Modern Foreign Language
At Brompton Westbrook, we provide a broad and balanced MFL Curriculum in which the children enjoy the experience and fun of learning another language in a happy, safe environment to develop the disciplinary skills and substantive knowledge they need to be successful and which will continue at secondary school and provide a foundation for learning further languages. As a Rights Respecting School, we feel learning a language is important for children as future citizens of the wider world where these skills will be relevant.
The aims and objectives of the National Curriculum are followed by the pupils at Brompton Westbrook in Key Stage 2:
- Pupils understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- They learn to 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
- Pupils learn to write at varying lengths, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- They discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
At Brompton we specifically follow the Language Angels scheme of work which covers the National Curriculum aims and objectives. As a school we also value and appreciate all languages and cultures, and encourage the use of any children’s native tongue when teaching this subject. The children enjoy hearing other languages so giving all pupils a greater awareness of the wider world around them.
More specifically, at Brompton Westbrook we develop pupil knowledge of vocabulary and skills which are often taught and linked to topics. We focus in particular on conversational skills, learning words and phrases that would be particularly useful if pupils meet people or travel to a country.
We strive to provide our children with excellent learning experiences to instil an interest and enjoyment by engaging the children using a variety of media from film clips, songs, rhymes, poems, stories, games to various computer programs. We promote, develop and embed skills and knowledge over each year group with lots of practice and revision, using our core pedagogy. We make sure that this subject is accessible to all learners and make sure children with SEND are able to enjoy and participate in all lessons.
We plan to develop the enjoyment and excellence in MFL and by the end of Key Stage 2 we aim that all pupils can:
- Listen, respond and participate in conversations showing understanding by asking and answering questions
- Express ideas, opinions and thoughts clearly and speak in sentences using familiar vocabulary, phrases and have the knowledge of basic language structures
- Describe people, places and things and present ideas and information orally and in writing to a range of audiences
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- Broaden their vocabulary knowledge and develop their understanding of new words by reading familiar stories, and using songs, poems and rhymes including using a dictionary
Our chosen languages in school are Spanish, Italian and French.
Children in years 3 – 6 have regular focused sessions where they understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of sources. Children may also learn other languages through their cross curricular work.
A wider curriculum
Our languages curriculum is not just limited to the learning we do in lesson time. Teachers give day-to-day classroom commands or take the register in French, or indeed other languages. We are a multi-cultural school with a plethora of children who already speak other European and non-European languages at home.
Each year, two German students spend two weeks' work experience at our school, during which time they share their experience of the similarities and differences in culture, comparing primary schools in Germany with those in the UK. This helps broaden our children's cultural awareness.
In multi-cultural week, children have the opportunity to learn about a particular country, including learning some of its language. In Year 3 for example, children learn some Italian alongside their topic of Italy and in Year 4, some Spanish as part of their topic about Spain.
Finally, we are fortunate to have a German- and French-speaking school governor who mentors our German students and holds weekly French conversation groups for the Year 5 and 6 children.
On-line home learning
'Light Bulb Languages' is a free on-line resource that can be accessed by all. Click here for the link.
From there, you can select 'French', 'Primary' and then 'Schemes of Work' for example, to access units of work appropriate for each year group.
I recommend using an online dictionary to check for the pronunciation of words. You can click this link here for the Collins English-French dictionary.
Type in the word you want to check and then click on the sound button to hear the word being said in French. Listen and repeat five times.
For example, type in the word 'pocket' and then click on the sound button next to 'poche'. Choose items you can see around you and find out how to say those words in French.
We are now able to offer children at home the opportunity to access some of the resources we have recently begun using in our languages teaching in school.
Go to the website:
Click HOME SCHOOL red tab
Click the relevant flag France/Spain/Italy
Year 3 children can access the Italian resources, Year 4 children the Spanish ones and Year 5/6 children the French ones, to complement their learning in school..
I would be interested to hear what you think about these resources. Please email your feedback to me at LKS2@thewestbrooktrust.org.