Modern Foreign Languages

Intent

The National Curriculum (2014) for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) aims to ensure that all children:

  • Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
  • Are able to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and that they are 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.

A high-quality Languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. At Norwood we are committed to ensuring that competence in another language enables children to interpret, create and exchange meaning within and across cultures. It also helps children develop skills that will open further opportunities later in life. The teaching of Spanish in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and lays the foundations for further foreign language teaching at KS3. At Norwood, we utilise the specialist teaching of a language expert. As a result, children’s understanding of the language and their oral ability is sound. Writing in Spanish is an area that is always looking for opportunities to enhance and improve our teaching.

Implementation

Children are introduced to Spanish from the EYFS and receive a weekly 20-minute lesson, throughout their time in Reception and Year 1. This enables the children to develop early language acquisition skills that facilitate their understanding of the patterns of language and how these differ from, or are similar to, English. In KS2, each class has a timetabled Spanish lesson of 30 minutes.

Lessons across the Key Stages support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing:

  • Children are taught to listen attentively to spoken language and respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games.
  • Children develop an appreciation of a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in Spanish that are delivered through the curriculum content as well as by native Spanish speakers within the wider school community.

Norwood employs a specialist Spanish teacher to ensure consistency throughout the school. It is taught weekly in Years R, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and sessions last between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on year group. Spanish is mainly taught in isolation, but is practiced in all areas of the curriculum.

Teachers model Spanish pronunciation and vocabulary in class work and their daily routines, and appropriate vocabulary is displayed in every classroom as a reference point for both pupils and staff.

Impact

Our MFL curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of where different languages, including the range of home languages spoken by the families of the school, as well as Spanish, are spoken in the world.

By the end of a pupil’s time in Norwood, we want our children in MFL 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 my vocabulary and develop my 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 feminine, masculine and neuter forms; 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 differe from or are similar to English).
  • Know at least three reasons why it is good to learn a language in addition to English.
  • Know where some foreign languages are spoken globally.
  • Know some facts about the culture, people, and places in at least one of the countries where the language I’m learning is spoken.
  • Know some strategies that help me to remember key words/phrases
  • Understand that online dictionaries, translator websites and apps can’t be relied on to translate accurately, and know some of the language problems that can be caused by them.

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