Modern Foreign Languages Ethos
In the MFL department we aim to ignite pupils’ curiosity, understanding and tolerance of cultures and languages that are different to their own, preparing them to be ready and equipped to function in today’s global, diverse society. Our focus is to equip the pupils with the linguistic competences and social awareness to communicate effectively in a variety of situations (across a broad range of topical themes.) We aim to develop their self-confidence and powers of expression both orally and written and, most important of all, to do this by making language learning an enjoyable experience for all students. We create a supportive environment in which pupils know that making mistakes is an essential part of learning. We encourage them to identify patterns, to apply and recycle previously learnt rules and language to new contexts and above all to be resilient. We examine the foreign language and culture to identify similarities and differences to improve pupils’ knowledge.
We believe in the importance of phonics in underpinning the pupils’ confidence, particularly orally and aurally, in addition, the development of language learning skills, rather than a pure focus on content, is essential. Pupils will access a wide range of stimuli to build their confidence and resilience in listening to and reading authentic materials. High levels of accuracy will be promoted across all skill areas.
Our department consists of 2 full time specialists, each with their own dedicated classroom, with the SENCo, also a linguist, delivering some language lessons at KS3. We teach two languages. French is taught across the cohort in Year 7. In Year 8 approximately 85% of children start German as a second language before we give them the opportunity to specialise in a language in Year 9. At KS4, pupils can continue to study their language of choice as a GCSE option.
We have links with Worcester University which includes the hosting of a MFL trainee teacher in the department and a Year 9 Language Day delivered by the University's trainee MFL teachers.
We have run many successful trips to France and Germany, in addition to giving the students the opportunity to attend language promotion and support courses offered in the local area. At the moment we offer a Year 9 trip to Paris and each year we take all of Year 8 to the German Christmas Market in Birmingham. Both trips continue to be very popular.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD?
- Talk to your child about what they are learning in lessons, perhaps asking them to teach you what they have been studying, as this is a great way to embed their learning.
- Encourage them to complete their homework on time and ask for further support if needed.
- Encourage your child to use his/her grammar book, vocabulary lists and a French dictionary when completing homework. CAUTION – using the dictionary for every word is NOT what your child should be doing, nor should they be using a translation site. All the words and structures needed to complete a task will be in their grammar book, textbooks or supporting sheets
- If a learning homework has been set, we expect students to know what the new vocabulary means, how it is pronounced and how it is spelt. Asking your child to explain is a great way to aid their understanding.
- Use www.google.fr / www.google.de for pleasure to search for relevant, current issues that interest them.
SUPPORTIVE WEBSITES AND RESOURCES
Here are some useful websites to support language learning at Key Stage 3
- www.languagesonline.org.uk https://www.language-gym.com/#!/
- https://www.duolingo.com/french (or German) www.memrise.com
- https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-french (or German)
- http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/audiodictionary.htm (or German)