Languages

August 16

Really have nothing to add to last year.

We’ll continue with Latin’s Not So Tough for another year and then move on to Cambridge or Galore Park or drop.
Spanish, although we’ve not done any all summer I’m impressed how much he knows when it has come up in passing a few times.  I did toy with moving us on to Galore Park but think we’ll stick to Duolingo for another year.  FutureLearn has a beginning Spanish programme that I have signed up for.  I thought I’d do the first course on my own first to see how Sam friendly it was.  From what he has done over my shoulder (being nosy!) I think it is something he can work through too.

August 15

Spanish

Decided this summer that the Spanish group we’ve been doing for a few years is no longer working for us.  One of the children has moved, the tutor’s situation has changed and she was finding it hard to give me a time plus the book they’d moved onto was a bit writing heavy.  So we’re going to go it alone for now.

I’ve lots of ‘fun’ materials and games but not sure these will work for us.  Little and often is how we work with languages.  I’d rather do 5-10 mins a day and most resources take nearly that to set up.  So for now we’ll stick to just Duolingo.  Perhaps with reading the odd story book in Spanish and seeing how well we can translate.  The advantage of this approach is we both have our own accounts and are learning alongside one another (he’s got the motivation of staying one step ahead of me).

Must admit I’ve been greatly reassured by seeing the chaotic, hodgepodge approach to teaching languages that goes on in Jack’s school, where they can sit a GCSE in a language they start in yr 9.  Not sure we’ll ever do GCSE anyway, languages are hard to arrange so it’s for personal use really.

Latin

This is another one where little, regular and really unexciting works for us.  I keep looking at the Minimus book on my shelf but it’s just not for us I feel.  On we plod with Latin’s Not So Tough.  It’s made up of very short lessons with one new word at a time and lots of practice.  All a bit random really it seems but the idea of studying Latin is to be able to spot links and word origins and conversation shows it’s working, he’s recognising links to both English and Spanish.

Sep 2014

Another one that you get asked how you teach a lot.  For us the answer is finding decent resources and/or a tutor/native speaker.

Spanish

We have a weekly, term time Spanish class.  By coming together with a small group 3/4 children they get the experience of being taught together, plus the motivation and enjoyment of working together.  But the group is small enough that they get a lot of individual attention and it is shaped to fit them.  As parents we get to split the cost!

Deciding that we needed some extra practice I spent lots of time last year dabbling with various online games/courses some free, some paid to supplement.  In the end I think Duolingo is the best one for us.  So we will get in as much practice there as we can.

Latin

This is one we are just playing with really.  I think a bit of basic knowledge of Latin helps with the understanding of English.  Plus we spend a lot of time looking at Ancient times…

We have been working on Latin’s Not So Tough.  It is a bit (actually a lot) slow and plodding but that suits us.  We’ll carry on plodding through for another year I think before we give Minimus another shot.

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