Modern Foreign Languages

French, Spanish, and German are taught at Key Stage 3. Key Stage 3 MFL at SMRT aims to develop global citizens who are inspired to learn more about other cultures, communicate with others around the world and fosters in them a greater inter-cultural awareness and appreciation of diversity. We organise events such as an MFL Spelling Bee to help with literacy skills, an MFL Bake-Off to encourage raising money for charities, and Christmas Card competitions to encourage creativity and communication with schools abroad. Our curriculum allows students to explore the language as well as the culture and heritage of the Francophone, Germanic, or Hispanic world. Over the course of the KS3 curriculum, students will learn about traditional religious festivals, cultural festivals, global and social issues in 3rd World Countries, traditional and popular music, and popular film. We aim to provide as much opportunity as possible for students to practise spontaneous speaking and develop fluency. With this in mind, we organise a cultural visit to France, Germany, or Spain in Year 8, which allows students to experience the culture first-hand and put their language skills to the test. Language learning has advanced greatly over the years and there is a wealth of technology available to students to allow them to learn a language and practise at home. Students are assessed formatively within the lesson through fun quizzes and language games, providing them with the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them in a stress-free environment. There are 3 assessments over the course of the year which focus on reading, listening, writing, translation, and speaking and allow students to show off what they have learnt so far. Through our varied curriculum and homework tasks, we aim to develop skills such as research, communication, presentation, debating, creativity, organisation and literacy. MFL has the added bonus of complimenting lots of other subjects, such as English and Literacy, Geography and History.

 

In Year 7 MFL students are exposed to as much French, German, or Spanish as possible during their language lessons and so they will find most of their lesson is taught in that language. Whilst this can seem a big step up from Primary Language learning, it is amazing to see how quickly pupils adapt to listening to and understanding basic instructions in the foreign language. The focus is on developing students’ understanding of descriptions of others, places and objects and developing their confidence in communication skills so that they can speak more spontaneously about a wide range of topics, such as traditional foods, fashion, differences in school systems, famous francophone/Germanic/Hispanic people and exploring cities in the Francophone, Germanic, or Hispanic world.

 

In Year 8, students are no longer taught in their tutor group. There is a Set 1 group and then the remaining classes are mixed ability groups. In the second year of language learning we aim to further develop students’ resilience by teaching coping strategies so that they can confidently deal with unfamiliar language. Our curriculum focuses on improving pupils’ communicative skills and they will learn practical skills such as how to make arrangements with other people, accept and refuse invitations, give directions and describe injuries and illnesses. They will also learn to communicate about their future plans and describe a past event in a variety of contexts, including how to help others in society. Students will research other countries within the francophone/Germanic/Hispanic world and make comparisons to life in the UK.

 

In Year 9 pupils are increasingly encouraged to take a risk with the language they use and continue to be encouraged to embrace mistakes and learn from them. The curriculum focuses on discussing a range of technology and media and debating the advantages and dangers of modern day technology. Students will also learn to communicate about their future plans for GCSE and beyond and will explore the opportunities available to work and study abroad. Students will also pick up a second language for one hour a week and will be taught about the culture and the basics of this language to enable them to communicate. This will allow them to opt for two languages at GCSE should they so wish.