Differentiated learning in
Gill Glen
Abbotsleigh Junior School
Languages in my school
• French from Transition/ELC (4-year-olds) to
Year 4 (10-year-olds)
• Mandarin for students in Years 5 and 6
• In Year 7, students choose two of four
languages: French, Latin, German and
• Continue with one of these languages in
Year 8
Advantages and Challenges of being a
Specialist Teacher in a Junior School
 Same students for a number of years
 Class teachers or assistants in some lessons
 Input and needs analyses from class
 Intake of students in Years K, 3, 5 and 7 –
differing prior knowledge and ability
 Large number of students
 Limited time with each class
 Many programs to write
Ways of identifying high achievers and
those needing support – know your
 Pre-test and language survey
 Anecdotal notes and observation of students
 Consult class teacher about students
 Use expertise of G&T Specialists in your school
Strategies for dealing with the transition
from Year 6 to Year 7
 Language taster days
 Liaise with Head of Languages in SS, in order
to allocate students to classes
 Use information from language preference
forms, as well as prior results in languages
 Group beginners together
 Put high achievers in same class
 Begin with a cultural topic in intake years, so
that everyone is on a level playing field
 Pair a new student with an old student for
some activities
 Divide students into groups, and work with the
new students, carefully scaffolding activities
 Encourage independent studies
Differentiation (continued)
 Same topic, different approach: in-depth
activities for more able students
 Flexible grouping, e.g. partners with a similar
ability/ new student works with old student
 Use more able students as role models or
leaders, e.g. in class surveys
 Open-ended tasks: give a choice to students,
e.g. drama/ letter/poem/dialogue/song
Some examples of differentiation
(Excerpt from French Program)
 Revise numbers up to 20. Ask what letters 30, 40, 50 might
start with in French. Can they make connections between
3, 13 and 30? Oral practice – give French number, they
give numeral. Whole class
 Glue number sheets in book for reference and complete a
worksheet which integrates Maths, colours and French.
 Learning support: help new girls and weaker students.
 Extension: confident group completes a pattern worksheet
which has sequences, pronunciation patterns, etc. They
invent their own pattern for others to solve.
Year 4 French (extension group)
A. Write the French for
the number of:
Wise men
Years in a decade
Years in a century
Letters in “Abbotsleigh”
Three score years and ten
B. Complete the pattern:
Deux, quatre, six, ………
Dix, vingt, trente, ……….
Trois, six, neuf, ………….
Quinze, trente, soixante, ……….
Un, deux, quatre, sept, ………..
C. Pronunciation. Find a number
with the same sound as:
D. Can you invent a new pattern or
pronunciation question?
(Example of research tasks – teacher negotiation & differentiated products)
Find or draw a map of New
Make a list of the games What is the Tank Stream?
South Wales and mark Make a list of the foods that children would have Write a short definition of it.
Sydney Cove and Botany that the early settlers ate. played in the colony.
Bay. Label Port Jackson.
Why did they choose
Sydney Cove instead of
Botany Bay? Give full
Draw a plan of a typical Compare the life of a What were the problems
garden in the settlement. convict to the life of a that farmers had in growing
Label the different plants marine.
crops and animals at Rose
you would grow.
aboriginal in Sydney Cove.
Write a description of the
new arrivals to your land as
you see them.
Write a letter to your family Role play an incident
back home in England between a prisoner and a
describing the animals in marine at Sydney Cove
life Write a monologue telling What did people do as
expectancy of settlers was of a convict’s dream for a leisure activities at that
shorter than that of today.
better life
Make a doll or another Design and make a convict Make a model of a typical Make a diorama of a street
simple toy using sticks or costume or make a paper house in the colony
scene in the settlement
old fabric.
doll and dress accordingly
If you were Captain Phillip
setting up a settlement,
what would you have done
differently and why?
What impact did the
British have on the local
Consider food, disease,
land, cultural differences.
Why was Botany Bay
chosen as a site for a penal
colony? Consider Cook’s
voyage in your answer.
Why do you think the
British thought they were
superior to the Aboriginals
they met?
Year 7 Mandarin – The House
• Beginners – learn vocabulary and simple
sentence patterns
• Continuers – describe the house in detail, using
simple sentence structure
• Background students (weak reading and writing)
– similar writing to Continuers’, but use more
complex sentence structures
• Background speakers – advertising promotion
for a house (writing and speaking)
Revision on the weather
Work with a partner to invent a revision
activity about the weather:
• Word search
• Sudoku
• Crossword
• Memory game
• Board game
• Matching game
(Excerpt from Year 1 English program)
Shared Reading
Modelled Writing
5. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Read Goldilocks and
the Three Bears.
Match key pictures with labels.
Examine and discuss
Copy and write nouns in book
one of the
the setting. Ask the
children to identify
Students to
Independent Writing
Use the above key words in sentences
and discuss
the parts of the
their role in
the story.
Discuss comparisons
made in the book.
Students write a diary entry as
Goldilocks, explaining what they
did OR an apology letter to the
Sharing ideas
 Choose a topic
 Design a core activity
 Add an activity for the extension group and
one for the support group

Differentiated learning in languages