Modern Foreign Languages

Learning a language promotes a curiosity in pupils, to find out about other countries and cultures. This deepens their understanding of the world. Pupils express their ideas and thoughts in another language by speaking and listening through a range of interactive techniques. Pupils will focus on practical communication, through practise and repetition. Language teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.

The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

We know that our children in our community have little opportunity to travel abroad and the vast majority have English as their first language spoken at home. We aim to provide a basic knowledge of the French language as a foundation for future learning at Secondary School.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head

If you talk to him in his own language, it goes straight to his heart- Nelson Mandela

To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world- Chinese Proverb

MFL Statement of Intent

We take the National curriculum statements and provide an enhanced version of this.

We map these into a coherent and sequential progression model that outlines the knowledge, skills and vocabulary needed at each stage that will build to clearly defined end points.

Teachers take the progression grid and map this into a long-term plan for their year group.

Teachers then plan at a more detailed level the sequencing of content to be taught across each unit.

Our chosen language is French, based on this being the main language taught at KS3 in our feeder Secondary, on staff knowledge and on the availability of quality resources.

Implementation

We ensure that teachers of the subject have excellent subject knowledge, and leadership supports that acquisition of this for NQT and non-specialist teachers. The scheme chosen ensures that teachers are accurately pronunciating the language and as a result confidence has grown.

Pupils will be taught over a series of lessons which include:

  • Revisiting previously taught knowledge and skills.
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar

Twinkl Plan-IT French scheme is used as a framework but has been adapted to fit our context.

PlanIt French offers a carefully planned sequence of lessons, ensuring progressive coverage of the skills required by the national curriculum. Our chosen themes – Time Travelling, Let’s Visit a French Town and This Is France – provide an introduction to the culture of French-speaking countries and communities. It aims to foster children’s curiosity and help deepen their understanding of the world. In Lower KS2, children acquire basic skills and understanding of French with a strong emphasis placed on developing their Speaking and Listening skills. These will be embedded and further developed in Upper KS2, alongside Reading and Writing, gradually progressing onto more complex language concepts.

Delivery method:

Subject matter is presented clearly, teachers carefully check learning and identify misconceptions, providing direct feedback. Teaching is designed to ensure children know more and remember more.

Teachers use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement with French, including games, role play and action songs. Teachers also use a range of strategies to present new vocabulary, as this serves to demonstrate French without the need for translation.

Listening, responding and speaking skills are emphasised together with simple reading and writing skills.  A multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching is used, i.e. a physical element is introduced into some of the games, rhymes and songs as this serves to reinforce memory.

Teachers try to make lessons as enjoyable as possible so that the children develop a positive attitude to the learning of French and give them a basis, which will hopefully carry on into secondary education.  Children’s confidence is built through praise for any contribution they make, however tentative, e.g. Très bien! Super! Excellent! Bravo! Formidable!

Resources:

The MFL leader has created a file of French resources needed for each class, there is a powerpoint for each lesson with sound files to ensure accurate pronunciation- this also supports teachers less confident in speaking French.

This also ensures effective progression throughout school.

Impact

Learners develop detailed knowledge and skills.  We check this through regular pupil voice and collecting evidence of outcomes, which we measure against our age based progression grids.  Pupils are well prepared at each stage to be ready for the next stage of learning.