Although not an 'Absolute Beginner' myself, it occurred to me that such a group might be comforting and useful to those who are new to Primary Language teaching.
I prefer to use the term 'new to Primary Language teaching' because the term 'non-specialist' is not, in my opinion, appropriate. Classroom teachers ARE specialists - they are experts in their own class and schools, they know their students as individuals far better than anyone else and have privileged knowledge of what their class is doing across the entire curriculum.
The classteacher is skilled across the curriculum, and many of those skills are ideally deployed in Language teaching. You already teach Literacy to a far far higher level than will ever be required in a foreign language, so go back and revisit phonics, letters and sounds, dictionary games etc. You teach Numeracy - so use numbers to 10 in a target language as a warm-up every now and then, add the alphabet and you can teach co-ordinates, check out a Foreign language children's Maths site and be amazed at how the children can still understand, because Maths IS a language in itself. You've taught observation, careful recording and reflection in Science, they'll need the same skills to learn a language. You know what topics are coming up next and how to plan in a cross-curricular manner - there are very few visiting 'specialists' who could!
So this group is set up to identify where help is needed, point out resources (both free and commercial) that are particularly useful for those teachers worried about their own language skills and provide a place to rant, rave, moan, cry for help or maybe even shout out 'look what I did!'
Absolute beginners Wiki Page
- A place where I've tried to collate articles, discussions and relevant resources. Please message me if you'd like a password to edit and add to this page.
Top Ten Tips for Nervous Non-Specialists
(Sorry - meant New to Languages...!)
Teachers TV Absolute Beginners
film follows a classteacher with no language experience himself as he introduces some French with his new class. You can also download their resources.