Why learn a language?
“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”
Raising Aspirations – ‘Beyond the fens and the fields of Fishtoft’
We believe the acquisition of languages opens the door to other cultures and experiences and wish to encourage our learners to develop a curiosity for the wider world. We aim to equip our learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable them to seek adventure and embrace new horizons.
Oracy, vocabulary, reading and literacy – ‘Learning the words to learn’
Through our language curriculum we aim to ensure that learners of all abilities develop solid foundations in the key language skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar. As oracy comes before literacy in any language, speaking and listening plays a central role within our foreign language lessons.
What core concepts do we focus on?
The core knowledge and skills we seek to develop in our pupils through our foreign language teaching are:
- Vocabulary: Key words are developed through speaking, listening, games and songs.
- Conversation: Speaking skills are developed through discussion and asking questions; continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
- Reading: Knowledge is developed through links to phonics, knowledge of vocabulary and the use of picture books and familiar stories.
- Writing: Knowledge is developed through vocabulary, conversation, reading and phonics.
- Culture: To know about the culture and customs within the country of origin.
What language do we teach?
At Fishtoft Academy, our chosen MFL is Spanish.
There are several reasons for our choice:
- Spanish is one of the easiest languages to learn
- It is the most widely spoken languages in the world after English, being spoken not only in Spain but in Latin America.
- Spanish is the predominant language taught within the local secondary schools that we feed into.
All KS2 pupils will have access to a high-quality foreign language (Spanish) curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This will progressively develop pupil skills in Spanish through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons lasting for between 30 and 40 minutes, facilitated by class teachers.
Learners will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes – building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
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 Spanish.
In lower KS2, Early Language units will be delivered, These are entry level units and are designed for those with little or no previous foreign language learning experience.
As they move through the academy, they will then move onto Intermediate units, which increase the level of challenge by increasing the amount and complexity (including foreign language grammar concepts) of the foreign language presented to pupils. These are designed for pupils with embedded basic knowledge of Spanish.
Learners will be taught how to listen and read longer pieces of text gradually and they will have ample opportunities to speak, listen to, read and write Spanish 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.
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
Grammar is integrated and taught discreetly throughout all appropriate units.
The long term map below shows the units of Spanish which will be delivered during the academic year 2021.22, our initial year of teaching Spanish as a Modern Foreign Language.
Each teaching unit is divided into 6 lessons.
- Each unit and its associated lessons have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson incorporates interactive whiteboard materials which include ample speaking and listening tasks led by native language speakers.
- All lessons incorporate differentiated activities to provide appropriate levels of stretch and challenge.
- Reading and writing activities are included in all units.
- Every unit also includes a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units to Intermediate
- Units are progressive within themselves, as subsequent lessons within a unit build on the language and knowledge taught in previous lessons. As pupils progress though the lessons in a unit they will build their knowledge and develop the complexity of the language they use.