At St. Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides significant educational, social and cultural benefits for our pupils. MFL lessons play an important role in developing children’s speaking, listening and literacy skills, boosting self-esteem and self-confidence, and providing opportunities for enriching cross-curricular learning. Learning another language also promotes intercultural understanding, giving children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.
Through the delivery of MFL, we aim to improve pupils’ skills in these four areas:
- Listening and responding
- Reading and responding
We recognise that language learning in its broadest sense has three core strands – oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding. We also recognise that children should be encouraged to apply their knowledge and that we should equip them, not just with knowledge about language, but also with strategies for language learning that they can use in the future when studying another foreign language. The language offered at St. Bernadette’s is Spanish and we provide age-appropriate learning opportunities for all children from Y3 to Year 6.
The aims and objectives of learning a modern foreign language in primary school are:
- to foster an interest in learning other languages;
- to introduce children to another language in a way that is enjoyable, fun and accessible to all;
- to make children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another;
- to help children develop their awareness of cultural similarities and differences;
- to support oracy and literacy, and in particular develop speaking and listening skills;
- to lay the foundations for future study, helping children to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life;
- to give an extra dimension to teaching and learning across the curriculum.
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 Languages – key stage 2 3
- 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.