Y3 spielerisch Deutsch lernen

It is my first time to teach a foreign language in lower Primary levels and I have lately been reflecting on the program I chose in the beginning of the academic year. Originally, we started to follow in Year 3 the program created by the Goethe Institut called “Felix und Franzi”. It includes nice, short videos, a hand puppet, interactive PowerPoint presentations and suggestions for games and songs. However, with time I noticed that this might be actually more suitable for Year 2 because it has so far not sparked the motivation and engagement that I was hoping for. I still do like the program in general and I think it’s well made but it probably works better with a younger group.

From the book “Spielerisch Deutsch lernen. Wortschatz und Grammatik.”

Therefore, I have made the decision to switch the program for the second term of the academic year. In order to prepare Y3 students to work with two books in Y4 we will start working with one book during the spring of Y3. It is called “Spielerisch Deutsch lernen. Wortschatz und Grammatik.” In English it means to learn German in a playful way and it concentrates on vocabulary and grammar at a very basic level. The advantages of this book are the reviewing sections after 4 chapters that can be used for assessing purposes and reflection forms that provide valuable feedback to students about their skills and knowledge. Many of the topics overlap with the Planetino 1 books that are used in Y4. I am hoping to see this as an advantage because creating a strong foundation at an early age would hopefully increase students’ self-confidence later and result in a smoother transition from working with one book into working with two books instead of going from zero to two. In addition, I believe we would have even more time to play and do fun activities outside of the books in Y4 if at least some of the things were already familiar to them from the previous year.

A Year 3 student learning German with Memrise.

Even though we will add a book to our learning resources in Y3 we will still keep on playing too. The games we have had so far include e.g. Memrise, Blooket, hangman and memory game. One of Year 3 students’ favorite game is “Meine Lieblingsfarbe ist..” where one of them counts to 10 in German while others go and choose an A4 with a color on it. The leader of the game then starts telling one color after another using the sentence “My favorite color is..”. If any student has chosen this color that the leader mentions they are out of the game. Last person standing on a color that was not mentioned wins. It is important that the leader does not see which colors others have chosen so that it will be a fair game and purely based on luck. Personally, I think it will be a nice mixture if we play one lesson per week and work with a book the second lesson. In that way, students are slowly introduced into having both fun and so to say doing the traditional hard work.

Year 3 students learning German with Memrise.

At which age do you think books should be introduced as a learning tool? Or do you think only playing games is enough to receive a solid foundation in a foreign language?

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