We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm
We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm
Modern Foreign Languages
At Cholsey Primary School we aim to ensure that Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) is fully inclusive to every child. We aim to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Languages which states:
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
Through a range of teaching methods we aim 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’.
Language learning begins in Early Years and Key Stage One where the children begin to hear different languages through songs, stories and basic greetings. For example, the children may respond to the register in a different language.
From Year 3 onwards all children have a weekly French lesson. We aim to build pupils’ confidence with basic vocabulary (e.g. for greetings, classroom commands, colours, numbers, weather etc) whilst also teaching them the skills that they will need to be successful when tackling any language in future.
The MFL curriculum at Cholsey Primary School is mostly resourced using resources from the Early Start Languages scheme and rachelhawkes.com : a scheme of work for KS2 French. Other schemes are referenced, where appropriate (e.g. the West Sussex resources for WW2).
Click here for an overview of topics covered in KS2
There are four main strands to learning a new language:
- Speaking skills are taught through games, songs and dedicated practice. Pupils learn to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
Accurate pronunciation is taught through:
- Songs and rhymes.
- Regular phonic sessions across all of KS2.
- Pupils are also taught to listen for aural cognates, where these will help with good pronunciation.
Phonics is taught through:
- Active listening- (’hands up when you hear’) for a target sound.
- Repetition and practice of target sounds.
- Shared and whole class reading of simple words, phrases and texts in order to identify target phonemes.
- Segmentation and blending activities.
- Listening for comprehension-is taught by using target vocabulary in simple conversations games and songs to check pupil’s ability to hear and understand basic French. Classroom commands during French Lessons are also given in French, wherever practicable. All staff are encouraged to use some French phrases in their day to day teaching, so that some basic French is used throughout the week.
- Listening for accuracy with children’s own speaking skills is taught by playing games, learning songs and rhymes by ear to practise pronunciation and to identify specific phonemes.
- Reading is taught with a focus on a combination of cognates, phonics and prior knowledge.
- The amount of vocabulary that children can actively learn in a weekly slot is limited by time, so it is important to include other learning strategies as well.
- Children are encouraged to look (and listen) for cognates. These are words that look or sound similar to ones in the child’s own language. We regularly focus on this when attempting new texts.
- Phonics is taught as close to weekly as possible and all sounds are covered over a two year rolling plan initially in Lower KS2 and then revised during Upper KS2.
- We encourage children to apply their knowledge from previous years to their reading, whilst also ensuring that common language themes are revisited on a yearly basis to consolidate recall of key vocabulary.
- Simple texts translated from familiar English texts are sometimes used, so that pupils can look for equivalent words and phrases in both languages.
- In Lower KS2 pupils begin to write simple words and phrases-for example in an illustrated vocabulary page in books to consolidate understanding.
- Pupils progress to writing simple sentences with the help of a framework.
- In Upper KS2 pupils begin to use adverbial phrases and simple prepositions in their written work. They relate this learning to their knowledge of English-what is similar and how French differs. They begin to attempt simple sentences without the help of a framework but continuing to use these where appropriate and if needed to help embed new content.
- In Lower KS2, pupils learn about the position of words within French sentences-for example most adjectives follow the noun they are describing. They will also learn some simple conjunctions and begin to use the plural form of some common nouns. They learn how to exchange the articles le/la/les for du /de la/ des. They are introduced to all subject (personal) pronouns and possessive adjectives in their singular form. They begin to learn some common , irregular verbs (etre and avoir)
- In Upper KS2, pupils will learn basic rules for conjugation with a few common verbs and will learn about the past tense through a few target verbs. They will learn a wider range of prepositions and conjunctions and will explore similarities between French and English punctuation.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Observing children speaking and listening in another language.
- Marking of written work.
- Talking to pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Moderation where pupil’s work is scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
- Curriculum tracking.
The MFL subject leader will continually monitor the impact MFL teaching is having on the children’s learning through work scrutinies 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.