MFL in Your World:
Communication is a fundamental human need and learning a foreign language facilitates communication in a different way. Learning a new language helps us to get to know other people and their culture. Learning another language opens our mind to new ideas and new ways of looking at the world around us. It allows us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes to gain intercultural understanding and equally to develop a sensitivity to cultural differences.
Learning another language can also help us to understand our own and boost our vocabulary, as many languages have contributed to the development of English. Studying a modern foreign language in school has been shown to boost literacy and educational achievement. The ability to switch between languages makes you cognitively more flexible, better at multitasking and more creative. In addition, language skills improve access to the world of work and are needed to enhance national productivity.
Language teaching at Miltoncross provides the foundation for further learning, equipping our students to be effective communicators by developing the skills needed to become careful listeners and active readers, confident speakers and accurate writers. We also aim to foster a developing curiosity about how a language works and regularly encourage learners to use their knowledge of English vocabulary, grammar and syntax as a basis for deeper exploration of the language.
Students begin Year 7 with the study of Spanish, which is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world. Spanish phonetics are easily understood by English speakers allowing students to make rapid progress with pronunciation. Learners are encouraged at this early stage to look for cognates in reading and listening tasks to help predict meaning. Throughout KS3, students develop their acquisition of vocabulary and grammatical structures across a range of topic areas allowing them to express their ideas using a range of tenses.
Most students progress to GCSE in this subject where we follow the AQA examination board. Building on KS3 skills, students explore the 3 themes of Identity and culture, Local, national, international and global areas of interest, and Current and future study and employment. Across these themes, the course aims to develop our students’ ability to communicate confidently, expressing and developing thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently. They will also enrich their vocabulary to increase independent use and understanding of extended language, and develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where Spanish is spoken. Pupils will also have the opportunity to read and listen to authentic literary extracts from the Spanish speaking world, including playscripts, poetry and novels.
Regular assessments across both KS3 and KS4 test the 4 skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing: they allow learners’ progress to be tracked and gaps in their knowledge to be addressed. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their performance in assessments and set targets for improvements. At GCSE students receive specific instruction on examination techniques in MFL and all assessments during this key stage draw on examination style questions developing confidence before the final examination.
Knowledge retrieval and questioning play an important part in language lessons, and modelling and scaffolding of exemplar work provides students with a model of best practice. Pair and group work practice along with small group coaching with our FLA, facilitate oracy.