Sanako Connect Primary
Sanako Connect Primary is an online system designed to work across Multi Academy Trusts who are wishing to support their local feeder or Primary schools with modern foreign languages activities. This can either be done on site or remotely with live audio and video streaming, perhaps linking secondary school MFL teachers or classroom assistants to primary school pupils.
As a very successful example of how secondary schools can support their local primary school cluster, please read the below article about how the innovative Monmouth Comprehensive School in South Wales used their licence of Sanako Connect to support their primary school cluster with fantastic results.
Primary Transition MFL Project in South Wales
Having fun and making progress in MFL through fairy tales
Since September 2022, languages are compulsory in primary schools in Wales (in addition of course to Welsh).
On entry to secondary schools in Y7, the desirable knowledge and experience that children should have had are an awareness of a multi lingual world and its vast range of languages. Immersion in at least one International Language, opportunities to speak and listen to at least one International Language through songs, rhymes, poems, vocabulary games, the ability to recognise similarities and differences in sounds and curiosity about cultural differences.
One cluster of eight primary schools in South Wales, working with Jill Snook, Head of International Languages at Monmouth Comprehensive School supported by Wendy Adeniji from Sanako UK, took part in an innovative project in summer 2023, which met all the ‘What matters’ statements for the curriculum (Languages connects us, Understanding languages is key to understanding the world, Expressing ourselves is key to communication and Literature fires imagination) as well making links with expressive arts and digital technology.
Teachers taught a series of lessons to Y3 or Y4 classes in either French or German, linked to a fairy-tale, but including lots of other activities to help develop language. In French the fairy tale was Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood) and the focus was on greetings, simple conversations and parts of the body using resources adapted from the iLanguages primary scheme of work.
A really exciting use of MFL technology was the fact that children used Sanako Connect software to help children to practise and improve their pronunciation independently in class and at home without the need for their teachers or parents to support them. Children had opportunities, in whichever role they were assigned (big bad wolf, ugly sister and so on) to practise their lines using the latest voice recognition technology which gives feedback on a zero to five star system and even underlines which words were mispronounced. Of course, children have the opportunity to listen to a native speaker saying this correctly first, and they can slow this down to 0.75 speed, in order to be able to copy a correct model.
Sanako Connect Online Improves Student Pronunciation At Any Age !
Student Attempt 1
Student Attempt 2
The Primary School Teachers Comment About The Project
Teacher Alistair Williamson from Cross Ash Primary School, “The pupils have taken French to a new level. The Sanako Connect software has been amazing because they’ve been able to use it independently. They’ve scanned the QR code and have selected their lines from the fairy tale. I could tailor it so they chose their name and their own specific lines from the play came up. The pronunciation feature has been game-changing because they’ve been able to listen to a fluent French speaker speak to them, pick up their accent, copy it and then have the feedback on whether their pronunciation is right and which words they need to work on.”
Cross Ash School also involved parents in the project. “What’s been really good it that we’ve shared the QR code with parents and we’ve had massive parental engagement. All children have been able to access it at home. Parents have been telling us that they’ve been learning French as well and have been competing to see who can get the most stars!”
The Pupils Also Comment About Project
The Culmination of this Primary Fairy Tale Project
The culmination of this fairy tale project was that the children involved acted out the story to the rest of the school and to parents, and then came to Monmouth Comprehensive School in July in a wonderful event to celebrate languages, to act out their plays in their auditorium in the target language.
Children’s pronunciation and confidence were significantly enhanced by the opportunity to practise beforehand, and each school had a different, creative interpretation of the story, some adding in extra songs, and all having different children play the key roles, so all children could take part.
Comments From The Forward Thinking Project Co-ordinators
Jill Snook, Head of International Languages, Monmouth Comprehensive School, who led the project,
"It’s been a delight to see how enthusiastic the teachers have been about this project, resulting in such a wonderful day. The performances were amazing and we were astounded at the impressive pronunciation of French and German, as well as the creativity within the performances.
Being able to support the cluster in sharing access to Sanako Connect online and with great training from Wendy, teachers felt enthused and confident to deliver to their pupils. There was such a buzz on the day, which shows how the joy of language learning can be embraced at all stages of lifelong language learning. I am so thrilled that all the schools left saying “ Same time next year ?”, which means this is a project we will definitely be running again.”
Sioned Harold, Curriculum Partner (Welsh in English medium settings and International languages) for the South East Wales Education Achievement Service
“The confidence of the pupils’ performances and the accuracy of pronunciation on the day was astounding! The use of Sanako Connect and the pronounce software to support the development of quality international languages learning and teaching in the primary Curriculum for Wales, especially for non-specialist practitioners, is an innovative game changer.”
Through this project children enhanced their knowledge of the language, their speaking skills, they used technology to improve their learning and accelerate their progress, and most importantly, they ended the project feeling much more confident in and motivated to learn a foreign language.