Modern Foreign Languages
Communication, Language and Literacy
Modern Foreign Language Intent
At SJC Federation we believe that the learning of a language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing, with an aim of making substantial progress in one language. In addition, we want our children’s knowledge of how language works to lay the foundations for further language learning in future. We believe that learning another language gives children a new and broader perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others. Within the federation we have children more than 40 spoken languages from all around the world. We want our teaching of MFL to celebrate this and to build upon the language acquisition skills that many of our bilingual children already have. We have chosen to teach French as our lead language as over 221 million people speak French across all five continents as well as French providing a good basis for leaning other languages, especially Latin languages (Spanish, Italian and Portuguese) that our children may go on to learn in the future. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of our children’s primary education, they have acquired an understanding of both spoken and written French, confidence to speak in French with others and know how important other languages can be in their future aspirations.
We aim to introduce the children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun in order to give the children a positive, enthusiastic attitude to MFL learning. The teaching of MFL will begin in EYFS, where pupils will begin to lay the foundations for future language learning. Pupils will be exposed to the language through basic greetings, colours and numbers. In KS1 children we will reinforce their knowledge of French colours and numbers and progress to teaching days of the week, simple instructions simple songs. This early access to language learning will enable our children to develop language acquisition skills from a young age, which facilitates their understanding. Throughout KS2, the children will further develop their knowledge and understanding of French through weekly lessons which support the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Following the National Programmes of study alongside the Lightbulb Languages Schemes of work we have developed a bespoke curriculum to ensure that by the end of the end of KS2 children will be able to write a paragraph in French as well as to make cross-curricular links and have a good understanding of the French culture.
The learning of a Modern Foreign Language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for the pupils at SJC Federation, underpinned by our four cornerstones which we feel that our children need to succeed in life. Pupils develop communication, language and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future life and learning experiences. The focus language taught across our school is French. Through teaching this language, along with celebrating the wide range of languages spoken across the federation we celebrate the diversity that is a unique element within our schools. The teaching of language, provides an opportunity for our already bilingual and EAL children to share their experiences of language use and structure and to celebrate the diverse nature of our schools. Exploring the many languages spoken within the City of Manchester we aim to raise awareness of the multilingual and multicultural city that we live in and introduce an international dimension to pupils’ learning. We aim to provide the children with aspirations about language in order to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language and to foster an interest in learning other languages, which may be needed within life as well as well as providing the children with an interest in travel. We believe the teaching of a Modern Foreign Language helps to develop an awareness of cultural differences in other countries around the world and to extend language teaching beyond mother tongue learning.
Purpose of study
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.
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
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets].
Key stage 2: Foreign language
Teaching may be of any modern or ancient foreign language and should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. The teaching should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary.
The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication. If an ancient language is chosen, the focus will be to provide a linguistic foundation for reading comprehension and an appreciation of classical civilisation. Pupils studying ancient languages may take part in simple oral exchanges, while discussion of what they read will be conducted in English. A linguistic foundation in ancient languages may support the study of modern languages at key stage 3.
Pupils should be 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 clearly
- 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
The starred (*) content above will not be applicable to ancient languages.
We use Lightbulb languages as a base from which to teach French to our KS2 children. We also make sure to include enrichment activities in and outside the classroom: taking children outside when learning about relevant objects; including role play; re-enacting a French cafe and whole school French Culture days.