children learning english

Sounds and languages

It’s always fascinating to listen to children discussing language learning – explaining what they understand and what puzzles them.   As teachers we know that when children think about their own learning they are ordering and labeling their experiences. As they do this they are developing learning strategies – tools they can use throughout their lives.

Recently some children I visited were asking lots of questions about why languages that use the same letters as English don’t all sound the same. Great question !!

In classes with lots of different mother tongues there are instant examples of what different languages sound like and children can hear how the sounds represented by the writing vary from language to language.

In monolingual classes I’ve found the language of the month page at Newbury Park Primary School website an excellent starting point for listening to the sounds of different languages. The site is a wonderful learning resource which promotes respect and understanding of other cultures and languages with lots of activities.

And of course children love making their own collections from one language or several. In this photo you can see how this class added their  “welcome” wordle to their existing  wordle wall.

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