To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world'.
What are Languages?
A language is a system of communication, which consists of a set of sounds and written symbols which are used by the people of a particular country or region for talking or writing. Collins Dictionary
Why do we study Languages?
The study of language opens pupils’ minds and opens doors of opportunity. It develops a deep cultural awareness that is difficult to grasp without an understanding of the linguistic heritage of countries. The goals of wanting pupils to broaden their horizons, converse with others, explore cultures and strengthen their economic prospects will only be reached when we build firm boundaries of language learning.
Ofsted Research Review Series – June 2021
The National curriculum states the aims of the study of languages as:
Through their study of the St Mary's Languages curriculum, we intend that pupils will:
Develop phonics, vocabulary and grammar in target language (French)
The main tasks for early stage learners of another language are to secure the pillars of phonics, grammar and vocabulary in that language. Strengthening knowledge and understanding of these components enables learners to pronounce words correctly and structure their sentences accurately to communicate with others. We recognise that the vast majority of pupils at our school are novices in relation to speaking our target language –French – and will therefore need to increase confidence with these language pillars over time.
Broaden pupils’ horizons
Learning to communicate in another language creates opportunities for pupils. As they continue their studies towards expertise, opportunities for further study and employment open up to them.
Connect with others, as they are able to communicate with a wider range of people
Being able to communicate with someone using a common language is a rewarding human experience. Having friends and meeting new people can create joy in life.
Deepen connection to other cultures as they develop appreciation of the art, traditions and society of another culture
Learning a language builds cultural understanding and enables insights into how other communities see the world.
Speak, listen, read and write with increasing fluency and confidence in the target language.
Pupils will use their secure knowledge of the building blocks of language (phonics, grammar and vocabulary) to communicate verbally and in writing in the target language. They will be able to engage in a simple oral conversation as well as being able to read and write passages in French.
Scope and sequence
The St Mary's Languages (French) curriculum fulfils and exceeds the requirements of the National curriculum.
Languages are taught at KS2 in line with National Curriculum requirements and through the use of the Rigolo teaching and learning scheme of work. Learning is sequenced to develop knowledge of grammatical structures and build a vocabulary base, which pupils can use to construct sentences to communicate with others.
Pupils learn to pronounce sounds accurately and blend them to say words in French. They are introduced to grammatical features such as the masculine and feminine forms, pronouns and verbs. They learn set phrases used commonly in conversation such as ‘Quelle heure est-il? (what time is it?) and how to respond.
Vocabulary is selected to enable pupils to have conversations about familiar topics and about those which are likely to interest them. These include parts of the body, colours, food and time vocabulary. Vocabulary topics are repeated throughout the curriculum to secure the target language through spaced learning and repetition. Over time, pupils learn to combine vocabulary to speak and write in more complex sentences. Throughout the curriculum, pupils have the opportunity to speak, listen, read and write in French.