There is nothing more important to us than the very highest standards of teaching and learning of primary foreign languages. To help you get the very best out of our platform and resources we have collated some of our most frequently asked questions to help you.
If your question is not answered below, please get in touch and one of the team will be delighted to help you.
Language Angels started back in the early 2000s, when foreign language teaching first came to prominence at primary school level. We soon realised that schools and teachers had little or no support. There were piecemeal solutions, but nothing that covered all aspects of the curriculum. We set out to create a platform of ready-to-go classroom resources that would make life easier and found there were two major problems in primary schools:
Written by teachers and for teachers, it’s a new breed of classroom resource – without the usual price tag of high-end digital learning.
That makes it ideal for teachers. And heads find it invaluable too:
We are completely curriculum compliant. Our resources have all been written around the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study attainment targets and are fully curriculum compliant. As experienced teachers, linguists and trainers we are always abreast of any changes and ensure these are immediately reflected in our materials.
Language Angels is a complete scheme of work with enough units and materials provided for the teaching of foreign languages through the whole of primary phase. Short, medium and long-term planning is all provided as well as our fully resourced lessons. We provide every document you could wish for from policies to progression mapping! We are, however, not one size fits all. All schools are different and no two classes are the same so there is not one ‘unique’ SoW at Language Angels. It will depend on classes taught, level of challenge required and the choice and order of units intended to be covered by your school. Our Curriculum Guidance page will fully support you with everything you will need in terms of planning documentation. There is also the option of downloading and using one of our recommended and very popular unit planners to ensure that all your pupils will meet and exceed the 12 PoS attainment targets. Once subscribed, we also offer a bespoke planning service to ensure the teaching and learning of a foreign language is maximised.
Yes, we provide a full programme for EYFS and KS1. The suitable units are found in our Early Language / Little Angels Teaching Type and suggestions on which units to teach are indicated on all our sample unit planners for this learning stage. These units look very different to our KS2 materials and the pedagogy and methodology is tailored specifically to this learning phase. These are not ‘watered’ down KS2 units.
Yes, we work with many schools that have mixed age class teaching. As we categorise our resources into three main ‘Teaching Types’ and not to specific years or age groups, it is easier to cater for mixed age teaching and schools can tailor our programme to the needs of their pupils. Our programme is flexible and depending on the needs of the school and the pupils we can organise our units to cater for this. Our resources are divided into three teaching types Early Learning, Intermediate and Progressive. There is always progression within a lesson, across a unit and across the three teaching types. Our units are not designed to be taught to a particular year group but allocated to a class, based on the level of their language knowledge and the linguistic stretch and challenge required.
With mixed aged classes we create planning that can run across a two-year rolling programme to ensure no pupil will have the same lesson or material presented twice. For a mixed age Years 3/4 class for example, we would recommend starting each year with some of Early Learning units and would then move classes to our Intermediate teaching type units by the end of the year. For Year 5/6 classes we would recommend starting with Intermediate units (the ones not covered in years 3/4) and then move to our more challenging Progressive units by the end of each school year.
Following our unit flow suggestions will ensure pupils will meet all the PoS attainment targets and requirements. Grammar, phonics and vocabulary is weaved throughout the scheme and constantly recycled and revised in all of our units. There are always three levels of challenge in our desk-based activities so there is always the correct amount of stretch available to accommodate all levels of pupil interaction and ability. Our Tracking and Progression Tool will also show how pupils are progressing, those on target, below or above as well as indicating which of the PoS attainment targets have been met.
There is most definitely ‘a step-by-step approach’ at Language Angels . The three ‘pillars’ of language learning (phonics, grammar and vocabulary) are all built into the scheme and, as pupils progress through the units and teaching types, previous language is recycled, revisited and consolidated and any new language introduced gradually becomes more complex and sophisticated.
Our ‘teaching types’ act like stepping-stones. Pupils are taught according to their level and ability and units are not allocated by age/year group. Our resources start by working on nouns and gender, then move up to phrase level and finally longer text level. As pupils move through the three teaching types, they increase their knowledge and understanding of the foreign language and can gradually understand more, say more and write more.
There is automatic progression built into every lesson, in every unit and across the three teaching types. To evidence this progression and allow the opportunity to measure this progression we have created a bespoke Tracking and Progression Tool. This tool will show which units have been completed, which PoS attainment targets have been met and also at which level of challenge. Each unit offers an assessment point in lesson 6 where a short assessment can be completed. This generates a score which, once entered in the Tracking and Progression Tool, can provide data with raw scores, percentages and/or statements.
Each language has four fully planned and resourced cultural lessons planned and specifically linked to the language being learnt. Pupils are able to learn more about the heritage and the culture of the language they are learning. Suggested points in the year where these lessons fit best are mentioned on the planning documents for these lessons.
Yes, our platform and resources are absolutely suitable. The scheme was originally created by Francesca Pini (one of the directors at Language Angels) when she was tasked with preparing a cluster of primary schools in Barnet to embed and sustain a foreign language in their schools. The schools had no language specialist teachers available to them. A programme was gradually created with exciting and age-appropriate content where native audio support was attached to every single instance of the foreign language in the fully resourced and planned lessons. Staff members were equipped with all the tools and knowledge required for the successful teaching and learning of a foreign language and, at the same time, Language Angels was born. Our aim is to try to help as many primary school pupils as possible get the very best foreign language learning experience. To achieve this, we want to make it possible for primary school teachers to deliver a fully compliant primary foreign language curriculum as part of their normal teaching day, irrespective of their linguistic ability and without adding to their stress levels or workloads. Our continuous CPD programme also helps upskill members of staff as they embark on the language learning journey with their classes.
