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FOREIGN LANGUAGE AREA PLANNING: PLANNING OF


UNITS. CRITERIA FOR THE SEQUENCING AND TIMING
OF CONTENTS, LEARNING STANDARDS AND
EVALUATION CRITERIA. SELECTION OF THE
METHODOLOGY TO BE USED IN LEARNING AND
EVALUATION ACTIVITES.
OUTLINE

1. INTRODUCTION

2.FOREIGN LANGUAGE AREA PLANNING

2.1. CRITERIA TO ESTABLISH THE SEQUENCE AND TIMING OF

CONTENTS, LEARNING STANDARDS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA

2.2. PLANNING THE SEQUENCING OF DIDACTIC UNITS:

2.2.1. Contextualization

2.2.2. Key Competences

2.2.3. Contents, learning standards and evaluation criteria

2.2.4. Methodological aspects

2.2.4.1.Activities

2.2.5 Evaluation

2.2.6.1.Evaluation activities

2.2.6.2.Instruments of evaluation

2.2.6.3.Co-evaluation and self-evaluation

3. BIBLIOGRAPHY
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1. INTRODUCTION

The Organic Act 1/1990 of General Arrangement of the Educational System (LOGSE) introduced some

important changes, aimed at improving the quality of education in Spain. Among these changes: The extension of

compulsory education to the age of 16; The establishment of new educational stages such as: Infant, Primary and

Compulsory Secondary Education; The organization of these stages in cycles, which is the period that should be

considered for teaching programs and promotion; The establishment of a curriculum which, in spite of having

certain aspects which are compulsory for all the country, is also open and flexible, so that the different

autonomous educational services can adapt it to their real contexts. Then, each school should adapt the official

curriculum to their real environment by means of the design and development of the School Educational Project.

Every teacher will, therefore, design his/her particular teaching planning according to the decisions taken in the

School Educational Project.

It must be borne in mind that LOCE 10 / 2002 23rd December, was intended to substitute and

complement LOGSE. However, although the law was passed, most of the aspects and reforms put forward
by it were never implemented at a regional level as its implementation was delayed by means of RD 1318
/2004. Later, LOCE was surpassed by LOE 2/2006 3 May, which has been recently amended by LOMCE

8/2013, 9th December.

The Spanish educational legislation is an open and flexible one that allows all laws and resolutions to be

adapted to the context of implementation. It is therefore essential to mention that all our regional laws are

elaborated taking into account, not only the Constitution and LOE, but basically, LOMCE and RD 126/2014.

Regarding Primary Education RD 126 /2014, 28th December that establishes the minimum learning

contents for the whole country was developed by our Autonomous community giving birth to Decree 198

/2014, 5th September that has established the Primary Education curriculum for our Region.

Finally, teaching in Primary Education also adjust to the aspects put forward by Order of Evaluation

20th November, 2014 and Decree 359/2009, 30th October, which makes provision for diversity.

Taking into account these basic aspects of the Educational Reform, this unit will look into the elements

and specific characteristics of foreign language teaching planning, the criteria we must take into account for the

sequencing of contents, learning standards and evaluation criteria and the methodological principles we should

bear in mind when designing the learning and assessment activities.

For our purposes we will basically refer to RD 126 /2014 and to our curriculum Decree 198
/2014, and Order of Evaluation 20th December, 2007 as well as to other general resolutions and
guidelines published by the Ministry of Education.
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This unit has been foregrounded on some of the most relevant authors in the field, both
classical and modern, namely Ellis and Brewster, The Primary English Teacher’s Guide (2002), who
provide a general framework for primary school teachers; Harmer’s, The Practice of English Language
Teaching (1983), who explores different aspects of the teaching planning process. In addition, the main
curricular documents issued for our Autonomous community have also been taken into consideration,
specially, Decree 198/2014, 5th September that establishes the curriculum for our Region.

2. FOREIGN LANGUAGE AREA PLANNING

As we have said before, our educational system establishes an open and flexible
curriculum which must be adapted to the particular needs of students through different levels:
The First level refers to the official curriculum, which contains the general stage objectives as
well as the blocks of contents, learning standards and evaluation criteria for each of the different areas.
The Second level includes the School Educational Project, where each school adapts the elements of the

official curriculum to its particular context, the Annual General Programming where the Curricular Proposal and the

Teaching Plans are included.

