We are Linguists
At Amesbury C of E Primary School we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our children using a wide variety of topics and themes. Our teaching staff have high expectations and excellent standards in their teaching of French as our chosen Modern Foreign Language. Hence, ensuring that all children can reach their full potential from their various starting points. We hope many of our children will develop a love for other languages and be proficient in the skills and knowledge to continue their learning into Key Stage 3 and beyond.
We intend that all of our children will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer children the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners. Alongside everything we do, we continually embed our values of: kindness, dignity and endurance into the teaching of MFL.
What is the point of Being a Linguist?
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. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
The aims of being a Linguist are:
- 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.
All Key Stage 2 pupils will have access to a high-quality French foreign language curriculum, using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop children's skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons. Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes.
Learning within a lesson is adequately scaffolded and differentiated to ensure all learners can access and achieve. Hence, lessons offering appropriate levels of challenge and stretch will be taught at all times to ensure pupils learn effectively, continuously building their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the language they are learning. A unit consists of 6 lessons and lasts a half-term. Therefore, children are exposed to 6 units over the course of an academic year.
The Language Angels scheme splits learning into three categories: Early, Intermediate and Progressive Language Teaching. Early Language units are entry level units and are most appropriate for Year 3 pupils or pupils with little or no previous foreign language learning. Intermediate units increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. Intermediate units are suitable for Year 4-5 pupils or pupils with embedded basic knowledge of the foreign language. Progressive and Creative Curriculum units are the most challenging units and are suitable for Year 6 pupils or pupils with a good understanding of the basics of the language they are learning. Grouping units into these Teaching Type categories ensures that the language taught is appropriate to the level of the class and introduced when the children are ready. Children will be taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually in the foreign language and they will have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write the language being taught with and without scaffolds, frames and varying levels of support.
Children will build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts will be taught throughout all units at all levels of challenge. Teachers are provided with a Progression Map and Grammar Grid to ensure all children are progressing their foreign language learning skills and are taught the appropriate grammar at the right time in their foreign language learning journey. Grammar rules and patterns will be taught by level of challenge:
- We start with nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs in Early Learning
- We move on to the use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation in Intermediate
- We end with opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units.
As well as each subsequent lesson within a unit being progressive, the teaching type organisation of Language Angels units also directs, drives and guarantees progressive learning and challenge. Units increase in level of challenge, stretch and linguistic and grammatical complexity as pupils move from Early Learning units through Intermediate units and into the most challenging Progressive units. Units in each subsequent level of the teaching type categories require more knowledge and application of skills than the previous teaching type. Activities contain progressively more text (both in English and the foreign language being studied) and lessons will have more content as the children become more confident and ambitious with the foreign language they are learning.
Early Learning units will start at basic noun and article level and will teach pupils how to formulate short phrases. By the time pupils reach Progressive units they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.
Pupils will continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language will be recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate. The resources used to plan and teach MFL (French) ensure that children are accessing learning at an age related expectation and result in the desired impact of children acquiring knowledge, understanding and an ability to apply their language learning. Children are assessed in line with curriculum requirements in the key language skill areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets. Opportunities for this assessment is provided at the end of each 6-week teaching unit. Attainment in MfL is communicated with parents yearly through our end of year reports in July. Children will leave our school with a love of language learning and a knowledge base which can be built upon throughout their secondary education.