Modern Foreign Languages
Our vision in the MFL department is that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘global citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world. We aim to support students to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open to new experiences. The MFL department has high expectations for all students and the climate for learning encompasses the contributions from students of all abilities. Competency in a foreign language unlocks the technological, enterprise and vocational abilities which enhance the employability skills of our students. Learning a language changes lives and opens doors that would be shut without the experience. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature or watch films in the original language. We want our students to become confident, independent and enthusiastic young people who leave the school well prepared for the international world in which we live.
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.
- understand and appreciate the cultural differences and similarities in the countries of the language studied.
- The importance of speaking – students are learning to communicate in a different language and this initially begins with a clear focus on phonics. The embedding of phonetic patterns allows students to pronounce words accurately and more confidently but also supports the later development of the written word. Furthermore, students become familiar with key phrases in the target language and are able to speak spontaneously with each other and their teacher.
- Creativity- Students in Y7 are introduced to French through a creative context which motivates students but builds on prior learning and language learning strategies acquired at KS2. The themes in Y7 include: working as a sales assistant, creating a Mr Man or Little Miss character. Creativity is also a strong feature of language lessons in other year groups too through food tasting, projects on the Tour de France and festivals and linking learning to films and literature.
- Scaffolding language- Students need to be aware of the strong links between grammatical structures and understand that well-formed structural and linguistic content is at the heart of being a good linguist and communicator. Grammar is therefore, an inextricable part of lessons at KS3 and KS4 and has been sequenced carefully so that students continuously build on prior learning and develop a profound appreciation of the importance of having excellent grammar in order to communicate effectively in the foreign language.
- Assessment -Learning key vocabulary is an essential part of learning a language and vital for success. All students at KS3 and KS4 are expected to complete weekly vocabulary tests. These tests allow for the learning of new vocabulary but also ensure that students review previous learning. Students will be expected to complete an assessment in reading and listening each term in addition to either a written or spoken exam.