Decree 198/2014 puts forward the fact that the curriculum gives the schools enough flexibility to adapt the

general regulations to the specific characteristics of their cultural and socioeconomic background. In order to do it,

this decree presents the elements that teachers will need in order to sequence and distribute contents, learning

standards and evaluation criteria in formative units that will be part of the Teaching Plans.

Finally, Article 25 of Decree 198/2014 considers Teaching Plans as the specific document
elaborated by the group of teachers who teach the year in order to plan, develop and evaluate
each of the areas of the curriculum. Thus, this Decree, in its article 25.3, establishes that Teaching
Plans should comprise the following elements:
- Sequencing and temporalization of contents, evaluation criteria and learning standards.
As Order of Evaluation 20th November, 2014 points out, this sequencing should be
organized around formative units planned for that level, and which should include:
a) Title or Topic
b) Temporalization of each unit
c) Contents, evaluation criteria and learning standards worked in each unit

- Competence profile

- Measures devised to promote reading habits and improve oral and written expression

- Didactic resources

- Proposal of complementary and extracurricular activities.

- Level of achievement indicators that will be used to evaluate the teaching-learning practice.
The ones provided by annex IX of Order of Evaluation can be used as reference.
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 The following are normally included as well: 
o General methodological decisions that affect the teaching and learning of the reading skill, the
amount of time devoted to it each day as well as the design and use of reading strategies.
p Measures to promote oral and written expression.

o Measures for the use of information and communication technologies in the classroom.
o The didactic methodology to be followed together with the textbooks and other
curricular materials selected.
o Measures of reinforcement and attention for students with special needs and for
those with higher capacities and level of motivation.

Finally, each teacher should design his/her set of formative units, taking into account the
decisions made in the teaching plan.

Then, the teaching planning can be defined as: ‘the process whereby, starting from the official
curriculum and the decisions taken in the School Educational Project and in the Curricular
Proposal, teachers plan the work that is going to be developed in the class. As a result, we have a
set of sequenced formative units for a given year’. Teaching planning should therefore be:

 Adapted to the context and pupil’s needs 



 Flexible, which implies that we must be ready to change any of its elements if we feel that
they are not appropriate for a particular group of students. 
 Concrete, as it should give clear information about the teaching/ learning process which is
going to be developed in the classroom. 

 Realistic, as the teacher should have the space, time and materials to carry out the
activities he/she has designed and these activities should be adapted to the students’ level. 

As a result, we can establish that the Teaching planning covers two aspects:

 First, it includes several general decisions to ensure the coherence of the teaching process
and the link between the different didactic units throughout the year. These decisions,
which are taken by the teaching staff of the year, deal with: 


- Arrangement and sequence of contents, learning standards and evaluation criteria throughout the

year.
- General guidelines about: space, time, materials, pupils’ groupings and evaluation.

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 In the second place, the teaching planning includes the design of the didactic units. In
relation to the design of these units, the teaching staff of the year should: 

o Find topics which meet the students interests and needs


o Decide the contents, learning standards and evaluation criteria to be worked on in
each unit.
o Design activities according to them.
o Choose the materials suitable for each unit.
o Decide about the strategies to assess the students’ performance and the teaching practice.

Now, we are going to deal with the first aspect we have mentioned, the general decisions to
ensure the coherence of the teaching process throughout the year, which include: THE SEQUENCING
AND TIMING OF CONTENTS, LEARNING STANDARDS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA.

2.1. CRITERIA TO ESTABLISH THE SEQUENCING AND TIMING OF CONTENTS, LEARNING


STANDARDS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA.

As we have seen when talking about the Teaching Plans, one of the decisions made in
such document is the sequencing and timing of contents, learning standards and assessment
criteria of each area along the different years. It should be noted that the term sequence refers to
the order in which we are going to present the contents, while the term timing refers to the amount
of time we will need to achieve the learning standards and teach the contents. In order to
sequence the contents to be taught during each school year, they are grouped around topics of
interests distributed in units and conveniently related to the corresponding evaluation criteria,
standards and instruments through which they will be evaluated, always bearing in mind the main
aim of Foreign Language learning, that is, the acquisition of communicative competence. Thus,
they should be arranged in a meaningful way to ensure the coherence of the learning process.

