Queen Edith CP School. Modern Foreign and Community Languages (MFCL) Policy

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1 Queen Edith CP School Modern Foreign and Community Languages (MFCL) Policy June 2011

2 1. Introduction Modern Foreign and Community Languages (MFCL) Policy The previous government s Languages Strategy highlighted the value and importance of quality language learning, offering a life long skill to be used in business and pleasure, to open up avenues of communication and exploration, and to promote, encourage and instil a broader cultural understanding. (Languages for All: Languages for Life, A Strategy for England, DfES, 2002). To promote this aspiration, it aimed for all children to be learning at least one modern foreign language throughout KS2 by The current government continues to promote the teaching of languages at primary level, although whether it will become a statutory requirement in the new national curriculum remains unclear. At Queen Edith we embrace this vision of primary language learning as a key element in children s broad and balanced education. Learning a modern foreign language should be an experience that is both enriching and enjoyable in the present and one which broadens horizons and expands opportunities for the future. As such, it particularly contributes to the following Every Child Matters outcomes: enjoy and achieve make a positive contribution achieve economic well-being. 2. Aims Through teaching a modern foreign language (French), we aim to develop children s: confidence and competence in speaking, listening to, reading, and writing in a modern foreign language oral and language skills across the curriculum understanding of how languages work and their range of strategies for learning a new language interest in and understanding of people in different countries and cultures personal and social skills, particularly their empathy. 3. Teaching Objectives The KS2 Framework for Languages divides language learning into 5 strands. The 3 Progressive Core Strands are: Oracy Literacy Intercultural Understanding The 2 Cross-Cutting Strands are: Knowledge About Language Language Learning Strategies i) Oracy (Speaking & Listening): begins with listening to models of good pronunciation, including from native speakers (mainly through the use of ICT). It will involve repeating words and phrases, learning and performing songs and rhymes, role-plays, sketches and simple conversations. Children will explore and practise the distinctive sound patterns of the new language.

3 ii) Literacy (Reading & Writing): is supported by and in turn reinforces development in oracy. It will involve seeing and being read a variety of different types of text, as well as beginning to recognise and read independently a growing number of words, phrases and sentences. It will also involve developing writing skills, beginning with simple copying or fill in the blanks activities and building progressively to children writing their own sentences and short texts. iii) Intercultural Understanding: is a key aspect of citizenship education. It involves developing empathy, learning to look at things from another s perspective. Children will become more aware of the similarities and differences between languages, the people who speak them and their daily lives and cultural traditions. It includes making contact with peers from other countries and cultures (using the benefits of 21 st century communication, e.g. , video conferencing). iv) Knowledge About Language (KAL): involves developing an understanding of how languages work, their rules and patterns. It will include recognising the similarities and differences between different languages, and offers opportunities to make links with work in English/Literacy. v) Language Learning Strategies (LLS): involves drawing attention to and gaining in proficiency in a range of strategies that can be applied to the learning of any language. These include strategies to learn and remember new vocabulary, to work out meaning based on prior knowledge, to practise pronunciation, etc. In the early years of introducing MFL at Queen Edith, a priority is necessarily being placed on developing Oracy (both in pupils and teachers). However, our adapted version of the Tout le Monde scheme of work also includes activities to support early literacy (such as picture matching, talking big books, poems, cartoons, simple writing tasks etc.), resources for developing intercultural understanding, and opportunities to discuss KAL and LLS. These will assume growing importance as our confidence and proficiency increases. 4. MFL Curriculum Organisation, Continuity and Progression French To allow for fruitful transition from KS2 to KS3, we have decided (in partnership with our local secondary school) to focus on teaching French progressively throughout KS2. Teaching is based on an adapted version of the Heinemann scheme of work Tout le Monde, which provides a complete, progressive approach to the delivery of the objectives in the KS2 Framework for Languages. This is supplemented by resources provided by language teachers at Netherhall secondary school, and by two Early Start DVDs, which offer video footage of native French speakers linked to the different topics covered. From this scheme of work, the Queen Edith Languages Leader has created lesson-by-lesson unit plans, offering significant support for nonspecialists teaching French and ensuring year-on-year continuity. In , teachers in Years 4-6 began to teach French to their classes, using Tout le Monde level 1. In , this was extended to all teachers in KS2, with Years 3 & 4 teaching TlM level 1 and Years 5 & 6 teaching TlM level 2. In , Year 3 taught TlM level 1, Years 4 & 5 taught level 2, and Year 6 taught level 3. The programme will continue to roll progressively up through year groups as children s experience of French increases.

