Early Years 1 – English Language

English is our shared language of instruction and communication. In a PYP school the focus is not just on learning language in isolation, but also on the application of language skills across the subject areas and throughout the Programme of Inquiry. Some language is taught as ‘stand-alone’, while other aspects of language are taught in the context of our Units of Inquiry. We believe students learn best when they have opportunities to learn within meaningful contexts, and when the teaching is in response to students’ needs, interests and previous experiences. Students at OurPlanet come from a wide range of language and cultural backgrounds, which we view as a major asset to our learning community.

Students develop skills in the following strands of language learning:

  • Oral Language: Listening and Speaking
  • Visual Language: Viewing and Presenting
  • Written Language: Reading and Writing

What will students will be working on this year?

Oral Language – Listening and Speaking (Phase 1)

  • Repeat/echo single words
  • Understand simple questions and respond with actions or words
  • Use gestures, actions, body language and/or words to communicate needs and to express ideas
  • Name classmates, teachers and familiar classroom and playground objects
  • Interact effectively with peers and adults in familiar social settings
  • realize that people speak different languages
  • use the mother tongue (with translation, if necessary) to express needs and explain ideas
  • realize that word order can change from one language to another
  • Use single words and two-word phrases in context
  • Follow classroom directions and routines, using context cues
  • tell their own stories using words, gestures, and objects/ artefacts
  • listen and respond to picture books, showing pleasure, and demonstrating their understanding through gestures, expression and/or words

Viewing and presenting (Phase 1)

  • recognize familiar signs, labels and logos, for example, pedestrian walking sign, emergency exit sign, no dogs allowed; identify similarities and differences
  • attend to visual information showing understanding through play, gestures, facial expression
  • observe visual cues that indicate context; show understanding by matching pictures with context
  • make personal connections to visual texts, for example, a picture book about children making friends in a new situation
  • show appreciation of illustrations in picture books by selecting and rereading familiar books, focusing on favourite pages
  • reveal their own feelings in response to visual presentations, for example, by showing amusement, curiosity, surprise

Reading (Phase 1)

  • Handle books, showing an understanding of how a book works, for example, cover, beginning, directional movement, end
  • Join in with chants, poems, songs, word games and clapping games, gaining familiarity with the sounds and patterns of the language of instruction.
  • Enjoy listening to stories
  • Choose and “read” picture books for pleasure
  • Listen attentively and respond to stories read aloud
  • Make connections to their own experience when listening to or “reading” texts
  • Recognize their own first name
  • distinguish between pictures and written text, for example, can point to a picture when asked
  • show curiosity and ask questions about pictures or text
  • begin to discriminate between visual representations such as symbols, numbers, ICT iconography, letters and words
  • show empathy for characters in a story
  • participate in shared reading, joining in with rhymes, refrains and repeated text as they gain familiarity
  • express opinions about the meaning of a story

Writing (Phase 1)

  • Experiment with writing using different writing implements and media
  • use their own experience as a stimulus when drawing and “writing”
  • differentiate between illustrations and written text
  • show curiosity and ask questions about written language
  • begin to discriminate between letters/characters, numbers and symbols
  • listen and respond to shared books (enlarged texts), observing conventions of print, according to the language(s) of instruction