Regarding contents, we must go from the general and simple to the particular and complex. There must be a

balance between the contents from the four content blocks. However, although each content block refers to a

different skill, the four skills should be developed in an interrelated way as they are in real communication.

Nevertheless, we must remember that in the Foreign Language Area curriculum for Primary Education, oral skills

are stressed over written skills, and receptive skills are given priority over productive skills, particularly during the

first two years of the stage. Contents must also be adapted to the students’ level of development: According to

PIAGET and INHELDER (1984) children are at the Concrete Operational Stage (between 7 and 11 years old). The

characteristics of this stage are as follows:

o Children start to develop rational thinking starting from concrete objects, classes or
relations.
p o Children make progress in perceptive and motor aspects.
o Children begin to develop socialisation skills.

According to these characteristics we must remember the following guidelines:

 If children mental operations are based on their concrete experiences, we, as foreign language teachers,
should select topics and activities connected to the pupils real experiences, that is, topics they are already
familiar with in their native language, such as: family, friends, Christmas, things of the classroom, the
house, food, toys, clothes, school, games, sports or animals among many others. 

 If children develop their perceptive and motor abilities, we should contribute to this development by means
of contents and activities which involve body movement or the use of their perceptive and creative
abilities. Total Physical Response (TPR) activities and songs are a good way to help them link words and
actions, and express themselves in English in a funny and meaningful way. 

 We should also foster the development of socialisation skills. In this sense we should
promote the development of positive attitudes such as co-operation and respect towards
the contribution of others. 
 The contents should be presented in context. The new grammatical structures and
vocabulary must be learnt in connection with the communicative functions that children
need to express themselves in situations related to their needs and experiences. 
Written language should be avoided in the first years of the stage, because they are learning to read and write

in their native language and the complex English spelling could be confusing for them. However, when it is finally

introduced children must start just identifying the written form of words and sentences that they already know in

the oral form. For instance, matching written words and sentences with pictures is a typical reading activity. Thus,

as far as reading is concerned, teachers should help students to develop their reading abilities in the foreign

language, working on words, short sentences, class instructions, simple descriptions and very short stories,

supported by pictures. Then, as they move along, teachers can work on the development of intensive and

extensive reading. On the one hand, Intensive reading refers to understand every word of short texts (short

descriptions or stories, personal letters, advertisements or labels). On the other hand, Extensive reading refers to

get the global sense of longer texts, such as: tales, comics or simple books for children with redundant visual

support. To read this kind of texts children can resort to the help of the teacher or the dictionary. The most

important thing in extensive reading is enjoying the texts.

As for writing, we should bear in mind that the communicative needs related to writing of Primary Education

students are still very limited, even in their native language. This implies that written texts during the first years

should consist of: very short descriptions; lists to perform tasks (such as the list of things they need for a party, or

a shopping list); short messages between classmates (for example short orders in games: go to the door, dance,

stand on your chair, go to the left/right...); birthday cards, and invitations, Christmas cards... In later years,

teacher can ask students to produce short simple texts in response to oral or written stimulus,

aimed at different readers and adapted to the different communicative situations. These written
texts will include: short personal letters, descriptions and stories.

Regarding standards we must bear in mind that Royal Decree 126/2014, Annex I, paragraph e
(first foreign language).in its penultimate paragraph estalblishees that the core curriculum for
Primary Education is structured around language activities as they are described in the Common
European Framework of Reference for Languages: comprehension and production (expression
and interaction) of oral and written texts. The contents, criteria and standards are organized into
four main sections that correspond to the language activities mentioned axis of the teachings of the
matter. The relationships between these three elements of the core curriculum are not unique, due
to the special nature of linguistic activity. This means that, all the contents collected for each
respective block activity should be connected to each of the communication tasks listed and
described in standards. Similarly, to assess the degree of acquisition of each of the learning
standards of a particular activity of language, they must all be applied and each of the evaluation
criteria listed and described for the activity. Therefore, the actions described in standards should
be evaluated along the year and different criteria for sequencing them can be taken into account.

