Modern Foreign Languages
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela
At Abbey Village Primary, we believe that learning a foreign language enriches our curriculum. It provides fun, excitement and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their culture and the culture of others. Language lies at the heart of identity and community and learning another language helps children to develop their understanding of diversity. It also gives them a new perspective on their own language.
We have chosen to use Primary Language Network to support our teaching of a modern foreign language across Key stage 2. The language we teach is Spanish because it is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world and Spain is a popular holiday destination for our families as are other Spanish speaking destinations such as the Balearic Islands, the Canary islands, Mexico and some of the Caribbean islands. Spanish is considered to be one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to learn. The grammar and pronunciation are different from English but simpler and more consistent. The English language acquired almost 30 percent of its vocabulary from Latin, so immediately many Spanish words are recognisable and share the same roots. This helps to develop confidence and engagement when learning a modern foreign language.
- Stimulates children’s creativity
- Supports oracy and literacy
- Celebrates cultural diversity
- Liberates children from insularity
- Fosters curiosity
- Deepens their understanding of the world
In the early years and key stage 1, the learning of a modern foreign language is non-statutory. Children will enjoy becoming familiar with a foreign language and the focus will be on listening and speaking activities. Children will also develop their cultural understanding of people from a different country.
The learning of a foreign language should be enjoyable and relevant for all pupils. A variety of activities and approaches are used to challenge, motivate and sustain interest. In Key stage 2 children will follow the Primary Language Network programme for Spanish. Lessons and activities will include:
- Providing opportunities in each lesson for pupils to use and practise what they have learned.
- Language games to enhance motivation and engagement.
- Learning songs, rhymes and stories.
- Focus on grammatical structures and phonology.
- Pair work and group work.
- Use of authentic materials.
- Use of ICT where relevant.
- Written activities to reenforce learning.
Lessons will be interactive and will provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. The focus will be on practical communication. Lessons should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing.
All children in KS2 have a weekly Spanish lesson. In Years 3 and 4, the emphasis is on listening and speaking, with an introduction to reading and writing simple words and phrases in Spanish. In years 5 and 6, we aim to improve accuracy and fluency in the spoken language, as well as extending reading and writing skills to include longer responses. Throughout KS2, children take part in a variety of activities, including songs and games, from a range of teaching resources.
Knowledge and skills in Spanish are progressive and are mapped across the school, in line with our scheme of work.
Through the teachiing and learning of Spanish:
- Children will be provided with opportunities to communicate with each other in Spanish.
- Children will become aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
- Children will develop their language through development of the four key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Children will enrich their language learning by developing an understanding of the Spanish culture.
Our MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of where Spanish is spoken around the world. A Variety of learning experiences, including ‘Hispanic Day’ also ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community. Whilst providing a context for language learning, this also develops the children’s understanding of different cultures.