WordUnited, an independent UK publisher, has developed a kit for early learning of multiple foreign languages, regardless of the native tongue. Teacher Miss Caroline Kirby has used the learning kits in her classroom for the last few months and says the children really love the bright, colourful and clear flashcard kits.
Caroline Kirby has worked as a Reception Teacher for the last 11 years at Terra Nova School, a preparatory school in rural Cheshire. Whilst the WordUnited kits come in many languages, the English version is the one she uses, as it complements the Early Years Curriculum, helping children achieve their early learning goals in Literacy, Communication and Language, Mathematics and Personal, Social and Emotional Development Skills. They can also be used further up the school for older children to teach them other modern foreign languages. Children in nursery classes can also benefit from the seeing the flashcards and trying the formation practice. Terra Nova School takes boys and girls from 3 to 13 years of age and has a 100% pass rate at 11+ and 13+.
Caroline Kirby explains, “There are kits covering a number of topics including the alphabet, numbers, actions, colours and shapes. The alphabet pack helps with phonic teaching and letter formation, with both lower and upper case letters on each A5 card. The set about numbers teaches the number as both a symbol and as a word. There are colour and number codes showing where to start and to stop forming the letter or number and to make sure the word is written in the right direction.”
For all the kits, there are dotted guide lines to aid children when learning to write on a line. The images are bold and modern, using photos of real objects that children can relate to and quickly process. The A5 size double sided flashcards can be used in front of the whole class, as well as the children using them individually to practise their writing. Four year old Yusuf said, “I like the nice pictures. The cards help you to learn how to do the letters in the right order and the right way, so you can do neat letters on the line.”
The language kits are excellent for extra practice at home too, so that parents can consistently encourage the standardised way of writing. Also for children with special educational needs, the vibrant colours and clear images make learning easier, especially the ‘see and do’ action cards.
The titles are available in five languages at £12.99 from Foyles, most good bookshops and Amazon or direct from the WordUnited Ltd website. The website also contains free online language learning resources and downloadable language worksheets for teachers involved in Modern Foreign Language lesson planning.