Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in the National Curriculum
MFL became a statutory part of the National Curriculum in September 2014. It states:
'The teaching should focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language. It should provide an appropriate balance of spoken and written language and should lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at key stage 3.'
MFL at Pudsey Waterloo
All children in years 3 – 6 participate in a weekly session of Spanish lasting between 30 and 45 minutes. This builds up to about an hour per week with a range of shorter activities, e.g. songs/ greetings on a daily basis.We follow the ‘Jolie Ronde’ language scheme and, where appropriate, use books and ICT to research the Spanish culture. Most lessons begin with paired dialogues, which enable children to develop fluency with familiar phrases and then extend their conversations with more recently acquired knowledge. (see videos) The children undertake a range of activities focusing particularly on speaking and listening skills with the addition of reading and writing skills when appropriate. Children are enthusiastic about their learning and many initiate conversations in Spanish at every opportunity both in and out of the classroom.
MFL in Year 3
Year 3 are introduced to Spanish through greetings and simple sentences, such as giving details about themselves: name, age and where they live. They learn colours, instructions, numbers to at least ten, food items, days of the week and months of the year. As well as the relevant vocabulary, they learn key phrases to begin building sentences.There are also opportunities to compare and contrast Christmas and Easter festivities in England and Spain. Children undertake a range of activities including paired dialogues, songs, games and they hear simple stories in the native language. A particular favourite is 'The Hungry Caterpillar.'
MFL in Year 4
The Year 4 curriculum further develops what the children have learned in Year 3. New topics include parts of the body, zoo animals, pets and family members. Topics such as colours and numbers (up to 20) are revisited as well as the introduction of other adjectives to describe objects, people and animals. Children particularly enjoy the opportunity to create their own monster and describe it using written phrases. They begin to see how adjectives are used in Spanish- following the noun rather than preceding it.
MFL in Year 5
Year 5 children consolidate the work covered in previous years, adding new topics such as hobbies, transport and weather. Familiar key phrases, e.g. 'Me gusta...' ('I like...') are revisited using a different word bank. Children begin to extend their sentences using connectives to join ideas and link sentences.
MFL in Year 6
In Year 6, children learn names of places in the town and create dialogues asking where they are and following simple directions. They learn to read analogue times to the quarter of an hour, add to previously learned hobbies vocabulary and begin to look at the simple future tense to say what they are going to do. They revisit numbers and learn multiples of ten, enabling them to form all numbers to one hundred.
Current learning: April- July 2018
Year 3 have completed their programme of work for the year and will spend this term revising and practising key phrases and vocabulary covered in order to consolidate their learning: greetings, colours, foods and numbers being the main themes. They will participate in dialogues and simple role play as well as singing and playing games. Lessons will always begin by revising vocabulary such as days of the week and months of the year.
Year 4 begin the term with a unit to introduce family vocabulary. They talk about their family members and learn how to introduce them- names and ages. They will participate in an airport role play, introducing different family members and possibly having the opportunity to adapt the dialogue. Following this, the children will use similar structures to learn how to talk about any pets they have at home. They will listen to and join in with short texts and songs. Children will be taught how to recognise and use singular and plural nouns in their oral and written activities.
We have been very fortunate to be able to offer Years 3 and 4 the opportunity to work with a native Spanish speaker, Pablo. He joined the school as a volunteer in February and is working alongside the class teachers each week, helping children with pronunciation and fluency.
Year 5 begin this term by creating a display which introduces characters who live in a block of flats. This will enable them to use familiar structures and vocabulary in written work as they describe the family, pets, likes and dislikes of their character. Sessions will also focus on learning the Spanish alphabet and numbers to at least 50. This task is followed by a series of lessons where the children plan out an imaginary trip to Spain, involving considering transport options: possible destinations: weather conditions at different times of year: packing a suitcase. As always, children will learn useful phrases and vocabulary, practising these through songs, games, role- play and partner work. Some written activities will be undertaken during this task.