4 French is taught in KS2 as a discrete weekly lesson, with opportunities during the week for the consolidation of key words/phrases, in routines such as taking the register. As our whole-school curriculum develops in the next few years, we will also be seeking to embed the exploration of different French-speaking cultures into our cross-curricular themes. 5. Teaching Strategies Language learning should be fun, active and varied, employing lots of games, video and ICT presentations, songs, stories and rhymes, as well as lots of opportunities for conversation and discussion. In teaching children new vocabulary, a wide range of strategies can be used, including: listen and repeat (ecoutez et répétez!) listen and repeat if word is correct thumbs up or down if word is correct (oui ou non) recognising word from teacher mouthing it silently vocabulary bingo drawing on individual whiteboards show me items or individual cards Once children have acquired this vocabulary, they are encouraged to use it in simple sentences, through question and answer, short presentations, role-play, songs and rhymes, etc. 6. Resources The Heinemann Tout le Monde scheme of work is available as a web-based resource ( and is accompanied by large flashcards for classroom use. This is supplemented by other resources provided by language teachers at Netherhall secondary school, and by two Early Start DVDs (Salut! Ça va? and Où habites-tu?) which are accessible from the school server. The MFCL leader is also building a stock of additional resources, including display items, French games and story books, and a class set of bilingual dictionaries, all of which can be used to enrich languages teaching. To support teachers in developing their own language proficiency, the school also has a copy of the Teachers Talking French language up-skilling course. 7. Community Languages Queen Edith is a diverse school community, where over 30 different languages are spoken. We are keen to promote bilingualism as a great advantage and to celebrate and share the rich linguistic resources which staff, children and parents can contribute to our life together. Class teachers can celebrate the linguistic diversity of their classes in a variety of ways, including: displaying all the languages spoken by different members of the class answering the register in a different language (drawn from those spoken in the class)

5 encouraging children to teach other members of the class phrases from their home language (e.g. in Show and Tell) drawing parallels in language teaching to words/phrases that are common across different languages using children s home languages in class assemblies In , we enjoyed an International Year of Languages, with all classes being given the opportunity to experience a taste of 6 different modern languages, all spoken by members of the school community. The languages for each half-term were: German, Arabic, Urdu, Tagalog, Chinese and Bengali. In the summer 2011, we are holding Spanish Fortnight. In partnership with the Cambridge Learning Bus, we will be offering the chance for all children at Queen Edith to learn a few words and phrases in Spanish, to find out more about Spanishspeaking countries and their cultures, and to sample some Spanish food. A key part of the project will be involving our Spanish-speaking families, encouraging them to share their expertise and experience with the wider school community. In the future, we will also seek to develop links with French speaking parents and people in our wider community. The MFCL leader will offer an annual invitation to provide help and enrichment through the school newsletter. 8. Contributions to Other Curriculum Areas Language offers a window into the identity, culture, beliefs and traditions of different people in different places. As such, it offers key opportunities for children s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. In addition, learning in MFL links to other subjects in a variety of ways, including: English/Literacy: developing skills of speaking & listening, developing understanding of phonics and spelling Citizenship: exploring identity, belonging, similarities and difference, challenging prejudice and stereotypes Geography: identifying French-speaking countries on a world map and exploring our partnership with France as members of the EU The Arts (including Art and Music): studying visual artists and musicians from French-speaking cultures ICT: offering authentic opportunities for communication with peers in other countries 9. Inclusion In MFL learning, we aim to embrace the same characteristics of inclusive practice as in the rest of the curriculum by: setting suitable learning challenges responding to the diverse needs of children overcoming potential barriers to learning. We will aim to differentiate our questioning and our activities to ensure that all children can access and be challenged by foreign language learning. Children with speech and language difficulties or cognitive processing issues may require additional reinforcement and consolidation activities. Children with visual or

6 hearing impairment will be supported in line with our SEN policy, in consultation with our SENCO. For children for whom English is a second or additional language (EAL), learning an additional modern foreign language will give them the opportunity to take pride in their existing linguistic skills and see languages other than English being valued. For the small number of children who are already fluent French speakers, there will be opportunities to be the expert, modelling reading or answering questions in French, or providing additional vocabulary or cultural experiences to enrich the learning of their peers. 10. Assessment, Recording and Reporting In the early years of the introduction of MFL teaching, the focus will rightly be on teachers developing their own subject knowledge, language skills and range of teaching strategies. Teachers will, however, also be employing a range of Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies to ensure that language teaching is pitched to meet the needs of their classes. More formalised assessment practices will be introduced gradually over time, as teachers confidence and pupils language proficiency increases. For example, in 2011 the languages leader carried out a French reading assessment in Years 5 & 6, allowing us to benchmark the children s progress against the National Curriculum level descriptors. At present, we do not report formally to parents about children s progress in MFL. This too will be reviewed once the teaching of French is well embedded in the school. 11. Monitoring and Review During the early stages of the introduction of MFL at Queen Edith, the curriculum will need careful and regular monitoring and review. This will be carried out by the MFCL leader and this policy will be reviewed annually in line with this review. The MFCL leader will also keep the governing body regularly updated about curriculum developments. 12. Conclusion Academic Frank Smith wrote the following: "One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way. This spirit of opening doors, broadening horizons and providing children with a lifelong love of learning about different languages and cultures lies at the heart of our approach to MFL at Queen Edith. D. Coult June 2011

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