2.2. PLANNING THE SEQUENCING OF DIDACTIC UNITS:

Now we are going to talk about the second moment of the teaching planning: the design and
development of didactic units.

At the beginning of the year, the foreign language teachers will elaborate the Classroom
Planning for the different levels they are teaching. This planning will incorporate:

 The result of an initial evaluation that will serve as a tool to know students starting
developmental level 
 Student’s needs and interests 

 Student’s type of intelligence and learning style 

Taking into account these elements, the teacher will plan his educational intervention by
means of a sequence of didactic units that will try to adapt the decisions taken previously by the
teaching staff to the specific reality of the classroom.

In these units the teacher, taking into account all the information gathered about the students from the

teachers, written reports from previous years and from the initial evaluation carried out, will reflect his previous

conceptions regarding their development and will therefore plan accordingly. However, when necessary,

adjustments will be made throughout the year in an attempt to adapt to students’ reality and needs.
A didactic unit is the answer to all the curricular questions: What to teach? In the form of Learning
Standards and learning contents 


 When? Through the sequence of Learning Standards and contents that will be put into
practice through teaching intervention by means of activities 


 How? By means of the learning activities, space and time organisation, didactic resources
and materials 


 And what, when, who, and how to evaluate, by means of the learning standards and assessment criteria,

and the different instruments to carry out the initial, formative and final evaluation 

Taking this into account and the considerations made about didactic units in common literature
in the field, we can establish the main elements that a Didactic Unit should comprise:

1.-Contextualization
2.-Key Competences

3.- Learning Standards


4.- Learning Contents
5.- Methodological aspects
 Type of activities 

 Materials and resources 

 Space and time arrangement. 

 Groupings 
6.- Evaluation criteria and techniques used to carry out this process. Evaluation instruments.
 Instruments to evaluate the learning process 

 Instruments to evaluate the teaching process 

 Instruments to evaluate the didactic units 

We are going to analyse these elements in detail:

2.2.1. The Contextualization is a kind of introduction which includes:

 The topic of the didactic unit 



 Level and term 

 Number of sessions 

 Connection with the previous didactic units 

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 A brief reference about pupils´ previous knowledge, needs and interests, type of
intelligence and learning style 
 Connection with the socioeconomic background of the school and the group of students 

2.2.2.The Key Competences. Some of them will be achieved through the Didactic Unit at
stake. A description should be included regarding the way in which the unit contributes to acquire
each of the Key Competences it is related to. RD. 126 article 12.1. and Decree 198/2014 article
26.4 establishes that the main referent for the assessment of the level of achievement of these key
competences will be the evaluation criteria and the selected standards for each of the levels. That
is why, in each unit a correlation is established between these elements.

What is more, Article 26.5 further puts forward that the set of standards for an area will
therefore determine the “competence profile” for each of these areas or subjects, and in turn, by
taking into account students achievements in each area, it will allow us to know to what extent
these competences have been achieved.

2.2.3.B The learning standards. In each unit, the different standards are related to the
different key competences they are related to. Also, the specific instruments that are going to be
used to assess them are rendered explicit. Indicators of achievement will help to create a rubric in
order to assess the students in an objective way.

2.2.4. Learning contents: The didactic unit must include contents from the four content blocks
in a balanced way, although blocks 1 and 2 will be primary during the first years of the stage:

 They should be interrelated and connected to the students experience and needs 

 The teacher should also include contents related to cross-curricular topics (health, peace,
environment protection...) and interdisciplinary connections (CLIL). 

2.2.5. Methodological aspects


Royal Decree 126/2014, in its article 2, includes methodology as one of the essential and distinctive

elements of our curriculum, together with key competences, stage objectives, contents, learning standards and

evaluation criteria, and defines it as the set of strategies, procedures, planned and organized actions

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carried out by teachers in a reflexive and conscious way and with the aim of allowing students to
access learning and achieve the desired objectives.

