Our main objective in the teaching of a modern foreign language is to promote the early development of linguistic competence and an understanding of and interest in other cultures.
At Queensbridge Primary School our Modern Foreign Language is Spanish.
. We aim to spark a love of languages in children through engaging, interactive lessons. 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 Spanish;
• begin to understand a new language, and communicate in it;
• make comparisons and links between their study of vocabulary, grammatical structures and cultures;
• learn about the Hispanic and Latin American world;
• develop a positive attitude towards the learning of foreign languages;
• use their knowledge of the foreign language with growing confidence, both to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves through a balance of speaking and writing;
• acquire, through all of the above, a sound linguistic foundation 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 scheme we follow ensures progression, as well as revisiting learning to foster confidence, fluency and a deep understanding in pupils. The formal teaching of Spanish starts in Key Stage 2. During the summer term Year 2 pupils will explore patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes in preparation for their learning in Year 3.
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 listen to native voices using 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 it 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 plan joint projects with pupils at the school, such as letter exchanges. 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.