Modern Foreign Languages
At New Invention Junior School, we greatly value the importance of early language learning. We believe that in today’s international and multicultural society it is essential that young people develop skills and attitudes which enable them to communicate with, understand and respect other cultures. Language learning at NIJ provides enjoyment, respect and challenge, helping to create enthusiastic learners, and engendering a love of languages, which will influence them for life.
Our aims agree with those set out in the National Curriculum:
- 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.
At NIJ we aim to:
- Stimulate a love of languages by making language learning fun and accessible for all children.
- Children will meet the aims set out by the National Curriculum, taught by confident teachers who inspire enthusiasm and interest in the subject, and employ differentiation to support the progress of every child.
- Children will develop the skills to understand (listen), speak, read and write phrases, as well as explore the language through stories, songs and poems, reinforcing grammatical concepts. By enabling them to have these skills, we aim to set them up for success in further language learning.
- Broaden children’s vocabulary and develop a deep understanding of French by increasingly being exposed to opportunities to revisit prior vocabulary.
- Develop skills, attitudes and respect for other cultures, by identifying similarities and differences.
- Stimulate children’s curiosity for languages, through discussions, asking and answering questions.
French is taught in all year groups, for up to 1 hour per week. Each year group have set topics, as outlined on our “MFL Topics”, which are designed to fulfil the relevant requirements of the KS2 MFL Programme of study and ensure progress for all learners. At New Invention Junior School, starting a new language is a great leveller and strategies for differentiation are employed to provide opportunities for greater depth children to embed and apply their learning, whilst SEND children are supported through various resources.
Topics are planned and sequenced to ensure that pupils revisit and build on new vocabulary and grammatical concepts. Our “Progression Y3 to Y6” document details how topics are sequenced to build on prior learning, when topics are revisited to secure children’s understanding and the pitch/end aim for each year group, which are progressive. Assessment for learning is utilised, reflecting, as teachers, how learning is progressing during the lesson by listening to, observing and engaging with children in order celebrate successes, address misconceptions and to inform future planning.
Lessons are planned using the schools “Topic Overviews”, which break down the targets of the Programme of Study in to smaller steps, which ensure effective coverage of all the key MFL concepts, including;
- Speaking and Listening (Oracy)
We encourage pupils to experiment with their spoken language in a secure environment, engaging learners through fun and accessible activities. We offer lots of opportunities for pupils to replicate the words/sounds they hear using teaching and learning techniques to aid memorisation, such as choral repetition, pelmanism and enjoyable memory games. This confidence and knowledge is built on by providing the developing learners with higher level opportunities, such as taking part in simple conversations, asking and answering questions and giving presentations, which are recorded on Seesaw. This allows instant teacher feedback too.
In the early stages, we emphasise listening skills, providing lots of opportunities for pupils to listen to good models of pronunciation to learn how to produce the sounds of the language, providing opportunities to develop confidence and curiosity by reflecting on and discovering similarities and differences between the language in which they operate and French. Joining in with Songs, Rhymes, Poems and stories all serve to reinforce the sound-writing patterns. We are strongly committed to showing the written word to aid recognition of familiar & unfamiliar sounds & to support sound/spelling associations. In addition listening tasks lend themselves well to revisit prior vocabulary too.
- Reading and Writing (Literacy)
We provide extensive reading opportunities from the outset by showing the written word at the same time as hearing it and incorporating reading into enjoyable activities, ranging from matching a picture with a word, sequencing stories and reading for pleasure, including activities related to French story books. We teach at word and sentence level in order for children to develop skills to generate new language.
Children develop confidence in writing from memory, beginning with writing words and phrases, and building up to writing short paragraphs. This is developed throughout KS2 from practising writing sounds, words and phrases in the early stages, to creating stories and presentations.
Pupils are given opportunities to develop confidence and curiosity by reflecting on and discovering similarities and differences between the language in which they operate and French. Key links to grammar are made, using colour my grammar where appropriate, to identify word classes and differences to word order in relation to English. Pupils are encouraged to experiment, discover patterns and language rules and are given opportunities to apply these rules when decoding/creating and experimenting with new language. Pupils are given opportunity to feel a sense of progress and to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.
- Intercultural Understanding
We provide varying opportunities to develop a heightened awareness of other cultures, traditions and languages. By comparing cultures we develop positive attitudes and respect for other cultures, with many cross curricular links to other subjects. As learning develops, pupils are given more opportunities to engage with the French culture, learning about key landmarks, festivals and other aspects of daily life. These are enriched during the annual Year 6 trip to Paris. Pupils enjoy a number of rich cultural experiences, visiting landmarks, using their speaking and listening skills to have conversations and experiencing aspects of daily life, for example eating French food.
As a school we are inspiring a love of languages, which is positively influencing our pupils to further their language learning in the next stages of their education. Through learning French, children are deepening their appreciation and respect for other languages and cultures.
Teachers use their assessment for learning by observing and engaging with children in order celebrate successes, address misconceptions and to inform future planning, therefore lessons are engaging, enjoyable and accessible, allowing children to make progress and build on prior knowledge. This is reflected in pupils’ abilities in French, their books and their enjoyment of the subject, as pupils talk enthusiastically about their learning in French.
The visit to Paris enriches the lives of the children and they are eager to discuss how the experience impacted their knowledge and understanding.