In line with this, Decree 198/2014 also devotes Chapter III and the two articles it consists of (Art.
12 and Art. 13) to methodology. On the one hand, Article 12 establishes, as one of the main principles
of pedagogical intervention, the necessity of integrating key competences within the teaching-learning
process and, as a result, the convenience of incorporating the globality principle into our teaching plans.
It also emphasizes the need for tackling all teaching-learning situations, taking into account the context
and its relation with the needs and interest of the students. Furthermore, catering for students’ diversity
will be a must, paying special attention to their individual characteristics, needs and requirements,
preventing difficulties in the learning process and establishing the required support measures.
Only in this way can we guarantee that students will be prepared for the acquisition of
functional and significant learnings that will, in turn, vouch for life long learners.

On the other hand, Article 13 provides teachers with some methodological guidelines that
should serve them in the implementation of their teaching plans. Among them, we can find that:
-Teachers will have to design integrated learning activities that will allow students to acquire
more than one competence at a time.
-Learning in different contexts will be promoted.
-Reflection and research will be fostered as well as the realization of challenging activities. -
Teachers will be allowed to design tasks and projects that imply a significant use of reading,
writing, ICTs and oral expression through debates or oral presentations. -

Students will work individually, in groups and in cooperative tasks.

-It will be possible to create flexible groupings, always bearing in mind the individual
characteristics of the students, in order to carry out particular extension or reinforcement tasks.
-Contents will be grouped around meaningful topics that are close to the students’ reality.
-The classroom will be arranged in a way that guarantees the inclussion and non-
discrimination of any student in the activities both inside and outside the classroom.
-The materials and resources selected will be diverse, varied, interactive and accessible in
what refers to content and format.

Apart from the aforementioned general methodological guidelines, English teachers should
also take into account some hints on the most essential aspects that apply to this area offered by
Royal Decree 126/2014 in the introduction to the Foreign Language area (annex I).
This document asks teachers to remember that Primary Education students have a very basic level of

communicative competence. Thus, when they work on interaction, production or comprehension of texts it will be

necessary to refer to and introduce contexts the students are already familiarized with, this way taking advantage

of their previous knowledge, capacities and experiences. Departing from this, teachers will foster

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a contextualized use of the foreign language, creating diverse communicative situations that will
allow a real and motivating use of English.
Using games and group work, especially during the first years, will also serve a twofold
purpose, as they are essential for the acquisition of a foreign language and can also be used as an
instrument of socialization wihin the group.
Semantic and syntactic explanations will be gradually introduced as students grow up.

Similarly, Decree 198/2014 for the Region of Murcia also offers some methodological
guidelines, which are specific for the teaching of a foreign language in the introduction to the
Foreign Language Area. They read as follows:
-English teachers will make sure that students have enough opportunities to use the foreign
language to express their own ideas or to carry out different activites that can include:
presentations, storytelling, dramatizations of songs, role-plays, online conversations or projects, for
example. The oral use of the language will be predominant during the first three years.
-Teachers will select appropriate activities and tasks that will allow students to use previously
learnt concepts in an oral way and to make errors and mistakes from which they can learn.
-Reading and writing in the first stages will be presented by means of the methods
implemented in the foreign language country to teach these skills to English-speaking native
children. This way, students will be introduced to the English sound system and its graphic
representation in a simple way that will be more complex as they move along. Teachers can follow
a synthetic phonics method, especially during the first two years of Primary education.
-The use of stories will be frequent in the English classroom. During the first three years,
these stories will be in consonance with the students’ level of vocabulary, interests and ages. The
use of images, paper or digital support, gestures and other strategies will come along with the use
of stories. In the last three years, these stories will be longer, although still adequate for the
students with regard to their level of English and their interests.
-As far as the resources are concerned, teachers can organize an English nook in the classroom endowed
with: stories, pictures, games or even word recordings elaborated by the students; materials from English-
speaking countries, such as stories, books, cds or cards with images; or materials brought by the students,

including pictures from trips, brochures, newspapers or magazines, to name but a few.

-Creativity will also be fostered from the Foreign Language area, as it is from all the areas
in Primary Education.

