Exploring Options for the Languages KLA

River Education
August 2, 2021
Home Educated Olympian
August 17, 2021
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Exploring Options for the Languages KLA

Parents considering their options for the Languages key learning area (KLA) are often concerned that they will not be able to meet the requirements. Fortunately, there are a wide range of options, so even parents who have never studied another language can relax. Home ed language learning does not need to look like school for a number of reasons:

  • You can choose your language
  • You can use your home language, and if your home language is the language of instruction, English can be your additional language
  • You can study more than one language
  • You can change your language as often as you like
  • You can base your study of language on an interest (Latin classification, musical terms from other languages, Kpop, Arabic through the Qur’an)
  • You don’t have to select a spoken language – Auslan and coding are also options, as are ‘dead’ languages, such as Eyptian hieroglyphs, Latin or Biblical Hebrew
  • You can base your language study on culture

 

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For those who wish to follow a traditional language learning approach these are common options:

  • Online programs – Duolingo is a popular, free, option which covers most common languages, and some that are less frequently studied (Danish, Navajo, Klingon) Some languages have specific resources like Ellinopoula for Greek, other programs teach multiple languages in a specific way such as FluentU which uses authentic video as the main tool. As a visual language, Auslan is particularly suited to online or face to face sessions.
  • VSL – Face to face classes in many languages run on Saturday mornings or weekday evenings – following the Australian curriculum.
  • Tutors – individual or group instruction with a native speaker. Sometimes in formal paid settings, but also learning from grandparents, neighbours or friends.
  • Textbook or audio program – resources designed for home educators are often more suitable than school textbooks (which assume a teacher is available to correct work).
  • Supplemental activities – provide variety with games, flashcards, penfriend.

 

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If you prefer to learn coding, you can choose one or more languages and do a variety of activities:

  • Learn the language using an online resource
  • Participate in online competitions using code
  • Use coding to program a robot
  • Combine coding with other products, such as Arduino

 

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Language is more than words. Approaching language via culture can be a standalone option, or combined with traditional language learning. You might choose one culture, say China, and:

  • Attend the Lunar New Year celebrations, and learn the story of the Chinese zodiac
  • Visit the Chinese museum
  • Cook some Chinese recipes
  • Learn simple greetings and practice them together
  • Learn about Chinese inventions
  • Practice calligraphy and make a lantern
  • Learn number and colour vocabulary, then play Uno in Chinese
  • Learn how Chinese characters are composed
  • Find a Chinese translation of your name online and practice writing it
  • Watch some documentaries about Chinese geography, history or culture
  • Read novels or picture books set in China

 

Or you might choose to study a number of countries, perhaps one a month, or a term. For each you could:

  • Learning greetings and numbers in their language
  • Cook a traditional recipe
  • Find the country and capital on a map
  • Studying the flag of each country
  • Learn about tourist attractions
  • Completing a short report
  • Read related books, or watch documentaries
  • Try a traditional craft

 

Of course both of these culture based approaches cover more than Language, and could form the basis for a multi KLA Activity. Remember that your plan only needs to list a few activities: you don’t need to list or pre-plan each activity at this stage. The HEN Geography and Cultures Pinterest board has suggestions for many cultures, and can form a starting point for research.

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