Criteria for the identification of the more able/potential expert linguist

Students who:

  • Have a strong desire to put language together by themselves

They apply principles from what they have learned to new situations, transforming phrases and using them in a different context, often with humour

  • Show creativity and imagination when using language

They often extend the boundaries of their knowledge and work beyond what they have learned, not wishing simply to respond and imitate, but to initiate exchanges and to create new language

  • Have a natural feel for languages

They may: be willing to take risks and see what works, possibly knowing instinctively what sounds right and what looks right; be acutely and swiftly aware of the relationship between sound and spelling

  • Pick up new language and structures quickly

They may: have excellent aural and oral skills; be able to cope with rapid streams of sound and identify key words at an early stage; recognise familiar language in an unfamiliar context

  • Make connections and classify words and structures to help them learn more efficiently

They are able to evaluate new language critically, recognising the grammatical function of words; ask questions about exceptions to the rule or more complex grammatical queries

  • Seek solutions and ask further questions

They may: test out their theories and seek to solve linguistic problems; use verbal and non-verbal clues in order to understand challenging, reading and listening material; sometimes challenge the tasks set and try to understand their relevance to the language-learning process

  • Show a particular interest in the cultural context of the language being studied

They may: use idiom in the language itself; explore the history and the traditions of the language; some pupils may wish to share their knowledge with their peers