Most definitely. Linguists may use our scheme differently and often have the skills and knowledge to weave in other resources but, importantly, subject specialists like how the methodology and pedagogy is clearly explained and are confident that, by following our planning, the three pillars of language learning and the PoS attainment targets are addressed and met. Our resources save teachers hours of planning, giving them back time and energy that they can then use to deliver outstanding lessons in class. Specialist language teachers particularly love our desk-based activities, listening, reading and writing tasks, karaoke songs and interactive games along with the creative cross-curricular units that are regularly added.
Language Angels resources offer two forms of assessment at the end of each teaching unit. These can be found in lesson 6 (the final lesson) of each unit. Depending on your preference, it will be possible to assess the language learning and progression of pupils either:
The ‘three pillars of language learning’ are phonics, grammar and vocabulary. These are all built into all of our lessons, units and teaching types.
We offer free CPD webinar programmes at various points in the school year. The focus alternates between curriculum guidance and support (planning, assessment, methodology, pedagogy, Ofsted/inspection requirements etc.) to linguistic confidence and teacher upskilling. Our CPD is always recorded and made available to Language Angels users to rewatch after the live event.
During the free trial period it is possible to download a suggested long-term unit planner to see a possible sequence of units based on a wide range of school scenarios (KS1, KS2, whole school, mixed-aged class teaching etc). Once subscribed, if schools are unable to find a suitable sequence of units based on the ones offered in the ‘Planning’ section of our Curriculum Guidance page, a bespoke unit planning service is provided where a member of our teaching team will work closely with you to design the most appropriate long-term plan to meet the specific needs and requirements of your school.
We do not organise our resources by age but by level of linguistic knowledge, competence and confidence. This helps schools pick the units that best match the level of stretch and challenge they want to present to each of their classes. It is counter-productive to teach lessons that are too easy or too hard to classes. This will either bore pupils or traumatise them and will switch them off from learning languages. We want to avoid that at all costs!
We categorise our resources into three main ‘Teaching Types’.
We have divided our units by Teaching Type rather than by age so that schools can more easily tailor our programme to the specific needs of their students.
Our programme is flexible so, depending on the needs of your school and pupils, we can organise our unit flow to meet your specific needs. For example, if a school is using Language Angels for the first time and there hasn’t been sustained teaching and learning of the foreign language, we would not recommend that older years start teaching our Progressive units. We would suggest a carefully structured accelerated programme, starting with a mixture of Early Learning and Intermediate units before considering a Progressive unit towards the end of the school year.
Essential vocabulary to be covered by the end of primary phase has been summarised on a ‘Core Vocabulary Mat’ which can be found in the ‘Planning’ section of the Curriculum Guidance page. This is the minimum, most useful age-appropriate, non-negotiable language we recommend is taught at this stage of learning. Beyond this, in lesson 1 of every Language Angels unit you will find a ‘pupil core vocabulary list’ containing all of the core language vocabulary that is covered and presented to pupils in that unit. This document can be found in lesson one of every unit and also in the ‘Planning’ section of the Curriculum Guidance page.
We provide documentation for both staff and pupils to clearly show which phonemes we have chosen to introduce to your pupils at this early stage of their language learning journey.
Phonic mats, providing an overview of which sounds are covered in each teaching type, can be downloaded and printed from the ‘Planning’ area of the Curriculum Guidance page. Four dedicated, sequential phonics lessons introduce 4 or 5 sounds at a time and have been designed to be used at the start of each year in KS2. The units within our teaching types will then focus on the sounds going forward. Each dedicated phonics lesson revises the sounds previously introduced to pupils, so they consolidate and improve their phonic knowledge of the foreign language.
Grammar is weaved into every unit in across all three teaching types. It is introduced both implicitly and explicitly. Implicitly in the Early Learning units then moving towards a more explicit approach in our Intermediate and then Progressive units. The grammar we choose to teach has been carefully considered by the teaching team at Language Angels and will be age-appropriate and is what we consider will be most useful for pupils at this stage of their language learning journey. Once introduced, any grammar is constantly revisited and recycled in the units that follow. Full grammar documentation is available in the ‘Planning’ section of the Curriculum Guidance page. This clearly explains what grammar is taught in our various units.
Yes, every lesson in every unit contains a variety of activities (whole class / pair and desk-based) covering all four of these skills. These are clearly labelled in our resources. These activities become increasingly more challenging as pupils move through the teaching types. There are also extra consolidation activities in all four skills offered in the ‘Worksheets and Pupil Materials’ section of your resources page. Early Learning units focus more on listening and speaking but still provide some age-appropriate materials for reading and writing. As the children progress there is an equal focus on all four of the skills in progressively more challenging activities.
There are thousands of schools around the UK (plus many British schools abroad) using our platform and resources to deliver foreign language lessons at primary phase. You can find many testimonials from real, named teachers in real, named schools on our website: https://www.languageangels.com/schools/index.php/testimonials
If your question is not answered in our FAQ area, please contact us using the details below and we’ll be delighted to assist you further.