MFL – French
MFL Lead - Miss N Chapman
At Laughton All Saints' Primary School, we believe that a high quality language education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We aim for our teaching of French to enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in this language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We believe that children should be able to understand and respond to both spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources, to speak with increasing confidence and fluency, ensuring the accuracy of their accuracy and intonation. While learning another language, children access ideas and experiences from other cultures and communities, which in turn encourages children to have an understanding and appreciation of diversity in society.
To find out more about our rationale and intent, please click below:
"To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world." – Chinese Proverb
We know that learning a language at a young age is far more beneficial and successful than learning later in life. We begin teaching our French curriculum in Y3. As a school, we appreciate the power that languages have - learning another language helps open doors for children, opportunities to find out about different cultures and allows them to be creative with their speaking and communication. Learning a foreign language equips pupils to study and work in other countries as they get older, which again gives improved life chances and a broadening of horizons.
Our MFL curriculum:
We follow the national curriculum for MFL. Here is a link to the national curriculum documentation:
Aims and ambitions for French:
Our aim is for all pupils to:
- 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
- Be able to write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in French
What do we expect our children to learn in French by the end of key stage 2?
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to French, including: feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Pillars of knowledge progression
There are 3 main areas that children must have knowledge of in order to learn a language. These are sometimes referred to as 'pillars' and are the building blocks of our French lessons:
Each of these areas are integral to learning and being confident with a new language, and they all interconnect with each other. The children must gain a firm grasp of phonological awareness to enable them to decode words (turn the written word into sounds) and encode a word (breaking a spoken word into its separate sounds to spell it). This then leads to having autonomy over a range of words, and helps to build their vocabulary knowledge. When teaching vocabulary, it is important to select the most appropriate words, in relation to the learners’ age and how often words occur in the language (i.e. the most common) to ensure they have a wide range of vocabulary in a range of topics. Research shows that high-frequency words serve as ‘anchor points’ to help learners navigate texts, both spoken and written. Grammar knowledge is gained slowly, and over time, to ensure that it is fully understood and embedded, and that key grammatical concepts are not lost. Grammar knowledge is taught progressively at Laughton, starting with simpler concepts moving to more complex structures as French knowledge is gained.
Over time and with practice, knowledge becomes proceduralised and automatised.
Within these blocks of knowledge, it is also imperative that children are taught technical knowledge of speaking and listening to a different language, such as correct pronunciation, use of inflections, suitable fluency or being able to convey meaning appropriate to the context or situation. Within our French lessons, these technical aspects are taught both explicitly and implicitly (e.g. through modelling).
How have we designed our curriculum?
We use the Language Angels French scheme to structure our curriculum. We chose this scheme because it sequences learning in French throughout each year group and supports our staff well to deliver the languages curriculum.
The scheme covers the following in each unit:
Each lesson will include several of these, but all may not be present in one lesson, according to the stage of learning or unit.
Click here to view the overview of our curriculum (Language Angels):
Click here to see how our curriculum builds progressively on knowledge and skills:
Click here to view the French vocabulary we teach children, and how it is sequenced for each year group:
Click here to see grammar content and progression across the curriculum:
Click here to see a sample planning document for each year group:
These are our phonic and key vocabulary mats for children:
Will my child use anything to support them in knowing and remembering more?
In each unit, the children are given a 'knowledge organiser' which helps them in lessons and at home. Here are a few examples: