Faculty Leader – Languages
The Subject Way
Firstly, to teach students the vital skills they need to achieve their full potential and gain the very best grades they can. Secondly, to teach students how each subject relates to the wider world, incorporating the life skills they will learn.
It is our belief that knowing how what you learn links to the wider world brings a subject to life and therefore improves overall understanding and engagement.
“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
The MFL curriculum is designed to empower students to draw maximum cultural, personal and economic benefit from the role of global citizenship. Through the promotion of oracy and the expansion of vocabulary and literacy we seek to enable students to communicate confidently and without barriers in a wide range of social settings and media.
In order to do this the MFL curriculum is sequenced to allow knowledge and skills to develop simultaneously and progressively. By revisiting and enhancing key language skills in different settings students develop their ability to recall, analyse and evaluate usage and at the same time build independence and resilience.
Our Curriculum enhances our students’ cultural literacy and experience by deepening exposure to non-Anglophone ideas, texts and customs in a variety of topics, settings and locations.
How we intend to remove barriers
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Our curriculum is designed to remove barriers through the promotion of literacy and oracy. We reinforce listening and reading skills through the embedding of skills and techniques such as the Prise method for reading comprehension. Through this students not only learn how to decipher key points and facts in texts from all backgrounds, but eventually how to interpret feelings, emotions and points of view. In addition, students learn how to express themselves and their opinions effectively and appropriately in a range of social contexts, empowering their social mobility.
How we develop skills for learning
We develop learning skills, teaching techniques for the acquisition of vocabulary and the application of grammar. Students learn skills for memorisation, recall and fluency through our layered approach to revisiting topics. Vocabulary is acquired and enhanced through exposure to a range of texts, oral and written in a variety of divergent topics, settings and genre. Students analyse texts to discern emotion and feeling as well as evaluating their own learning skills, such as revision and rote learning techniques.
How we foster personal attributes
We encourage the development of personal attributes such as effective listening and self-expression. Through the learning of other languages, students develop personal and cultural empathy. In doing so they become socially confident and economically mobile.
How we intend to enrich student experiences and broaden the horizons of students
Our department has a key role to play in broadening student horizons by exposing them to the lifestyles, literature and culture of speakers of French, German and Spanish, not just in Europe, but across the globe. We reflect the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural diversity of world languages. We enrich student experience through the exploration of foreign media both in the classroom and as part of our enrichment activities. We organise cinema and restaurant visits, visits from external speakers and links with university departments. Wherever possible we encourage visits abroad, for example to Amiens for the Christmas Market, the Opal Coast, the Rhineland and Berlin.
In Year 7 we set the foundations for successful language learning. We concentrate on our first visit to the important GCSE Theme of Identity and Culture. Students start by learning how to give personal details about themselves for example age, birthday, nationality, likes and dislikes. Afterwards they go on to develop basic descriptive skills to talk about their pets, families and hobbies. By Term 4 students start to talk about future events and finish the year by visiting the second GCSE theme of Local Area and Travel through learning how to find their way around a French speaking town. Throughout the year students are expected to learn core vocabulary, which is tested regularly. At the end of each half term they are assessed in two of the four language skills.
Students learn about French culture and traditions at key times such as Christmas, Epiphany and Easter.
By the end of the year a student will typically be able to express opinions and give justifications, talk about the present, including about other people, using a variety of connectives and time phrases to link different clauses and also respond in conversation with short phrases using the present and future tenses, though not necessarily together. They will also be able to pick out the main points and details from texts in the present and near future tenses as well as translating short paragraphs accurately from French.
Our Subjects at KS4