Other principles, although not explicitly mentioned in the curriculum, derive from the more
general psychological and pedagogical foundations upon which the curriculum is based:

The globality principle is a basic principle all throughout Primary Education not only in the foreign

language area but in all areas. The implications of this principle in the teaching of the Foreign Language are

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that, at the first stages of learning a language, peculiarities should be omitted and, language should be
presented in a contextualised way taking into account the needs and interests of the students, paying
special attention to those things that are familiar to the students in order to move on to unfamiliar points.
Contextual elements will be essential for the understanding of messages and meanings. In Primary
Education the main contextual elements will be non-linguistic elements such as gestures, images,
mime, etc. The relationship between the foreign language area and other areas should be fostered as
well as its connection with the so-called transversal topics. English, due to its instrumental value, seems
ideal for the introduction of this type of topics. Thus, the use of topics related to History, Maths, Natural
Sciences, etc will prove very useful in bringing alive the Target Language at the time that we depart
from concepts that, in one way or another, the students have already heard from in their mother tongue.
Establishing interdisciplinary connections on a regular basis with other areas, such as Music, Physical
Education or Plastic and Visual Education will definitely be of great didactic interest in developing
students’ communicative competence under a global approach.

The significant learning principle is another general methodological principle that has notable
implications in the teaching of the foreign language. This principle implies that learner’s construct their
own learning after modifying their mental schemes. In order to do this, the learner needs to be
motivated, the content presented must be functional and attractive to them and must be adequately
sequenced. Furthermore, in order to move towards learning, tasks should always be given a little bit
above the learner’s level. The “Near Development Zone” will be that part of learning the learner will not
be able to achieve without the help of another learner or the teacher himself. The implications for the
foreign language area seem more than obvious. The teacher must constantly elicit from the students in
order to detect their previous knowledge and then plan accordingly. The teacher will only intervene at
that point of the learning process when the learner cannot do it for himself. (Never do for your students
what they can do for themselves). This means that opportunities for pair work and group work in the
foreign language class will increase the possibility of learners of acquiring significant learning.

Departing from students’ level of development. One of the basic ideas of the
constructive approach to the teaching learning process is that of departing from student’s
development level and then, once this level has been established, tasks should be planned a little
bit above this level. In order to determine the student’s development level we must first take into
account the specific cognitive, motor and social characteristics of Primary Students as these
characteristics will very much condition the type of methodology at this level.

From a cognitive point of view, we must point out that student are in the what Piaget called “Concrete

Operational” stage. This implies among other things, that their capacity of abstract thinking and of reasoning is

quite limited. Their short-term memory is quite developed as well as their perceptive capacity. However, they have

difficulties in storing things in their long-term memory. This implies the need of

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constantly recycling the contents dealt with previously in order to incorporate them to their long-
term memory. Furthermore, the presentation of the same contents in different contexts, as
mentioned above, will facilitate in Primary students the development of symbolic meaning.

From a social and affective perspective, students are starting to develop social strategies and show in

general desire to be integrated socially in the classroom group. This should be taken into account in the classroom

organization as well as in the selection of topics and activities. Social interaction in the foreign language classroom

will serve a twofold purpose: on the one hand, it favours the development of social and cognitive strategies and on

the other hand, it will foster the development of communicative competence.

Finally, it should be born in mind that, during this stage, students are still developing motor
abilities and it is important to foster these processes introducing activities in the foreign language
classroom that will allow them to develop these abilities at the time that they learn the foreign
language. Total Physical Response activities will quite often help for these purposes.

2.2.5.1. Activities will be the way through which we will mainly implement the different learning
standards and contents planned. Although each specific methodology will prompt different types of
activities, in general, and taking into account that our curriculum puts forward a constructive
approach to learning and that our main aim is to make students achieve the so-called
Communicative Competence, our didactic units should present:
 Introductory activities 
These activities will serve a twofold purpose: on the one hand they will be used to detect
previous knowledge and therefore start our teaching practice from our students developmental
level. On the other, they should also prompt motivation- warming up activities- as motivation is an
essential tool in the achievement of significant learning. In our area, brainstorming activities and
different games will be a usual part of the teaching units. Furthermore, introductory activities will
serve us to introduce the new contents to be dealt with.
 Development activities 
These are activities that will expand the contents dealt with and will give the students practice
in them. In the foreign language area these activities will usually range from the controlled
meaningful and mechanical drills to the less controlled communicative exercises.
 Consolidation activities 
These activities will help the students relate the new contents to the old ones by putting into
practice the language in less controlled and freer situations.

