Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Oasis Academy Henderson Avenue
Statement of Intent
When children move into Key Stage 2 there is a requirement for them to learn a modern foreign language. Here at Oasis Henderson Avenue we teach French. Learning a modern foreign language from Year 3 provides children with a good foundation which will be developed when they move onto secondary school. During primary school children are more receptive to new sounds, which become familiar very quickly. They quickly become confident and at ease with the foreign language. For these reasons, lessons also contain lots of stories, action chants, songs and games to help them to absorb the language, just as they did when they learnt their mother tongue.
Our children learn French in order to develop the following Essential Characteristics:
· The confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation;
· Fluency in reading;
· Fluency and imagination in writing;
· A strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken;
· A passion for languages and a commitment to the subject;
· The ability to use language creatively and spontaneously;
· An independence in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources.
Our curriculum drivers shape our curriculum design. Through Community our children will develop an appreciation of the range of languages spoken in our academy and the similarities between these and our main study language (French). Learning a new, common language will provide the basis for a deeper understanding of the culture and traditions of other communities. Through Possibilities we will help children to see that learning another language opens up opportunities for travel, work and experience.
Cultural capital gives our children the additional background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British Values, and who understand and respect the people, culture and traditions of other nationalities through an in-depth study of one European language. Through being taught about the interdependence of countries, and particularly those that are geographically close and significant to the UK, we will help our children to develop tolerance through informed understanding of others.
Statement of Implemetation
There are four Threshold Concepts which children will explore in every year group in order to gradually increase their understanding of them. These are the ‘big ideas’ that shape children’s thinking, and in French they are:
· Speak fluently – this concept involves using key vocabulary and phrases to verbally communicate ideas;
· Read fluently – this concept involves recognising key vocabulary and phrases;
· Write imaginatively – this concept involves using key vocabulary and phrases to write ideas;
· Understand the French culture – this concept involves the background knowledge and cultural capital needed to infer meaning from interaction.
Children will explore these concepts throughout each year in Key Stage 2 in a range of contexts, topics and activities.
Breadth of contexts:
Breadth provides the contexts for exploring the threshold concepts. It has two roles:
1) Knowledge (skills and meaningful facts)
- Concepts need knowledge to make sense.
- Contexts give children subject specific knowledge with which to think about the concepts. The more knowledge children have, the better their understanding of the concepts becomes.
- Whilst it is only possible to explore a concept within a context, this also causes a problem for students: their understanding is context bound. They find it very difficult to transfer the concept to another situation. By providing a breadth of contexts, but focusing on the same threshold concepts, students begin to transfer the concepts. They do this by comparing the new context knowledge to previously learned knowledge, the bridge being the concept.
Because the threshold concepts are repeated in each year group it is important that children progress in their understanding of them. Our curriculum sets out this progression in the form of three ‘Milestones’. Each Milestone contains a range of descriptors which give more detail to be discovered within the concept. Over a two-year period children will become more and more familiar with these details by exploring them in a breadth of contexts. The Milestones are:
Milestone 1 – Years 1 and 2
Milestone 2 – Years 3 and 4
Milestone 3 – Years 5 and 6
The commercial scheme we follow is La Jolie Ronde, supplemented with video clips showing everyday life for French children and their families, filmed in northern France, which give our children a better understanding of the language and the culture. In addition we use a number of practical resources such as flashcards, games, books, and French artefacts to provide variety and fun in French lessons.
Children are taught to speak, read and write French. In addition, the grammar content in French lessons helps to embed and further develop our children’s grammatical understanding in English. Children learning a new language need lots of opportunities for practice and reinforcement. During lessons children are given opportunities for role play and to play games to practise and consolidate their learning. There is an emphasis on teaching children to speak French fluently, starting with simple words and phrases in Year 3 and building up to longer conversations in Year 6.
The structure of the scheme allows for contexts to be revisited. It has a cross-curricular focus, and links can be made across all curriculum subjects. Revisiting provides children an opportunity to practise and build-upon previously learned vocabulary. The Year 6 scheme reinforces much of the vocabulary and structures covered in previous years, as well as providing children with opportunities to consider cultural differences at home and abroad.
The interactive and systematic teaching of French at Oasis Academy Henderson Avenue results in a fun, engaging and high quality MFL education for all abilities. Our aim is that our children leave Key Stage 2 as skilled, confident and enthusiastic language learners, with the opportunity to have prior learning recognised, celebrated and extended at Key Stage 3. The MFL subject leader monitors teaching and learning and pupil outcomes through regular visits to lessons and by talking to children to ensure that the standard of teaching and learning is of a consistently good quality and children produce high quality work in lessons and are able to speak French to an appropriate standard.