Modern Foreign Language
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
At St John’s, we aim to provide a high quality education in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) which develops children’s love of learning about other languages and cultures and helps provide them with an understanding of the world. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate on a regular basis, for practical purposes. Our aim is for pupils to feel confident engaging in spoken French, develop skills in reading, listening and writing, and know how important languages will be in their future. We hope that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and curiosity about languages, finding them enjoyable and exciting and show a desire to continue their language learning past KS2.
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.
This is achieved through the introduction of songs, rhymes, greetings, simple phrases and vocabulary, beginning in EYFS and following through to KS1. Experiencing language every day on a more informal basis helps children to memorise new words and structures, giving children the confidence to respond to what they hear and to use the new language for real purposes.
In KS2, children have a weekly lesson using Twinkl PlanIt French, which offers a carefully planned sequence of lessons, ensuring progressive coverage of the skills required by the National Curriculum. The themes within the scheme 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. A linear curriculum has been chosen to allow opportunity for children to gradually build on their skills. PlanIt French enables children to express their ideas and thoughts in French and provides opportunities to interact and communicate with others both in speech and in writing. At the heart of PlanIt French is the desire to expose children to authentic French, so the scheme offers regular opportunities to listen to native speakers.
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 and greater learner autonomy. Pupils will be engaged and prepared to continue language learning at secondary school.
Through the PlanIt French scheme, we intend to inspire pupils to develop a love of languages and to expand their horizons to other countries, cultures and people. We aim to help children grow into curious, confident and reflective language learners and to provide them with a foundation that will equip them for further language studies.
In line with the National Curriculum for MFL, pupils at St John’s are taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clear
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Lessons are sequenced so that prior learning is considered and opportunities for revision of language and grammar are built in. Lessons and resources help children to build on prior knowledge alongside the introduction of new skills. The series of lessons provide structure and content as well as offering an insight into the culture of French-speaking countries and communities. The introduction and revision of key vocabulary and grammatical structures is built into each lesson. This vocabulary is then included in display materials and additional resources so that children have opportunities to repeat and revise their learning.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Observing children speaking and listening in another language.
- Marking of written work.
- Images and videos of children completing speaking and listening activities.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Learning environment reviews
- Assessment tracking
- Whole school subject moderation to check expectations are the same for each year group and for pupils of similar starting points
The MFL subject leader will continually monitor the impact MFL teaching is having on the children’s learning, to ensure the progress of knowledge and skills is being taught. They will also ensure the knowledge taught is retained by the children and continually revisited and that the learners are able to apply the skills they have been taught to a variety of different settings, showing independence with their learning.
Using the wide range of resources provided, including display materials, will increase the profile of languages across school. The learning environment will be consistent with key French vocabulary displayed, spoken and used by all learners. Whole-school and parental engagement will improve through the use of language-specific home learning tasks and opportunities suggested in lessons and overviews for wider learning. We want to ensure that French is loved by teachers and pupils across school, therefore encouraging them to embark on further language studies.