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Our main objective in the teaching of a modern foreign language at primary school is to promote the early development of linguistic competence and an understanding of other cultures

At Queensbridge Primary School our Modern Foreign Language is Spanish. Our main objective in the teaching of a modern foreign language at primary school is to promote the early development of linguistic competence and an understanding of other cultures. We believe that to accomplish this, we should help the children to do all of the following:
• familiarise themselves with the sounds and written form of a modern foreign language;
• begin to understand a new language, and communicate in it;
• make comparisons between languages;
• learn about different countries and their people, and work with materials from different countries and communities, thus increasing their awareness of other cultures;
• develop a positive attitude towards the learning of foreign languages in general;
• use their knowledge of the foreign language with growing confidence, both to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves in different ways;
• acquire, through all of the above, a sound basis for further study at Key Stage 3 and beyond.
We recognise that language learning in its broadest sense has three core strands – oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding.
We base the teaching of languages on the guidance material in the National Curriculum and the Hackney Scheme of work for MFL at Key Stage 2. We have, however, adapted this to the context of our school and the abilities of our children. The formal teaching of Spanish starts in Key Stage 2.
We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to engage actively in the modern foreign language: these include games, role-play, stories and songs. This helps to prepare the pupils for the linguistic focus of the new Key Stage 3 curriculum. We invite native speakers into the classroom and listen to recordings, in order to expose the children to more than one voice in the foreign language. We frequently use mime to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this teaches the language without the need for translation.
We have a link school in Madrid called CEIP Cortes de Cadiz who we have fostered a strong partnership with. To develop the children’s language and give learning context, we exchange letters and skype calls with pupils at the school. We have also taken pupils to visit the school.
Each year in the Summer Term we celebrate Hispanic Day. During this day children build up their intercultural understanding of Spanish speaking countries, as well as develop their linguistic skills. We often welcome outside visitors such as flamenco dancers or singers.