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 Evaluation activities 
These activities will allow the teacher as well as the student to realise if the learning standards
aimed at have been achieved. As we shall see, evaluation is an integral part of the teaching
learning process and not something separate from it.
 Extension and reinforcement activities 
Extension and reinforcement activities will allow the teacher to adapt the teaching learning process
to the learning pace and demands of mixed abilities present in the class, thus catering for diversity.
 Activities for students with special needs 

The Presentation, Practice, Production methodology (PPP) for the treatement of concepts and
the Pre-While- Post, when working on skills very well adapt to this activity based model. However,
others such as the task based methodology are also very useful in the implementation of
communicative approaches to the teaching of languages, as they are student centred approaches that
basically focus on meaning rather than on form at the time that cater for diversity very effectively.

Materials and resources used in the different didactic units should be varied, motivating,
catching and attractive as well as useful to cater for the diversity of the students in the class.
Moreover, the use of ICT resources should be fostered whenever it is possible.

Similarly, grouping and spatial arrangements should be flexible and adapted to the diversity
and needs of the teaching situation, always taking into account that our curriculum is a student
centred one and that our main aim is the acquisition of communicative competence.

2.2.6. Evaluation. Once we have explained the main criteria to design the learning activities,
we will focus on evaluation activities:

2.2.6.1 Evaluation activities


Evaluation plays a relevant part in the student's integral training. Decree 198/2015 Article 4 sections

(d) and (e) establish that evaluation criteria are the basic referent for the evaluation of learning. In
addition, it says that learning standards are further specifications of these and will allow us to
identify learning outcomes.
It is worth noticing that the standards and evaluation criteria established for the year have to
be taken into account in the elaboration of didactic units and they should be assigned different
instruments for the assessment of them so as to easily be able to assess the unit. Also Annex VI
section 1.3 establishes the need of deciding on which standards are essential and which ones are
not essential as well as on the weight that will be given to those that are essential and to those that
are not, making sure that essential standards will weigh at least 50% guaranteeing this way that
students achieving at least the essential will get a positive mark.

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However, it should be noted that evaluation is not marking. While the former can be defined
as a judgement made about any element of the teaching learning process, the latter is an
administrative requirement which makes us give students a mark and a report of their progress at
the end of each one of the terms (Suficiente =5, Bien=6, Notable= 7-8 and Sobresaliente 9-10). On
the contrary, evaluation can be made at any moment.
One part of the evaluation must be student-centred (learning process) and we must value
not only the final result but also the whole process. We must distinguish:
 Initial evaluation: it is performed at the beginning of any learning process. It checks the
student's previous knowledge, taking as a reference what the student knows or does not
know because of previous education. Sometimes, especially when dealing with beginners
the reference is how much the pupil's knows or does not know in his/her mother tongue. 

Initial and diagnostic evaluation is carried out in order to be able to adapt the curriculum and the school

educational project to the specific students. This is done basically by means of: interviews with other

teachers, looking into previous years reports and by preparing the diagnostic sessions where students are

exposed to different questionnaires and surveys and checklists so as to get enough information on

students cognitive abilities, type o intelligence and needs and interests. At the beginning of each unit a

brief diagnostic evaluation is carried out, usually in the form of oral questions, although it could be done in

a more structured way by means of a questionnaire. 



 Globalised evaluation: it is performed along any learning process. Its main principle is based on

systematic observation and it serves to check which stage of the student's possibilities he/she is at and
whether it is necessary to provide him/her with the necessary help to solve any sort of difficulty. It is
integrated in the teaching-learning process in the sense that it serves the student to be aware of what
he/she can do and what he/she ignores and it serves the teacher to do the necessary adjustments in
his/her classroom programming, according to some particular students' learning needs. In this way the
idea of summative evaluation has changed and only a Summative Marking should be made in order to

obtain a final mark. The introduction of standards and competence has fully changed the vision of
evaluation and it has become a task that should be mainly performed along the process.

