Principles in the teaching of a Modern Foreign Language
To develop an interest in and enjoyment of learning another language through the following methods:
Listening, speaking and spoken interaction (Oracy)
- To encourage, through a range of spoken activities, real conversation in another language.
- To educate pupils’ ears to recognise the new sounds of MFL:
- by listening to good models of pronunciation (languages are taught by specialist French, Spanish and German teachers, CDs/video clips are used extensively)
- by encouraging a high standard of pronunciation
- by helping pupils to link the sounds of MFL to spelling
Reading and writing
- to build vocabulary both for recognition and spelling
- to promote accurate copying of French/German/Spanish words
- to increase the understanding of how languages work by comparing MFLs with English
- to create an awareness of patterns/rules (genders, adjectival agreements)
- to give an insight, when appropriate, into the people, culture and traditions of other countries (mainly France, Germany and Spain)
- to foster and develop an open-minded attitude towards other ways of life
Another aim of the course is to stretch pupils who show ability for languages:
- by encouraging them to understand bigger chunks of language during oral work
- by giving them the opportunity to work on extension worksheets when/if they have completed class work
- by encouraging them to produce longer or more complex chunks of language, whether oral or written
- by encouraging them to use the language creatively (Years 5 and 6)
- French is taught as part of the curriculum to all pupils from Nursery onwards
- Spanish and German have been introduced in Years 4, 5 and 6 to give pupils experience of both languages before they make their option choices for Lingfield College.
- Language clubs are offered once a week for year 2 upwards. These explore a few different languages
- Able French, Able Spanish and Able German clubs are offered once a week to allow children progressing well in these subjects to be stretched further.
For years 4, 5 and 6 French teaching is based on the Pilote schemes of work, books 1-4. As well as teaching the French language in a fun, vibrant way, this scheme gives children access to real French children and culture through the video clips integral to the scheme. Pilote is also used as appropriate lower down in the school. Supplementary materials and materials for Nursery to Year 3 comprise additional resources, both developed in-house and bought from well-known educational publishers. Authentic material (such as story books, school material and food packaging) are used regularly in lessons throughout the school.
German and Spanish are taught in Years 4, 5 and 6. Topics taught are similar to those taught in KS1 French, as pupils are mostly beginners, but pedagogy is tailored to be more suitable to the age group. The Early Start Course is used as the principal teaching resource for both languages and is supplemented by published materials as well as those made in-house. These courses feature clips of the lives of real Spanish and German people and provide the pupils with examples of authentic dialogue and cultural information. Pupils with a report from a professional which suggests that they may struggle with learning more than one language may have the opportunity to withdraw from the second language lesson if it is decided to be within their best interests.
- Nursery and Reception have 1 x 20 minute French lesson per week
- Years 1 - 3 have 1 x 30 minute French lesson per week
- Years 4 - 6 have 1 x 30 minute French lesson and 1 x 30 minutes of either German or Spanish (each is studied for half the academic year).