Modern Foreign Languages
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Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at The Deanery aims to ensure that all students become linguistically literate and confident, and will give them the tools so that they may ‘live life in its fullness’ (John 10:10). The MFL curriculum is rigorous and engaging and will give students the opportunity to develop foreign language skills through listening, reading, writing, and speaking whilst maintaining enthusiasm for language learning through challenge and reward. Students will also have the opportunity to explore different cultures throughout the world via various media, in order to deepen their understanding of the world and maintain tolerant views students will also be able to develop their own opinions and viewpoints in a safe environment and respond to speakers of other languages both in speech and in writing.
Two key aims of MFL at The Deanery are to show confidence, security and perseverance in language learning, and to demonstrate respect and compassion for one another’s learning. This will be built upon through teamwork, group work, peer-to-peer teaching and assessing, as well as extra-curricular activities. We believe this to be pertinent to the academic, moral and spiritual success of our students, as all God’s children are precious and will be treated as such, with dignity and equal opportunities in order to flourish and fulfil their potential.
Aims and Objectives
- To explore issues affecting people on international, national, and local levels.
- To gain a wider knowledge of other cultures, with a particular emphasis on faith and its influence on language and culture.
- To be confident, secure, and perseverant in language learning and risk-taking through development of positive relationships and safe boundaries.
- To apply accurately the knowledge gained across all four key skills- listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
- To show respect and compassion for others’ learning through demonstrating good listening skills, and supporting each other’s work through group work, peer-to-peer teaching, and peer assessment.
French is currently the only language taught during curriculum time at The Deanery. This is because as a Romance Language (Latin-based), French shares between one-third and a half of all its vocabulary with English, whilst having grammatical structures that are similar to other Romance Languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Due these unique features, we see studying French as a bridge that can lead our students to learn other foreign languages later on in either their educational careers or personal life.
Furthermore, French was once the language of communication across Europe, and is presently the official language of 29 independent countries (second only to English!). By 2050 it is estimated that there will be around 750 million French speakers in the world. We believe that are to teach our young people how to be active citizens of an international society then we must prepare them for all aspects of life in such a world- including key language and communication skills.
Year 7- French in the first year of The Deanery starts with the fundamental building blocks of language. We look at grammatical concepts such as gender, plurals, regular and irregular verb conjugation, the present tense, the near future tense, how to use adjectives correctly in French, and we begin to introduce how to create extended pieces of writing in the target language. Grammar is embedded into our curriculum and is taught both implicitly and explicitly through the following topics:
- C’est Perso (talking about yourself and others), Mon Collège (talking about your school life)
- Mes Passetemps (talking about technology, online safety, sports and hobbies)
- Ma Zone (talking about the place in which you live)
Each topic is further divided into sub-topics that allow the Year 7 French curriculum to be as broad and engaging as possible. We have based our Year 7 curriculum on Pearson’s textbook Studio 1 to ensure that our content is in line with national standards.
Year 8- Learning a new language is often said to resemble a spiral of learning, and French in Year 8 will continue to see grammar woven into the curriculum with frequent reference and repetition of key grammar concepts to ensure that all learners are secure and confident in using them. Year 8 will see the introduction of the passé composé (past tense) and the introduction of 4 new topics:
- T’es branché(e) (talking in more detail about technology, TV, cinema, and culture)
- Chez Moi Chez Toi (describing your home, your town, and learning about life in francophone countries in French)
- Les Vacances (learning about major French speaking cities across the globe, introduction of the past tense, describing holidays in the past tense and future tense)
- Mon Identité (exploring one’s own identity in French, inter-personal relationships, and family life).
Year 9- In the final year of Key Stage 3, we will be preparing students to transition into Key Stage 4. This year will make clear the expectation of GCSE standards and we will be preparing our students to have the best start to a 2-year GCSE programme. Students will be learning how to use more complex grammatical topics such as superlatives, the imperfect tense, and the simple future tense through topics that explore adolescent life, hobbies and interests, identity and culture on local, national, and international scales, and their future life in terms of study and work, and travel.
The MFL department recognises that the enrichment programme offered by The Deanery is an opportunity to offer a wide array of language learning and cultural related activities. Thus far, we have been able to offer the following enrichment opportunities:
- Japanese- Students have had the opportunity to explore the culture and language of Japan, as well as the cuisine and art forms such as origami and calligraphy.
- Spanish/Hispanic studies- This enrichment gives students the chance to study a second Latin-based language as well as explore the culture, history, art, and cuisine of many other Spanish-speaking countries.
- European Languages- These enrichment sessions introduce students to the basics of a new language each week. Languages that have been studied thus far include German, Italian, and Welsh
- E-Twinning Project- Through the Erasmus Programme’s E-Twinning service we have the opportunity to link up with schools across Europe to work on a collaborative project that can help our students can invaluable insights into the culture of other countries and the lives of their peers abroad.
Year 9 Knowledge Organisers (to follow)
Key Resources and Websites
Word reference - an online dictionary for various languages
Seneca Learning - Online self-study and revision