Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Curriculum - Spanish
The experience of learning and using a foreign language makes its unique contribution to the whole curriculum by taking children out of the familiar environment which is pervaded by English and allowing them to explore the life-style and culture of another land through the medium of its language. This in turn provides a satisfying, enjoyable, fun and intellectually challenging experience for children in coping with a different linguistic medium.
Opportunities are promoted at WDPS through children developing their skills of communication by listening, speaking, reading and writing in Spanish. The study of a language involves practice of observational and study skills and committing to memory of useful material for subsequent recall. Use of role play can also develop creative and imaginative expertise as well as empathy and understanding. Use of Skype for communication can provide motivation for students and a situation where real and spontaneous language will have to be used.
WDPS is where the journey begins to equip children with a skill which is advantageous to high school education, adult life and work. Success in industry and commerce depends increasingly on our willingness and ability to communicate with potential customers in their own language. With the greater mobility of the work force within the European community it is very likely that children will later need to use a foreign language in employment. Others will use it for reading, travel, recreation and personal contacts, either at home or abroad.
All of the WDPS Core Values are incorporated into the languages curriculum, but especially being open-minded, enquirers and good communicators. The culture of the foreign country is explored in many of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) topics, where pupils have to compare one culture (its history, religion and geography) to another.
In line with the new National curriculum, pupils will be taught 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
- write at varying lengths for different purposes and audiences
- use a variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt and understand
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
At WDPS we teach Spanish as our curriculum language. One of the main reasons for this is that many of our parents and pupils choose Spain, or a Spanish speaking country as their holiday destination of choice.
Pupils are provided with a balance of spoken and written language, the younger Phase 2 (Y3 and Y4) pupils using more spoken language than the older Phase 3 (Y5 and Y6) pupils who also concentrate more on writing at greater length.
Pupils are encouraged to communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and in writing focussing on familiar and routine matters. Pupils also describe people, places, things and actions.
Pupils are taught to listen carefully, show understanding by joining in and responding to the spoken or written language in many ways, including through actions.
Pupils take part in conversations and role play where they ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to others.
We teach songs, poems, stories and rhymes to help pupils remember, appreciate and explore the patterns and sounds of language. Pupils also learn how to structure a sentence by taking the part of a sentence and putting it together orally and then in writing.
Pupils learn the sound each letter makes and are then able to read with accurate pronunciation – Spanish is much easier for the pupils in this respect because each letter nearly always has the same sound.
Pupils are encouraged to read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing. This will be by labelling, completing sentences or answering sentences on texts. To help pupils broaden their vocabulary and understand new words that are introduced into written material, we provide vocabulary lists/glossaries for the older pupils and pictures with words for the younger pupils. Word searches are a good way of further increasing their vocabulary. We use the Education City resource as well as other language teaching websites to help introduce new vocabulary in an exciting and fun way.