Choosing age and phase appropriate content for early learners
In a perfect world, all of our students would enter the MYP at the same time. As this isn’t always the case, we must ensure that the content we choose is not only appropriate for the level of language acquisition, but that it is also relevant for students’ ages.
With the right tools, students in the lower phases can manage the more complex topics. Some of my favourites are health, environment and technology. All of these topics can be made suitable and engaging for early MYP learners with the right support.
Challenging Spanish early learners
If students are not challenged to get out of their comfort zone, they will not progress. But we must be careful to keep those challenges appropriate for their age and abilities. If we lose sight of this and push our students too far too fast without ensuring that they have the fundamentals, their journey will become one of frustration and “I cannot” rather than “I can, and I will.”
Teach them the basic grammar structures first – though you can introduce a few expressions using more advanced structures. This can open the door to delving further into a topic, when students are ready. Similarly, don’t deter your students from expanding their vocabulary based on their interest in a topic.
Maureen Hunt is a Head of World Languages with more than 20 years' teaching experience. She has consulted on the MYP Language Acquisition curriculum and assessments, as well as the pilot ePortfolio. Maureen conducts workshops for MYP and DP teachers.