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Languages, Literacy and Communication

 


Languages, Literacy and Communication

Introduction

 

The Languages, Literacy and Communication Area of Learning and Experience (Area) addresses fundamental aspects of human communication. It aims to support learning across the whole curriculum and to enable learners to gain knowledge and skills in Welsh, English and international languages as well as in literature.

The four statements that express what matters in this Area should be addressed holistically. This means that different languages should be explored in relation to one another, so too the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It also means that learning about and through literature should be seen as contributing to all aspects of learning about languages. The statements support and complement one another and together they contribute to realising the four purposes of the curriculum.

Learning and experience in this Area aims to enable learners to communicate effectively using Welsh, English and international languages. It aims to encourage learners to transfer what they have learned about how languages work in one language to the learning and using of other languages. This multilingual and plurilingual approach is intended to ignite learners’ curiosity and enthusiasm and provide them with a firm foundation for a lifelong interest in the languages of Wales and the languages of the world; and thus to make them ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives.

This readiness to learn is further supported since effective language skills help learners to make sense of concepts across the curriculum, for example by enabling them to articulate their reasoning when solving problems and analysing information. Effective multilingual skills deepen this ability as they enable learners to respond in many more contexts.

Given that a key aspect of effective language learning is the willingness to experiment and take risks in trying out new structures, sounds and patterns, learning and experience in this Area can empower learners to be creative and to persevere when facing challenges. Together, these skills can build learners’ confidence to grasp new opportunities and to adapt to different roles which in turn can develop them as enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work.

In this Area, languages are seen as a key to social cohesion, which can promote better local, national and global understanding. The aim is to encourage learners to engage critically with languages and literature in order to help them develop not only their own sense of identity, but also an understanding of the relationship between their own cultures and communities and those of other people. This understanding can be deepened as learners are afforded opportunities to learn multiple languages. This linguistic knowledge and these skills are needed to participate confidently and empathetically in society, which contributes to developing learners as ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.

Engaging with this Area also helps learners to become healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society as the skills promoted through languages, literacy and communication are key to enabling learners to express themselves effectively, to be open to other people’s points of view and to develop positive relationships.

 

 

 

What Matters Statements

 

Languages connect us

Languages connect us with people, places and communities. This Area is designed to equip learners, as citizens of a bilingual Wales in a multilingual world, with the ability to use Welsh, English and international languages. Meaningful learning experiences in a multilingual context go hand in hand with learning about one’s own cultural identity as well as the cultural identities of others. Engagement with this Area can therefore foster in learners pride in their sense of identity and belonging to Wales as well as the world.

By raising an awareness of the diversity of languages from a young age, the aim is to enable learners to recognise similarities between languages and to embrace the differences between them. Learning and experience in this Area can support learners to develop an understanding of the origins, evolution and features of Welsh, English and international languages, providing them with a set of skills such as creativity, mediation, adaptability and empathy.

 

Understanding languages is key to understanding the world around us

Languages and literacy are fundamental to human communication. They enable us to make sense of what is heard, read and seen, and thus to develop our understanding, empathy and our ability to respond and to mediate effectively.

This Area aims to provide learners with opportunities to experience spoken and written language, as well as images, in a range of forms and genres. The rich and varied nature of these experiences can improve learners’ ability to become creative and enterprising in their use of Welsh, English and international languages. They can also help learners to develop the skills to become unbiased and critically-aware interpreters of what they hear, read and see in order to interact as capable, informed citizens of Wales and the world.

 

Expressing ourselves through languages is key to communication

Clear and effective communication through spoken and written language is an important life skill. It calls for the ability to use and adapt language in a range of roles, genres, forms, media and styles and in a suitable register. In a bilingual and multilingual context, this also calls for the ability to choose an appropriate language and to mediate. 

In this Area, learners should be given opportunities to speak and write in order to be effective as they interact, explore ideas, express viewpoints, knowledge and understanding and build relationships. The learning and experience supports them to develop an awareness of how they use language as they experience opportunities to express themselves for different purposes and audiences in both Welsh and English as well as international languages.

 

Literature fires imagination and inspires creativity.

Literature expands horizons. In all its forms it can inspire and motivate us, while also helping us to learn more about language and communication.

This Area provides learners with literary experiences that can engage them as listeners, viewers, readers, narrators and creators. These experiences support them to appreciate a creator’s craft as well as develop their own creative skills. They should be encouraged to experience and respond to a variety of literature that gives them insight into the culture, people and history of Wales as well as the wider world. Through this, as their understanding of their own and other people’s experiences, beliefs and cultures is enhanced, learners can develop their ability to demonstrate empathy. This in turn can contribute to their emotional and mental well-being. In all, the literary experiences offered aim to spark learners’ imagination and creativity and help to build a lifelong love of literature.

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