A modern foreign language (MFL) is a subject that is accessible to people of all ages. Exposure to different languages at primary level is beneficial for all children, with ongoing investigations suggesting that one key benefit of learning a foreign language is the quickening development of general literacy. More than this though, we feel that through the language lessons, each child becomes increasingly aware of different cultures and the world around them. This is vital in an academy, and local environment, such as ours. We also have found that children who may struggle with core academic subjects thrive in their language studies.
In years 3 and 4, each class studies Spanish whilst years 5 and 6 study the French language. We hope that studying Spanish and French for two years each will result in good progression in both languages. This year, one year 5 class have also been studying Chinese through a program called ‘My Chinese Teacher’.
We learn languages in a variety of different ways in this academy, with each class being taught using a range of methods which aim to engage the children and aid them in acquiring new language. Some of the approaches we use are:
The length and day on which languages are studied depends on each year group’s timetable. We aim, as a school, to have a minimum of half an hour per week dedicated to languages, or one lesson per fortnight. In addition to this, each class aims to ‘drip-feed’ languages into their classrooms in registration sessions, recapping language linked to greetings, weather and days of the week.