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Modern Foreign Languages

The world is becoming increasingly smaller thanks to the many methods of communication available to us and there is no doubt that people who can speak more than one language have a real asset for life, breaking down insularity and deepening students’ perceptions of the world. Learning and knowing a foreign language opens doors in all careers.  Linguists can use their knowledge to support language-based roles in the workplace. Through learning another language, we develop our speaking skills which will give us confidence when speaking in all situations. In addition, learning another language allows us to deepen our understanding of English and develop our listening, reading and writing skills which are also required for all subjects across the curriculum and are relevant to all professions. Learning another language can enrich our working life and leisure time whilst ensuring we develop our intercultural understanding and tolerance.

At KS3, students learn French in Year 7 and in Year 8 they are taught French and Spanish. In Year 9, students learn either French or Spanish based on their engagement and preference for furthering their language of choice. Both French and Spanish are Latin languages and therefore there are many similarities between the languages which means that students are able to learn Spanish at an accelerated pace. The KS3 curriculum is mapped to the National Curriculum to ensure we are fostering students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Both French and Spanish are increasing in popularity at KS4 due to the high level of enjoyment and progress made at KS3.

Students cover a range of engaging and age-appropriate topics in Years 7-9 and our MFL team are committed to delivering engaging lessons where students can take ownership of their own progress.  There is a strong focus on interactive learning opportunities and on developing students’ confidence in understanding and using the language. Phonics underpin our students’ ability to transfer their knowledge of sounds from spoken to written language and therefore the relationship between sound and spelling is a key element in class. Vocabulary and grammar learning are both essential concepts and knowledge organisers support students’ learning. To ensure that the language is mastered and can be used independently, grammatical concepts and time frames are sequenced within the topics and interwoven throughout our KS3 curriculum for each language.

From Years 7-11, students are exposed to and are expected to use the Target Language for real life purpose which supports their acquisition of the language. Furthermore, throughout both Key Stages, the culture of both French and Spanish speaking countries are explored in depth.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

“What matters most is being able to understand and to be understood. ‘Fluent’ is an inhibitor, ‘functional’ is a liberator.” John Wome, Director of Strategy, British Council

Please see parental overview of the courses in KS3 and KS4 in the links below or year group information on the specific buttons.

Languages Studied:

Links for support/help at home:

  • Use of student resources located within WHS SharePoint for students
  • Completion of homework
  • Use of or display of key vocabulary around the home
  • Use of Quizlet (free account required) and WHS MFL Blooket account to support the learning of topic-based vocabulary
  • Learning of year group appropriate transferable language
  • Use of to support pronunciation
  • Use of online platforms such as Seneca and BBC Bitesize for podcasts and interactive learning
  • Watching French subtitled films (age-appropriate) and listening to French songs using to develop reading and aural skills
  • Use of 1jour1actu and News in Slow French to keep up to date with current affairs and to develop reading and aural skills
  • Wider reading: use of Apps such as Duolingo (free)
  • Teacher-parent discussions following assessments and/or reports
  • Participation in MFL competitions and department-led events
  • Participation and attendance to extra-curricular activities