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Super Grade 6! English Home Language Milestones: Listening and Speaking8 min read

Grade 6 is an exciting time for students. This is the year that it begins to feel that they are in the senior grades of primary school. Like all grades, 6th grade comes with its perks and challenges. Japari is excited to be part of the process of seeing Grade 6s achieving their best.

We are switching up our series on foundation phase milestones and will be spending some time covering the senior grades of primary school, with the intent to add value to parents of scholars in later grades.

Some personal milestones Sixth Graders often experience

Sixth Grade is when students are eleven turning twelve. This is the stage in their life where they begin to wave goodbye to childhood. This is the time that they enter their pre-teen years. Awkwardness and self-consciousness are not uncommon. They can often be critical of themselves. Perceptions about peers often become very important to the sixth grader.

There can also be criticisms of adults and their authority. It can be a challenge at home and school. This is because the 6th grader often pushes against adult authority and logic. The typical 11-to-12-year-old be quite moody and even angry. They often have these feelings for reasons they don’t really know or understand.

We have all been there. Be assured this is quite normal. With love and support your tween will thrive during this phase. Japari is there to offer the support parents need for remedial learners.

Milestones in English Home Language and School: Speaking and Listening

Grade 6 continues the trajectory of learning up until this point. It builds on all that has come before. It prepares learners for their future schooling.

TERM 1:

Learners will discuss current issues. They will listen to and assess newspaper and radio reports. They are sensitively evaluated. 6th Grade students learn to form an opinion, supporting it with evidence. The evidence will be firm and pertinent.

The students will learn to ask and be asked critical questions. Grade 6s learn to look for alternative explanations and challenge assumptions. They will recognise specific and relevant details when viewing, listening, and reading. The main ideas can be accurately summarised. 6th graders learn to identify how writers create stereotypes in their writing. This applies to specific expectations of character and situation in different genres of writing.

The aim is for the students to learn to acknowledge that opinions might contradict with their own. They learn to respond in appropriate ways. The sixth grader can begin to talk about the merit of sources. They can compare different information. This leads to developing balanced arguments on even challenging issues – a much-needed skill in the information age!

Grade 6s interact with folklore, such as legends or myths. They will learn to use the correct tenses. Events are properly sequenced. They will learn to understand and utilise plot and setting in their own writing. The conflict in a story can be discussed. Group discussions are productive. The struggle between good and evil becomes thought-provoking and intriguing at this age. Different beliefs, customs and social systems can be shared and appreciated.

This term sixth graders also interact with persuasive texts, such as a radio advertisement. They will read and produce their own dialogues. They will be able to both summarise and interpret poetry. Key features of all these genres can be identified.

TERM 2:

The grade 6 class will discuss instructional texts this term. The students will identify key features of the passages. The students will also give clear instructions. For clarity, the students will ask questions.

Extracts from a novel are read and/or listened to. The learners can relate the events to their own lives. Discussion of main ideas will take place. They will also consider specific details. In group discussions students can respond to each other’s ideas. Grade 6s will do this with respect and empathy.

Students will discuss various stories. The learners can respond to the texts and apply them as is appropriate. Major themes and meaning can be identified. Questions can be asked to bring clarity. The cultural and moral values are interacted with. How the texts might convey social principles is also considered.

Sixth graders will also develop their skills of presentation employ them. These include volume when speaking, posture and effective pauses. The pace when speaking and gestures are used effectively.

Grade 6s also engage with informative texts such as weather reports. The effects and usefulness of particular passages are considered. The learners become more adept at justifying their own opinions.

TERM 3:

This term the sixth grader will read an extract from a novel. They will then foretell what comes next in the story. They interact with texts to explain the author’s and audience’s points of view. These explanations will develop logically and stay focused on the topic. Relevant questions will come from the students about the text. Main ideas and particular details will be discussed as well.

The concepts of plot and setting, characterisation and conflict continue to be explored. They will be further taught using short stories this term. Grade 6s will recall events in the correct sequence and the right tense. This is after listening to a story being told.

The 6th grade gives the students an opportunity to look at cartoon and comic strips. The messages conveyed are discussed and explored. For example, in a political cartoon the ideas are considered. The class will investigate how appropriate the graphics are to the words the cartoonist is using. Grade 6s think about the effectiveness of music. This is when watching an audio-visual presentation.

How the perception of the content is influenced is also something grade 6s learn to think over. For example, how the choice of words and body language impact the message. These have bearing on how the audience responds to the substance of what is communicated.

Grade 6s will also interact again with myths and/or legends. They will also be exposed to dramatic texts. The discussions will be similar to earlier terms. They will, however, be in more depth as the students grow in understanding. 

TERM 4:

After discussing an informative text in greater depth, the Grade 6 students will participate in an interview. The students are expected to vary their tempo, tone and volume of voice. They must also recognise differences in different audiences and adjust their delivery accordingly.

Instructive texts will be further explored. Stories and poems will be listened to and discussed.

Sixth graders will be able to retell part of a story. They will also have opportunities to invent their own endings for stories. If they wanted something else to happen to the characters in a story, they will be able to do so. 

Throughout the year, 6th graders have identified how authors create stereotypes appropriate to each genre. In their own writing they utilise and recognise tropes in different genres and media (familiar events or themes in the stories which they have recognised in other stories). The messages and main ideas of the passages they have read will be identified and discussed. This will also be done concerning the values communicated through the writings. Students will be able to summarise these and other details of whatever they read.

Grade 6s also learn throughout the year to give and receive constructive feedback. This is obviously a life skill that everyone needs to learn.

Japari: a school where Grade 6’s are able to develop into themselves

Children have a lot to deal with as they grow up. Those who struggle in a traditional school environment even more so. Japari is eager to help 6th graders battling to find their footing in more conventional classrooms.

We focus on individual attention and give to students to find their own ways to navigate schooling. Our students are often prepared for mainstream high school. How is this achieved? By addressing their remedial needs. From this solid foundation, they are ready to thrive in any environment.

We would be excited to meet your Grade 6 child. Come and see how Japari can be part of their success.

Bibliography/Further Reading:

https://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/CurriculumAssessmentPolicyStatements(CAPS)/CAPSIntermediate/tabid/572/Default.aspx

https://www.education.gov.za/Portals/0/CD/National%20Curriculum%20Statements%20and%20Vocational/CAPS%20IP%20%20HOME%20ENGLISH%20GR%204-6%20%20WEB.pdf?ver=2015-01-27-160412-720

https://www.education.com/slideshow/developmental-milestones-11-12-years-old/

https://www.scholastic.com/parents/family-life/social-emotional-learning/development-milestones/social-development-11-13-year-olds.html

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