Wednesday, 11 May 2016

What we could do with language if we weren't shackled by SPaG

Today I find myself thinking about all the fun things teachers could do with language if they weren't shackled to SATs, SPaG and academisation. I had a vision of sitting with teachers and brainstorming about the things they had done, could do, would have liked to have done in any area of language: history of writing, development of alphabets, pictograms, investigating the differences between signs, ads, non-fiction prose, newspaper headlines, graphic fiction, poems, songs, radio and TV programmes; recording young children's conversations and transcribing them; watching vids of babies learning to talk - bringing in observations of younger brothers and sisters; finding out about 'loan' words (ie words from all over the world in English); doing 'language maps' of your own family; looking at great opening paragraphs in books; great lines from songs - in any language; ...and much more

I bet a group of teachers talking about these things for a day, could devise loads of programmes of work. You could then agree to meet up a term later and share what's been done; and then a term later and share some more...and these sessions could include a speaker or two (linguists, say) who were sympathetic to this investigatory, project-based approach to language to feed in stuff on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, rather as we do on Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth' in fact!