Languages are now a more important part of primary education than ever before, and all successful primary teachers need to understand the principles that support good language teaching and learning. This second edition provides a coherent overview of teaching and learning languages, combining practical strategies for use in the classroom with engaging coverage of how to teach, informed by academic research and theory. Key features of this new edition: •Fully updated coverage of policy and curriculum developments, including the 2014 National Curriculum and the Teachers’ Standards •A new chapter on curriculum, planning and assessment for KS2 •Expanded coverage of the transition from primary to secondary school and the implications for teaching •More examples of creative teaching and learning throughout. This is essential reading for all students studying primary languages on initial teacher education courses, including undergraduate (BEd, BA with QTS), postgraduate (PGCE, School Direct, SCITT), and also NQTs.

What is the Background to Primary Language Learning?

What is the Background to Primary Language Learning?

Chapter objectives

  • To offer a philosophical view of the need for early language learning.
  • To detail and interpret the rationale for the implementation of compulsory primary language learning in 2014.
  • To explore aspects of motivation and self-esteem in younger learners.
  • To explain the intentions of the different elements in the book.

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Teachers’ standards

A teacher must:


Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge


demonstrate a critical understanding of developments in the subject and curriculum areas, and promote the value of scholarship

Source: DfE, 2013a

Introductory vignette

The European Year of Languages 2001 highlighted the many ways of promoting language learning and linguistic diversity. The European Council in Barcelona in March 2002 recognised the need for European Union and Member State ...

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