Since evaluation is also a way of valuing the teaching process, it will have to be applied to:
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 the teacher's performance 

 the organization of contents (programming) 

 the materials and aids used 

 the evaluation system 

 the activities used (if they have been the appropriate ones, if they have been adapted to the
students' different learning rhythms and if the previous sorts of knowledge have been taken
into account, to which extent the interdisciplinary topics have been tackled with and
whether an appropriate atmosphere has been achieved) 

 classroom organization and management (if they have been the adequate ones for the
group one is working with) 

Order of Evaluation 20th November, 2014 makes it clear that evaluation should not be restricted
to the evaluation of the students, but that the whole teaching learning process and elements should be
taken into consideration, even creating special indicators to do so, as pointd out in article 23.
What is more, Decree 198/20014 in its article 31 establishes that the evaluation of the
teaching practice will guide decision taking all throughout the stage. This implies that the revision
of our own teaching practices should be at the core of the whole process, constantly assessing and
reassessing our practices as means of improvement of the whole process.

2.2.6.2 Instruments of evaluation


We must distinguish between instruments and the teacher’s documents used to gather the
information obtained along the evaluation process.
The instruments used will vary depending on whether we want to take decisions in relation to
what the situation is at the very beginning (initial evaluation); affecting the teaching-learning process
(formative evaluation); what is interesting to value in a particular moment (summative marking).

There are therefore different techniques that can be used in order to carry out evaluation efficiently.
Direct observation, interviews, questionnaires, role plays are the most common at this stage. As far as the

most useful instruments where this information can be gathered we can mention the students’ record sheets,

summative evaluation sheets and teacher’s diaries.

Each of the standards established for year as well as the evaluation criteria are linked in each
unit to an evaluation instrument through which they will be consistently evaluated throughout the year.
All these instruments will help organize and classify the information gathered so as to be able to use it
for remedial teaching, attention to diversity or adjustment of the teaching learning process or materials.

2.2.6.3 Co-evaluation and self evaluation


It is necessary to use both co-evaluation and self-evaluation if we really want the student to consider the

learning process as his/her own and develop life long learning and autonomy. Through participation in
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the process the student will be responsible for his/her own learning, therefore self-evaluation
becomes fully important.

Self-evaluation
For self-evaluation to be productive, the pupil must be aware of what is expected from him,
why a particular methodology is followed in the classroom and he/she must get used to reflecting
on his/her own learning and the work he/she carries out in the classroom.

Self-evaluation is formative as the information gathered, both by student and teacher


reverts in the teaching learning process itself. The gathering of impressions allows the teacher to
contrast the evaluation that he/she makes of his/her pupils with the one the students have of
themselves, therefore evaluation works as a multiple dialogue.

In this type of evaluation the students become aware of their strengths and weaknesses
and reflect on their learning process in order to be able to monitor and improve it. This, in time, will
foster more reflective, responsible and autonomous students.

It is an excellent tool for learning to learn and promoting long life learnings. The instruments used here are

basically activities, controls, checklist, self evaluation tests as well as learning diaries to ease this task of

reflection. The reflection items should be connected with the previously established objectives.

Co-evaluation
In co-evaluation the students reflect on other’s work. It is an outstanding metacognitive tool as it forces

students to reflect on the essential items and criteria that should guide their work. Publishing projects or pieces of

work give the student an excellent opportunity to evaluate other’s work. If this reflection is structured through the

use of checklists or prompts, the process is most productive, becoming an excellent metacognitive tool that builds

their learning to learn and autonomous learning strategies. The use of blogs on a regular basis to publish work

gives the teacher a magnificent chance to do this.

It is worth mentioning that the Common European Framework, that has served as reference
for the elaboration of the foreign language area curriculum puts special emphasis on both these
processes, as effective tools to develop autonomy and mastery in a foreign language. The portfolio
itself is a good example of it.

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3. BIBLIOGRAPHY

 Brewster, Ellis and Girard. The primary English Teacher’s Guide. London. Penguin. 1992. 

 Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. London: Longman, 1983 

 Nunan, David. The Learner-Centred Curriculum. Cambridge University Press, 1988 

Legal Documents

  LOMCE 8/2013, 9th December 


  RD 126/2014, 28th February that establishes the minimum learning contents. 
 D 126/2014, 5th September that establishes the curriculum of Primary education for the
 Region of Murcia. 
 Order of Evaluation 20th November, 2014 for the Region of Murcia. 

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