‘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.’
DFE, National Curriculum
- Develop resilience in language learning as well as enjoyment of it through a challenging scheme of work
- Acquire language learning strategies for memorisation and retrieval as well as for listening, reading and understanding, laying foundations for further study
- Develop the skill of how to use a bi-lingual dictionary to decode unfamiliar language
- Be able to manipulate language to speak or write sentences creatively using prior knowledge of grammar and key features; with and without a dictionary
- Have a sound grasp of the key sounds of the French language and their corresponding graphemes and be able to apply this knowledge when speaking, listening and reading aloud
- Recognise some of the language patterns of French and how these differ or are similar to English
- Appreciate and be able to copy the sound of the language at text level through songs, stories and rhymes
- Have a deeper understanding of cultural differences and similarities
- Demonstrate substantial progress in learning French and work towards or meet the targets of the KS2 Programme of Study for Languages
See the ‘Transactional Language’ document for specific vocabulary.
At Fairfield, we are determined to ensure each Key Stage 2 child receives high quality Foreign Language (FL) teaching. We aim to build the children’s cultural capital so that they have the knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity between cultures. Learning another language is a necessary part of being a member of a multicultural and global society and provides an opening to other cultures. One way in which we do this is through our annual whole school French week or days which totally immerses the children in the culture of another country. This fosters their curiosity and provides a deeper understanding of the world.
We chose to teach the children French as this supports their transition into our local high schools that also teach French. Lessons should teach children the skills needed to communicate confidently in French. Children should also be able to express their thoughts and ideas both in speech and writing. We follow the Primary Languages Network scheme of work across Key Stage 2. The children enjoy using the resources including video stories, songs and games. The children have the opportunity to learn French vocabulary linked to a range of topics including money, animals and school. Throughout the week, the children get the opportunity to practice what they have learned with their class teacher.
The objectives for MFL in KS2 are clearly set out for each year group in the National Curriculum:
Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught about:
- 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 have used the best research to create a well sequenced and progressive curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to be procedurally fluent and to work and think like a linguist.
The key concepts in MFL we plan a progression for are as follows:
- Listening and responding
- Reading and responding
The lesson plans are designed to be 50 to 60 minutes in length. There are follow-up activities to each lesson to increase the exposure time in a week and are designed to be progressive and build on prior learning, moving from word to sentence level over the four years. Lesson activities are challenging, varied and interactive and develop listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Interactive whiteboard resources with audio support are provided by the Primary Languages Network and we use a varied supply of storybooks and additional resources such as songs and rhymes. The choice of vocabulary ensures exposure to all the key phonic sounds and ability to build sentences using grammatical knowledge. In Year 6, the content allows for revisiting and consolidating prior knowledge.
Currently French lessons are taught by a specialist teacher. The PLN provides linguistic up-skilling and methodology training to support its delivery as well as detailed lesson plans linked to ready-made resource templates and audio recordings of stories and rhymes read by a native speaker. Staff benefit from being involved in an Erasmus+ project to develop knowledge of French language and language teaching skill. Experiencing language every day helps children to memorise new words and structures, giving children the confidence to respond to what they hear and to use the new language for real purposes. This is done by the class teacher. Examples include: Doing the register or lunch menu/choices in French; Displaying the date in French; Watching a video in French; Playing language games; Reading stories in French; Singing Happy Birthday in French. A French cookery club is offered to children in Year 6 which culminates in a French café for their parents, providing the children with the opportunity to further develop cultural knowledge.
Initially we place more emphasis on listening and speaking skills than on reading and writing skills. We also use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching, i.e. we try to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory.
We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of foreign languages. We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
- The lesson plans indicate which activity is an opportunity to assess progress and is linked to the KS2 targets and in particular to those of the appropriate year group
- A teacher assessment grid is provided to record attainment of each target for each skill in each year group and to track progress
- The completed activities in the accompanying workbooks gather evidence of the listening, reading and writing targets
- Evidence of speaking activities can be gathered by making audio recordings of the suggested activities in the lesson plans
- Children self-assess their progress at the end of each section of work using a traffic light system and reflect on their grasp of the new knowledge.
- To enhance the impact on enjoyment and intercultural understanding, we organise language events; have made links with a school in Toulouse and Annecy (both in France) and correspond with them; provide access to out-of-school online materials etc.
‘Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.’
DFE, National Curriculum
Language Lead: Rachel Stewart