Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." - Nelson Mandela
At Ambler we aim to develop a love of Modern Foreign Language learning within every child. Our approach is to teach the skills needed to understand a new language (new vocabulary, grammar or cultural differences) as well as to encourage the ability to see links and bonds between the many languages and cultures in the school. Learning a foreign language helps to inform our understanding of the world around us. Learning a foreign language can also strengthen areas of a child’s development such as Oracy, by prioritising speaking and listening, and regularly involving shared discussion and class presentation.
Each lesson aims to provide a safe space for a child to experiment and take risks when attempting to communicate in French, valuing everyone’s contribution, and encouraging an overall sense of belonging.
The topics studied are accessible and engaging, offering an opportunity to share what children see, feel and think through the use of different media.
Our overall aim is to provide an ambitious, engaging and empowering French curriculum for all our children, while showing the benefits of learning a language and encouraging children to explore additional languages in the future.
French lessons follow a clear progression map of knowledge and skills. However, as French is new to the school this year, every year group will begin at an appropriate starting point.
These skills are grouped under oracy (speaking and listening) and literacy (reading and writing). Each new topic introduced is planned to build on previous knowledge, and develop an understanding and appreciation of the world around us.
The oracy lesson will introduce a new area of learning (vocabulary, grammar, cultural theme) alongside an emphasis on revising the correct pronunciation of common sounds. It is very important that all children feel safe and supported to orally contribute and ‘have a go’ at whatever new language is being introduced.
The follow-up Literacy lesson will recap vocabulary or grammar introduced, and extend this by using some sort of notation or recording. This is self-assessed within the lesson wherever possible, and kept in a folder to support each child’s development as a linguist, as well as being a celebration of their learning. The folder moves up with each child every year, as the curriculum progresses. It can be used as reflection and reference for every child, but is also a means of assessing how effectively they are developing their understanding of French.
Teachers are encouraged to bring French learning to life wherever possible by using a range of interactive resources and aim to organise educational trips which promote enjoyment of the subject.
Our mission is to show a clear progression of language skills and subject knowledge for every Key Stage 2 child (Year 3 – Year 6). As a child moves through Ambler school they are asked to recall and build on what they have already learnt, become actively involved in the process of gaining new knowledge, and see how they can make use of this understanding and awareness as a global citizen.
Within a supportive environment, the children develop their curiosity and confidence, being made fully aware of the DREAMS qualities needed to develop as a learner, they can see that qualities such as determination, resilience, motivation and self-belief are needed to be successful in life. Having this positive atmosphere means our children can be inquisitive, explore, risk and make mistakes, in order to develop their understanding of the world around them. As a result French (MFL) lessons are seen as interesting and engaging, and ones to look forward to.