What does MFL look like at Vicarage Park School?
N.Evans - Subject Lead
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 National Curriculum)
The core language taught at Vicarage Park Primary School is German. At Vicarage Park our MFL curriculum aims to expose pupils to a new language so that they are able to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. In school our children respond positively towards learning languages and are developing their confidence to explore a new language through work on vocabulary and pronunciation development. We understand and value the importance that learning languages can have on children’s knowledge of the wider world and our whole curriculum is designed to help children develop an awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
The aims of the MFL National Curriculum are to create pupils who:
- 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
In EYFS and Year 1 children are given opportunities to celebrate and recognise a range of different languages and cultures.
From Year 2 to Year 6 children are taught German by school teachers in a 30-45 minute session per week. In order to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum Vicarage Park School uses the online learning resource linguascope and the lessons taught are topic based and relevant to the everyday lives of the children. The Elementary programme of work on Linguascope is used to plan and deliver learning in Years 2 and 3 and the Beginners programme is used for Years 5 and 6. In German lessons children work as a whole class using resources in the Interactive Whiteboard and practising pronunciation and new vocabulary together, in small groups investigating units on the Ipads and working together and individually when completing written based consolidation tasks.
Techniques used to support active engagement in German lessons include:
- Games to develop vocabulary through repetition, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
- Role-Play relating to the situations the children may find themselves in in the future
- Action songs and rhymes to develop phonetic skills, memory skills and to further their vocabulary
- Reading and writing materials
- Praise to develop the children’s confidence and encourage them to keep trying
Within our Early Years music forms an integral part of the children’s learning with practitioners aware of the importance of music to a range of areas including number rhymes in Maths and rhyme and rhythm through the learning of phonics. Music is also addressed through the Expressive Arts and Design strand of the EYFS curriculum outlined below.
Understanding the World
- Continue developing positive attitudes about the differences between people
- Know that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences they have experienced or seen in photos.
- Recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways.
- Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.