Modern Foreign Languages aids the development of children’s linguistic competence. At St Joseph’s, we believe that learning a language enriches the curriculum, providing excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning throughout life.
The natural links between languages and other areas of the curriculum can enhance the overall teaching and learning experience. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy and to their understanding of their own culture/s and those of others.
Language also lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s ideas in this critical area as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language.
As the UK is becoming an increasingly multicultural society, we have a duty to provide our children with an understanding of other cultures and languages. At St Joseph’s we teach children in Key Stage Two French:
We follow closely the Catherine Cheater/Sue Cave Schemes of Work specifically designed for primary school children, introducing learners to the language and everyday life of France. The emphasis is on oracy, encouraging children to listen and speak the foreign language. Children develop an inter-cultural understanding of the language and the countries where French is spoken. A specialist MFL teacher from St Michael’s Secondary School teaches French to children in Key Stage 2 during autumn and spring terms. All class teachers participate in weekly lessons delivered by the specialist French teacher and teachers continue to deliver French lessons in the summer term.
An understanding of the structure of a new language enhances the children’s understanding of their own language and so links closely to the Literacy curriculum. There are also opportunities to link to the PSHE and citizenship, geography and RE curricula in terms of the development of positive attitudes towards, and knowledge of, other cultures and countries. We make more links to many other subjects when celebrating Bastille Day and Le Tour de France.