MARION BLANK: Language Levels

Marion Blank set out her Language Levels (I-IV) to show the way children move from answering very direct questions to grasping more abstract ideas by 5+y. Assessments developed from her work stress the importance of looking not just at whether the child’s answer is technically correct. It is vital to judge whether the child has offered:

  • a suitable sort of answer even if it is not fully correct
  • a misguided or irrelevant attempt
  • no answer

By thinking along these lines, it is much more likely that the adult can use play and other resources to develop the child’s understanding.

Free resources:  The most helpful introduction to working with Marion Blank’s Language Levels is this resource: CATEGORY PICTURES FOR COGNITIVE VOCABULARY TASKS  (& INFO ON MARION BLANK) match/sort/group/choose/associate/exclude  i.e. Something for all Levels (I-IV)     lang of learning 1    It includes:

  • Category cards with four examples of each category for vocabulary learning and sorting.
  • Additional set that includes some early topics (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Tudors, Victorians, WWII) and curriculum lessons.
  • An ideas map (see below) outlines the development of language skills in children in Preschool and Foundation (age 3:0-5:11 approx.) and four books detail graded activities you can carry out with these cards or other card sets (e.g. topic pictures). Useful for children with or without language delay/disorder. Could also be used for EAL work.

lang levels mapNB Not every item is on the map. You can find more details in the linked articles from this post.

NOTES ON MARION BLANK lang of learning 2  Notes about how we deliver the message, rather than what the message is. Language learning is integral to teaching. Included (with examples for Levels II & III) are some suggestions for implementing language work while studying two common topics: people who help us and wild animals. (Guidance on P-Scale targets is listed but this information may have changed since I wrote the sheets.)

FURTHER EXAMPLES OF VOCABULARY PICTURES (GENERAL & TOPIC SPECIFIC) lang of learning 3 Suggestions included. Most tasks are at Levels I & II but there is always scope for extension work by building in recall / using more pictures at a time etc. Included are 24 pages of common vocabulary for matching by association, talking about why things go together / what things are for / making up descriptions, and 19 pages of topic vocabulary pairs. All presented with an idea per page for a task. Many can be used for other tasks as well.

There are many other resources in my complete Index which can provide material for specific practice of the different Levels. Working with Marion Blank’s Language Levels is really just a way of thinking about any resources and it gets easier with practice.

For resources useful for all Levels (I-IV), look in the following sections (NB You may find some resources repeated in different sections):

For Level I & II in particular:

Many Topic resources have vocabulary pages: search the Index using Ctrl+F for Vocabulary entries. For extra Spot the Difference tasks, search for Activity Book entries. Search for verb if you are after action words in particular.

Mostly Level III & IV:

Many resources are in the full Index but are not listed in the side bar sections. The following might be particularly useful for language work for Levels II-IV – but almost any topic-related resource can be adapted: