Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish) Policy

North Ealing Primary School

Rationale

“Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.” (NC14)

We believe that many children really enjoy learning to speak another language and that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired. Also, an advantage of introducing a new language at primary school is that children tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development. Furthermore, it is widely accepted that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life. Language lies at the heart of ideas about individual identity and community, and learning another language can do a great deal to shape children’s ideas in this area as well as giving them a new perspective on their own language.

At North Ealing Primary School each KS1 & KS2 child receives one hour’s teaching per week in Spanish, split between 40 minutes of direct teaching by a specialist teacher, and 20 minutes of teaching by the class teacher. Class teachers are encouraged to make strong cross curricular links between Spanish and all aspects of school life.

Aims and Objectives

  • To foster an interest in, and to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about other languages.
  • To introduce children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun.
  • To encourage children to be aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another.
  • To help the children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
  • To develop their speaking and listening skills.
  • To lay the foundations for future study.
  • To raise staff awareness of and competence in Spanish.

Impact

  • Learning a foreign language helps children to develop an understanding of their own culture and that of others. Learning that people have different tastes, opinions  and views of the world teaches them principles of tolerance and respect of each other’s values.
  • The skills and knowledge gained through learning a new language make a major contribution to the development of children’s oracy and literacy. Thus by learning about the grammatical structure and patterns of another language, children can make connections and comparisons which will deepen their understanding both in the target language and in English.
  • Learning a foreign language helps children to develop their confidence with their linguistic skills. Children learning a foreign language in primary school are more likely to also learn a foreign language during their secondary education.

Implementation and Organisation:

  • A specialist Spanish teacher teaches each Y1-2 class for 40 minutes per week. The lessons focus on introducing new topics and vocabulary.
  • The role of the class teacher is to reinforce this teaching with a 20 minutes session or into series of shorter sessions amounting to 20 minutes per week as fitting.
  • The class teacher’s focus is on Speaking & Listening, and the use of a variety of resources such as songs, short video clips, ICT, games, etc. The relevant activities are recommended and made available by the specialist Spanish teacher.
  • There is a dedicated area in each KS2 classroom where vocabulary and visual prompts relevant to the current topic are on display for the children to refer to and for the class teacher to utilise.
  • The specialist teacher ensures that the MFL folder in the Central Resources system is regularly updated with resources which will also aid the class teacher.
  • In advance of each topic being taught, short term plans are regularly uploaded onto the Central Resource system, together with relevant vocabulary lists to enable the class teachers to familiarise themselves with it. Advice can also be given on demand to the class teachers with regards to understanding and pronunciation.
  • One of the class teacher’s responsibilities is to hand out and explain required tasks featured in topical exercise sheets. The children are then given the opportunity to work on the written task in the classroom. Should the work not be completed by the end of the session, it could then be continued later in class or at home at the class teacher’s discretion. The practice sheets are marked by the specialist teacher.

The MFL curriculum

Spanish is the modern foreign language that we teach in our school. The curriculum that we follow is based on the National Curriculum 2014. We teach the children to develop an understanding and to gain confidence in:

  • Asking and answering questions both verbally and in writing;
  • Using correct pronunciation and intonation;
  • Memorising words;
  • Interpreting meaning;
  • Understanding basic grammar;
  • Working in pairs and groups to communicate in the other language;
  • Making linguistic links with other topics across the curriculum;
  • Looking at life in another culture.

Assessment and Monitoring

The specialist teacher plans and delivers the lessons. The class teacher is also given a list of keywords and skills with ideas to practice during the week. We assess the children’s progress informally during the lessons. Progress is evaluated with the reference to the four national attainment targets of: Responding, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.

Inclusion:

  • All pupils, regardless of race, gender, culture or disability have the opportunities to develop their skills in MFL.
  • The school promotes equal opportunities and fairness for language learners, being aware that pupils bring into school different experiences, interests and strengths which will influence the way in which they learn. Taking these into consideration when planning and delivering the lessons, allow all children to participate fully and effectively.
  • Teaching MFL is a vital way to enhance pupils perceptions and to promote positive attitudes to cultural diversity.
  • Children with SEN are encouraged to participate fully in lessons with the necessary support and differentiated resources are used to enhance their learning.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Headteacher takes overall responsibility for the implementation of the MFL policy in conjunction with the MFL Co-coordinator. The day to day management is the responsibility of the MFL Co-coordinator in conjunction with the Headteacher.

See also School Policies on

  • SEN
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Assessment and Record Keeping
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Health and Safety
  • Able and Talented
  • Inclusion

The committee with oversight for this policy
Curriculum
Policy to be approved by the Headteacher
Autumn 2017
Policy last reviewed by the Curriculum Committee
N/A
Policy last ratified and adopted by Full Governing Body
N/A
Policy / Document due for review
Autumn 2021

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