It has often been said that the UK risks being cut off from the rest of the world because of a reluctance to learn languages and our reliance on everyone else speaking English.
Why learn another language when everybody else speaks English?
This question is sure to enrage polygots who see monolingualism as a curse.
My travelling experience tells me that English doesn’t command the crushing dominance commonly portrayed and is far from the default lingua franca and safety-net we might imagine.
Language learning at primary level has never been more important and that requires canny and astute resourcing and with no shortage of book based and web based materials it can be difficult knowing where to start.
If you are into languages then you will already know about the tried and tested Linguascope, the award-winning language learning website that helps schools deliver the language curriculum via focused, attractive interactive activities that get children in the language zone.
If Linguascope is new to you then you will feel like all your Christmases have come at once.
This is an incredibly well organised web resource that will quickly be the cornerstone of your language teaching especially if you are not a language specialist.
It’s extremely easy to use and packed with features for students and teachers. There are 13 languages currently on offer currently include French, German, Spanish and Italian. There is English too. There are sections for children and teachers to access both offering something special.
When children login as a student they will find three main sections under the headings Learn, Create and Practise.
Children will need to select the Learn section first and access the appropriate age bracket whether that is Elementary for 6-12 year olds, Beginner for 9-14 years or Intermediate for 13-16 years.
They then select the language they want to learn and enter different galaxies of learning in order to practise language skills according to different areas such as numbers, introductions, weather, and so on.
There are thousands of things to do arranged into 140 topic areas developed to match curriculum requirements. Each topic is made up of a series of interactive activities brilliantly embedded and contextualised using comical and colourful characters and graphics.
There are printable worksheets on offer for consolidation and extension work too.
What children will love about the site as will teachers is the ability to create their own interactive language games such as multiple choice questions, comic strips, draw faces and even send e-cards. These are very easy to create.
Another great feature for children is that they can click into a media section and listen to radio stations and watch TV channels in various European languages.
Logging in as a teacher offers plenty to get excited about with resources galore for saving you time and making language teaching a joy.
There are three sections too under Resources, Create and Links. In the Resources section you will find a Sharing Area where you can browse teaching resources created by your colleagues as well as add your own.
Resources include worksheets, Powerpoints and other lesson materials. Also in the Resources section you will find downloadable e-books, games and ideas as well as brilliant interactive whiteboard widgets such as a bingo game, spinning wheel, timer, dice and scoreboard.
The Create section is a treat because this is where you can create your own interactive flash activities in a matter of minutes. Word games you can make include flashcards, noughts and crosses, pairs, hangman, wordsearches, word attacks, letter drops, tile quake and tile taps.
There are quiz games to make such as snakes and ladders, a car race, and a connecting game. There is also the option to make a cloze game as well. No ICT knowledge required as the templates are ready made and a few clicks later its job done. This means there are plenty of opportunities for differentiating and personalising learning throughout.
There is also a massive image bank section where you can find and download professional standard pictures to furnish your lessons.
You will also find the Links section of interest too. Here you can access radio stations and TV which is perfect for discussing current events, apps to download onto tablets, an online tool called LinguaTrivia for organising quizzes and competitions, and widgets such as Word of the Day.
All subscribing schools have access to all languages and all levels as standard which makes this resource not only wide-ranging. Children aren’t therefore restricted to one language especially as they can access whatever they like at home.
The benefits of being bilingual or multilingual in a global society are immense and growing up with more than one language is an incredible asset well worth the investment.
As a teacher looking to resource your language curriculum with a resource that is fun, interesting, up to date and full of learning, then Linguascope has to be one of the best web resources available. It is professionally produced, teacher-proof, rich in features and very accessible.
Two words: yes please.