Thursday, 20 April 2017

High-frequency Spanish vocabulary for KS2


In my last post I examined the Teaching Schools Council's MFL Pedagogy Review, and looked at its implications for Key Stage 2 Languages.

The review recommends that: "Vocabulary to be taught should be informed by frequency of occurrence in the language, and special attention should be paid to common verbs in the early stages.  Many language courses are organised around thematic topics, such as ‘free time activities’, ‘the environment’, ‘home and family’ etc. which act as ‘vehicles’ for vocabulary. In such cases the choice of vocabulary can be too specialised, teaching relatively rarely used words at the expense of common words which it is harder to plan for re-encountering later."

This has led me to reflect on the curricula that I have devised and which I teach for Spanish and French in Key Stage 2, and to find out the extent to which they include this high-frequency vocabulary.  I want to know if I am including sufficient common words and indeed if the vocabulary that I teach is unnecessarily specialised.  If KS2 is truly to be a doorway to KS3 then its teaching should include the first rungs of the ladder and not be something completely separate.

I have consulted this list of the "Top 100 Spanish words", which is also subdivided into lists of 25 verbs, 25 nouns, 25 adjectives and so on.  The list throws up some surprises, like mi only being no.49 on the list, and lower than su (no.14).

Verbs

I have started with the list of 25 verbs, of which the first 24 are in the top 100 words.  I have considered which of them could reasonably be included in a KS2 Spanish scheme of work, and which topic areas they would be best suited to.  I have added as a 26th verb gustar, which doesn't appear on the list but which is used very often in Spanish teaching at all levels.




KS2
possible curriculum area
1.
ser to be
yes
description, identification (¿Eso qué es?)
2.
haber to have


3.
estar to be
yes
places in town
4.
tener to have
yes
age, possession, family, pets, money, physical description
5.
hacer to do, make
yes
household chores, sports
6.
poder to be able to, can
yes
classroom instructions and language
7.
decir to tell, say


8.
ir to go
yes
places in town, transports, holidays
9.
ver to see
yes
veo veo, nouns (¿qué ves?)
10.
dar to give


11.
saber to know (a fact), find out


12.
querer to want, love
yes
food, shopping, classroom equipment
13.
llegar to arrive
yes
telling the time
14.
pasar to pass, spend time


15.
deber should, ought to; to owe


16.
poner to put on, get (+ adj.)
yes
clothes
17.
parecer to seem, look like


18.
quedar to stay, remain


19.
creer to believe, think
yes
opinions
20.
hablar to speak, talk
yes
countries and their languages and nationalities
21.
llevar to take, carry


22.
dejar to let, leave


23.
seguir to follow


24.
encontrar to find


25.
llamar to call, name
yes
personal identification


gustar to please
yes
opinions of anything


Nouns

This is the list of the top 25 nouns, of which the first 8 are in the top 100 words.  I have marked the ones which I feel KS2 children are likely to come across.  There are a lot of time, place and general people words, but of course no animals, no food, no clothing....



KS2 ?
1.
vez time (as in number of times)

2.
año year
yes
3.
tiempo time, weather
yes
4.
día day
yes
5.
cosa thing

6.
hombre man, mankind; husband

7.
parte part, portion

8.
vida life

9.
momento moment, time

10.
forma form, shape, way

11.
casa house
yes
12.
mundo world
yes
13.
mujer woman, wife

14.
caso case, occasion

15.
país country
yes
16.
lugar place, position

17.
persona person

18.
hora hour, time
yes
19
trabajo work, job, effort

20.
punto point, dot, period

21.
mano hand
yes
22.
manera manner, way

23.
fin end

24.
tipo type, kind

25.
gente people



Adjectives

Here is the list of the top 25 adjectives.  Grande is there, but, interestingly, not pequeño.  And of course no colours.  Again, I have indicated the ones that I feel KS2 Spanish is likely to cover.



KS2?
1.
su his, her, their, your (fam.)

2.
lo the (+ neuter)

3.
todo all, every

4.
más more
yes
5.
este, -a this

6.
otro other, another

7.
ese, -a that

8.
mucho much, many, a lot
yes
9.
mi my
yes
10.
alguno some, someone (pron.)

11.
mismo same

12.
primero first
yes
13.
grande large, great, big
yes
14.
poco little, few; a little bit (adv.)
yes
15.
tanto so much, so many

16.
nuestro our

17.
cada each, every

18.
menos less, fewer
yes
19.
nuevo new
yes
20.
aquel that (over there)

21.
bueno good
yes
22.
tal such (a)

23.
mejor best, better (adv.)

24.
cierto certain, sure, true

25.
mayor larger, older, main


Conjunctions

The first ten of these conjunctions are in the list of the top 100 words.  There are only 15 conjunctions in the top 5000 words.  I am surprised to see que at the top rather than y, and surprised to see mas at all, as I consider its use to be somewhat antiquated.  I have added on the end of the list sin embargo, which we use frequently in KS2 as an alternative to pero.



KS2?
1.
que that, which
yes
2.
y and
yes
3.
como like, as
yes
4.
pero but, yet, except
yes
5.
o or
yes
6.
si if, whether

7.
porque because
yes
8.
cuando when
yes
9.
ni not even, neither, nor

10.
donde where

11.
pues then, well then

12.
sino but, except, rather

13.
aunque although, even though

14.
mientras whereas; as long as

15.
mas but, however



sin embargo however
yes


Adverbs



KS2?
1.
no no
yes
2.
ya already, still

3.
muy very, really
yes
4.
también also
yes
5.
así like that

6.
 yes
yes
7.
bien well
yes
8.
entonces so, then

9.
tan such, as, too

10.
ahora now

11.
después after

12.
siempre always, forever

13.
sólo only, just

14.
antes before

15.
cómo how?
yes
16.
aquí here
yes
17.
luego later, afterward

18.
casi almost, nearly

19.
durante during, for (time)

20.
nunca never, ever

21.
además as well, besides

22.
hoy today, nowadays
yes
23.
allí there, over there

24.
dentro inside

25.
ahí there



Prepositions

There are only 19 prepositions in the top 5000 words.



KS2?
1.
de of, from
yes
2.
a to, at
yes
3.
en in
yes
4.
por for, by, through

5.
con with
yes
6.
para for, to, in order to

7.
sin without

8.
sobre on top of, over, about

9.
hasta until, up to, even (adv.)

10.
entre between, among

11.
desde from, since

12.
hacia toward

13.
contra against, opposite

14.
bajo under, underneath

15.
ante before, in the presence of

16.
según according to

17.
tras after, behind

18.
mediante by means of

19.
excepto except (for)


On reflection, I am happy that I include sufficient high-frequency conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs, but I don't think that I am including enough verb forms or that I am including them often enough.  The KS2 curriculum does, after all, specify high-frequency verbs, and I think I should make them more explicit.  Fewer nouns could be in order.  After all, that is why we teach them phonics and dictionary skills.  All in all, plenty to think about. 

I'd be interested in hearing your views on the high-frequency vocabulary, especially verbs, that we should be tackling at KS2.  Please feel free to leave a comment!

Similar information for French coming soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment