attends a bilingual Early Years setting (nursery) five mornings a week. The languages used in the nursery are English and Spanish.
Example 2: a whole-school approach to encouraging a multilingual approach
The pedagogical Team in the Nursery chose a story available in all the 10 section languages of the school to introduce a common story and to develop language awareness around this theme with the whole nursery school.
The pedagogical leader in the nursery observed that Eliot likes to talk about his family in Spain. She encouraged Eliot to tell the other children about his experiences of visiting family and spending the holidays in Spain during circle time. This allowed Eliot to share his knowledge whilst at the same time expanding and developing his skills in English. Eliot was also encouraged to draw a picture of his favourite activities in Spain and - with the help of the pedagogical leader - added English words to his drawing to explain what was in the picture.
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Pedagocical approaches used

The pedagogical leader encouraged Eliot to send a letter to his family in Spain, using his emergent writing skills in English. He copied letters and words from the signs and pictures around the nursery and he tried to write the names of his family members. The pedagogical leader took Eliot and the other children to the local post office to send the letter to Spain.
The pedagogical leader, together with Eliot's mum and using online tools, created menus, signs, and labels in both English and Spanish, and included pictures of the items.
The pedagogical leader explored traditional Spanish foods and, together with Eliot and the other children, created a shopping list, before going shopping and making the foods in the nursery - getting all the children to taste these foods.
Eliot's mum was invited to come into the setting and read a picture book story in Spanish to the children. The children could not understand all the words but, by using the pictures and other non-verbal clues could understand the story.
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Bringing together observation, assessment, and documentation

Making language learning visible Eliot was given opportunities to share his stories about visiting his family and Spain with the other children in the nursery at 'news time'. They became interested in learning more about the language and the culture. The pedagogical leader encouraged this by introducing short words and phrases (for example "good morning") in the daily practices of the setting. Eliot is encouraged to teach the other children Spanish words and phrases and takes great pride in doing so.

Observation

The pedagogical leader noticed that:
  • Eliot likes playing in the house corner.
  • Eliot likes to talk about his family and his experiences of visiting Spain.
  • Eliot shows an interest in drawing and identifying and copying letters and words from the environment around him.
  • The other children in the setting were interested in learning and using some Spanish words.

Documentation

  • The pedagogical leader shared the observations with the parents through the home-learning diary and invited the parents to contribute and share their knowledge of Eliot's experiences, knowledge and skills.
  • Copies of Eliot's drawing and writing were included in his skills folder with a note to indicate how his learning mapped against the curricular guidelines.

Assessment:

  • The pedagogical leader asked Eliot to share his knowledge of Spanish words with her and the other children in the group.
  • The pedagogical leader encouraged Eliot to use his knowledge of literacy to copy words and texts from around the setting and create his own letter, writing the names of the family members. This allowed the pedagogical leader to evaluate his understanding of (English) literacy and support Eliot in developing an understanding of the relationship between the spoken word and their written representation.
  • Eliot was encouraged to share his knowledge of Spanish words with the other children, supporting them with the correct pronunciation and understanding of meaning by using the words and phrases in context. The pedagogical leader encouraged the children to use the phrases on a daily basis, providing support, where needed.
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All the children of the school learnt the song: 'hello around the school'. The children learned to say 'hello' in all the languages spoken in our school.
The children learnt to name the colours in different languages.
The parents were invited to the class to read Elmer in their language. Teachers were invited to read Elmer in different language sections.
The children shared indoor and outdoor activities around Elmer with children from other sections.
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The children learnt to count in different languages.
Making language learning visible : all children from all sections worked together to decorate the school with art and crafts about Elmer.
Meeting dates with all Nursery classes to sing together, to build a collective giant Elmer puzzle, with a piece made by each class.
The children learned to sing 'Happy Birthday' in different languages.
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Bringing together observation, assessment, and documentation

Observation

The pedagogical leader noticed that:
  • The children were interested in learning words, counting, listening to a story, singing… in a different language.
  • The children showed excitement in sharing indoor and outdoor activities, snack, story time with children from other class sections.
  • The children showed interest in communicating with children speaking a different language.
  • The children showed interest in learning and recognizing different flags.
  • The children liked to learn to say 'hello' in all the languages spoken in our school and to sing Happy Birthday in their mother tongue language and in the languages spoken by the other children in the class.

Documentation

  • Photos, copies of drawing, writing of children in their portfolio.
  • The pedagogical team shared the observations.
  • The pedagogical leader shared observations with parents through Newsletters, blogs ...
  • The pedagogical team decorated the school with:
    • the staircase, in the entrance of the Nursery with ‘ hello ’ in all the languages of our school with the flag of each section;
    • the walls, with collective and individual art works of children.
 

Assessment:

  • The pedagogical leader asked the children to share their knowledge of words in languages spoken in our school.
  • The children are encouraged to sing 'Hello around the world', 'Happy Birthday' … in different languages.
  • The children are encouraged to use displays and resources in the class.
  • The children are encouraged to play with children from other classes.
 
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Pedagogical approaches

The book Elmer was made available in a range of different languages to children in a nursery school.

McKee, David: Elmer. Andersen Press, UK 1989