Literacy is most commonly defined as the ability to read and write, but it’s far more than that. Language development and literacy are crucial to every day life. To make one’s thoughts, feelings, and needs understood is important. It is also important to be able to understand other people’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. Being able to understand each other, to communicate effectively, allows us to develop and maintain relationships.
We want our students to become healthy, confident communicators, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society. Through the teaching of languages, literacy and communication, we aim to enable our learners to express themselves effectively, to be open to other people’s points of view and to develop positive relationships.
Think of how often you use your own reading skills in everyday life. It’s not just books and articles that require literacy, but signs, labels, and the messages on your phone, too. The same goes for writing. Nowadays, even phone calls have given way to instant messaging and text-based communication, making the ability to read all the more important.
But beyond the functional level, literacy plays a vital role in transforming students into socially engaged citizens. Being able to read and write means being able to keep up with current events, communicate effectively, and understand the issues that are shaping our world.
At Bryn Celynnog, students study additional languages Welsh and Spanish. The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills. If that weren’t enough, as we age, being bilingual or multilingual also helps to stave off mental aging and cognitive decline.
Language is the most direct connection to other cultures. Being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and fosters an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language. Greater understanding, in turn, promotes greater tolerance, empathy, and acceptance of others.
In Year 7, learning activities in Languages, Literacy and Communication include:
- Discussing the impact of language on identity while reading and evaluating 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau'.
- Crafting and delivering a speech about identity and its importance.
- Engaging with a variety of multimedia texts to develop an understanding of mythology from across the world.
- Reading and responding to a class novel through evaluation tasks and creative writing.
- Planning and recording a discussion in Welsh about hobbies and leisure time.
- Writing a letter to the Welsh language magazine 'IAW' about your experiences in school.
- Researching and investigating events which have impacted the number of Welsh speakers.
- Using digital technology to explore comparisons between Wales and Spain
- In Spanish, writing a letter to your pen pal about yourself and family