Language workshop in CE1 B

We have carried out a vocabulary workshop in CE1B in two sessions which involves 2 teachers to cover 4 languages. 

Our main aim has been to see how our plurilingual kids could deal with different tasks using their life skills such as autonomy, decision making, problem solving and  teamwork.


We make groups of four students. We explain that we are going to work on vocabulary and how words are written and pronounced in the 4 different languages they know (French-English-Catalan- Spanish) 

Each student will work one language on their own first,  and then will work together with the 4 languages later in their groups. 

Our learning objective is to make our students reflect on the differences and similarities among them by looking at spelling and pronunciation.

1-Oral task:  Colour dominoes.

In groups of four- they are given an envelope with 12 colours in English for each member. They have to distribute them and organize the game. Each group deals with the activity in a different way.  As they work in groups they tend to interact and deal with the cards in different languages to finally play the game of domino matching the name of the colour with the picture.They use different strategies to achieve their objective.

2- Written task:  Colours chart

Group work:  the teacher assigns a language to each student.Then they have to complete the column of the chart related to their language individually. Some of them struggle with:  unknown vocabulary (some words they don’t know) or others start  filling the chart without realising there’s an order. In every group there’s a strong student in each language who can help the others filling in.

Teachers are helpers in this workshop and go around the table to see how they are doing. We let them write phonetically as well. All of them have completed their column at the end of the session.

In the second session they gather in the previous groups again. Then they have to complete the whole chart with the help of the group. 

We explain that they have to fill in the chart following an order and start with the first horizontal column.

While they complete the chart in groups, we ask them to identify the odd one out and justify with their reasons why they have chosen it. 

We set an example on the whiteboard: green- vert-verde- verd and ask them which one is different and the reason why. Some understand that the word which starts with a different vowel is the odd one out. Then we tell them they have to circle the word that is different from the others.

they work properly, asking for help sometimes again related to unknown vocabulary or written words.

It’s turn to correct: we correct together on the whiteboard and they self-assess their correct answers with a tick.

 Interesting points: they mixed “lila and violeta” when they wrote this column, and sometimes they found more than one difference but when we corrected it they saw the similarities in the pronunciation: ex. taronja, orange.

Final task: the spinning game: in groups they have to say as quick as possible the colour the spinner is pointing at. Each member of the group has to say the colour in the language they have been assigned. 

Feedback: At the end of the session we reflect on the difficulties that have had and we emphasize the learning objective of the lesson: to identify the similarities and differences among these languages  so that  they can use the knowledge  acquired from one language to learn words in another one. They have realised as well that some words are written the same but pronounced in different ways: ex. orange or gris.


Plurilingual competence involves the ability to:

  • switch from one language or dialect to another 
  • express oneself in one language and understand the other 
  • call upon the knowledge of a number of languages to make sense of a text,  
  • mediate between individuals with no common language 
  • by bringing the whole of their linguistic equipment into play 
  • experiment with alternative forms of expression in different  languages or dialects.  

CECR Section 1.3

Mettre en lumière les langues en primaire

Le plurilinguisme est un des atouts de notre établissement. 

La connaissance d’une langue sert à la compréhension d’une autre. Quand un enfant a acquis une structure langagière, il est capable de transférer ses stratégies linguistiques. Il va ainsi s’appuyer sur ses connaissances  pour développer sa compréhension d’une autre langue.

Afin d’intégrer  une didactique linguistique, un atelier expérimental a été proposé aux élèves de  CE1B dans les quatre langues. (français, espagnol, catalan et anglais.)

Il s’agissait pour les enfants de travailler sur les structures linguistiques communes, c’est -à-dire d’étudier les aspects linguistiques communs aux quatre langues. Chaque enfant a ainsi pu s’appuyer sur ses propres connaissances afin d’établir des comparaisons pour améliorer sa compréhension d’une autre langue.

Les ressources plurielles intervenues dans les interactions lors des deux séances constituent des outils indispensables dans le processus d’apprentissage.

CE1, Primaire