Languages at Friars
At Friars we teach French to all children in KS2 as part of the school curriculum. We feel that many children enjoy learning to speak another language and by exposing them to a foreign language early in their development, the faster they will acquire the language. Additionally, children at primary school age feel less self-conscious when speaking aloud in another language allowing them to maximise every opportunity to practice their new linguistic skills. It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life. We also recognise that many of our children speak French as their first language and wish to celebrate this within our school. Modern Foreign Languages is the development of children’s linguistic competence. It should be seen as a life-long skill. Learning a language opens up avenues of communication and exploration as well as promoting, encouraging and instilling a broader cultural understanding.
Aims and Objectives
- To foster an interest in learning other languages;
- To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
- To make young children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another;
- To help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries;
- To develop their speaking and listening skills;
- To lay the foundations for future study.
Teaching and Learning Style
We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement in the modern foreign language: these include games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs). We often use puppets and soft toys to demonstrate the foreign language, and when possible also invite native speakers into the classroom, 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 serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation. We emphasise the listening and speaking skills over the reading and writing skills. We also use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching, i.e. we try to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory. We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages. We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.