Our vision in the Modern Foreign Languages department is that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world. We aim to support students to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences; ensuring that each topic contains an element of cultural reference to not only the target language country but the wider Francophone, Hispanic or Germanic spheres. The department is committed to developing strong, lifelong linguistic skills and to encourage students to become curious and interested in the world.
Curriculum design, teaching and learning
The MFL Department is a passionate, and enthusiastic department; a collaborative and creative approach to teaching and learning is embedded within daily practise and future planning. The department endeavours to make learning languages fun and meaningful, providing students with many opportunities for both collaboration and independent work in each lesson.
Curriculum maps are designed to ensure that all four skills (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) are covered in every unit and opportunities to revisit key skills, in different ways, are built into students’ learning journeys. Grammar is the foundation for building language skills. Learning grammar enables students to speak and write more accurately, confidently and fluently. Consequently, grammar skills are taught explicitly through every unit of work and regularly revisited.
Within the MFL classroom, we consistently emphasise that it is ok to make mistakes. We believe where students learn is in deciding how they move on from these errors. This open environment allows students to grow in confidence and not feel intimidated in speaking out in front of the class
Echoing the St Michael’s ethos and in the ever-changing face of the MFL learning landscape, we broaden our student’s horizon to breed tolerance, empathy, adaptability and consideration for others within our local and wider communities.
The KS3 Learning Landscape in MFL
At KS3, as a department, we aim to ensure that all students:
- begin an adventure that ensures progression through a deepening of knowledge of grammar and skills
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
Grammar and vocabulary
- KS3 Students are taught to
- identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present, past, and future as appropriate to the language being studied
- use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including voices and moods, as appropriate
- develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary allowing them to give and justify opinions
- develop accuracy in grammar, spelling and punctuation.
We aim to introduce the concept of becoming a ‘Global Citizen’ in a world where there is diversity not division. They begin to show a deepening knowledge of being able to:
- listen to a variety of forms of spoken language to obtain information and respond appropriately
- transcribe words and short sentences that they hear with increasing accuracy
- initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address
- express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing
- speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation
- read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material
- read literary texts in the language [such as stories, songs, poems and letters], to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture
- write prose using an increasingly wide range of grammar and vocabulary, write creatively to express their own ideas and opinions and translate short written text accurately from and into foreign languages
The KS3 half termly assessment schedule is defined by a need to replicate the high expectations at KS4 allowing students to make progress in all skill areas; listening, reading, writing and speaking.
The KS4 language learning platform
They develop their ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. GCSE MFL learning also broadens students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world; becoming a compassionate and resilient Global Citizen.
Subject aims and learning outcomes
The Edexcel course across all MFL languages taught at St Michael’s incorporates the latest GCSE specifications and enables students to:
- develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy
- express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently
- listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed
- deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order for them to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts
- acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand and respond to a rich range of authentic spoken and written material, adapted and abridged, as appropriate, including literary texts
- develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where the language is spoken
- be encouraged to make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, where the language may become a medium for constructing and applying knowledge
- develop language learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare them for further language study and use in school, higher education or in employment
- develop language strategies, including repair strategies.
Context and purposes
The MFL GCSE requires students to understand and use language across a range of contexts, appropriate to their age, interests and maturity levels. Pupils are taught 5 themes during years 10 and 11 (KS4), each broken down into topics and sub-topics.
The five themes are:
- identity and culture
- local area, holiday and travel
- future aspirations, study and work
- international and global dimension
All themes and topics must be studied in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities which they are studying.