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)

At North Ealing, 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.

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.
  • To use the Progression of skills document (POS), to ensure the progression of language acquisition of children from Reception to Year 6.

Implementation and Organisation:

  • A specialist language teacher teaches Spanish across the whole school. Nursery and Reception classes for 15-20 minutes, KS1 for 30 minutes and KS2 for 40 minutes per week. The lessons focus on new topics half-termly or termly, with appropriate cross-curricular links, inclusive of vocabulary and grammar, through speaking, listening, reading and writing activities. Where possible this is followed up with practise by other teaching staff.
  • Children develop an appreciation for a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in Spanish that are delivered through curriculum content.
  • The specialist teacher’s focus is on speaking and listening, and the use of a variety of resources such as songs, short video clips, ICT, games, busythings 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 Spanish folder on the school’s shared drive is regularly updated with resources which will further aid the class teacher.
  • In advance of each topic being taught, short term plans are uploaded onto the school’s shared drive, together with relevant vocabulary lists to enable the class teachers to familiarise themselves with it. Advice is also given on demand, to the class teachers with regards to understanding and pronunciation.
  • Details of topics are placed on the school’s website so that parents can support and encourage language learning at every stage.

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.

The Spanish curriculum: Teaching and Learning

The curriculum that we follow is based on the National Curriculum 2014.

We recognise that language learning in its broadest sense has three core strands – oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding. We teach the children to develop an understanding and to gain confidence in:

  • Asking and answering questions both verbally and in writing – through games and role play, speaking and listening, reading and writing;
  • Using correct pronunciation and intonation – through speaking and listening activities, role play, and songs;
  • Memorising words – with mime and gestures; songs and movement games
  • Interpreting meaning – with help from visual clues; gestures and mime
  • Understanding basic grammar, including: feminine, masculine, and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these to build sentences; how these are similar/different to English;
  • Working in pairs and groups to communicate in the target language – Spanish;
  • Making linguistic links with other topics across the curriculum;
  • Looking at life in another culture.

We use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching Spanish. Research has shown that physical responses planned into lessons help improve enjoyment, provide opportunities for reinforcement through actions and help embed vocabulary and language structure into the long-term memory through actions.

Thus providing a safe way to speak out loud in a positive, engaging and fun atmosphere. We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible in order to develop a positive attitude towards learning a modern foreign language. We build children’s confidence through praise for any contribution that the children make in the foreign language.

We differentiate in class and for home learning, via our Google Classrooms, with a range of strategies:

  • Provide resources and set tasks of different complexities
  • Set common tasks which are open-ended
  • Provide speaking and writing frames to scaffold
  • Use a range of questioning

Cross-curricular links:

Learning another language presents opportunities for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills, understanding developed in other curriculum areas. These opportunities can be exploited in other areas: 

  • English: speaking and listening skills, grammar, sentence construction, comparisons between languages, patterns of language.
  • ICT: materials/resources from the internet, video and audio, data, microphones.
  • Citizenship: The multilingual society, knowledge about other countries.
  • Numeracy: counting, dates, calculations, money, time etc
  • Geography: work, climate, weather, differences between places.
  • Science: parts of the body, animals
  • Music: rhyme, rhythm, singing, composition, world music
  • RE: the celebration of festivals, storytelling, calendars, customs, international and multicultural work.
  • History: study of other countries
  • Art: colours, famous artists, descriptions
  • PE: physical responses to instructions in Spanish.

Assessment and Monitoring:

The specialist teacher plans and delivers the lessons. This planning is available to the class teacher where there are vocabulary lists, skills and topic related songs/games to practice during the week. The children are assessed by the specialist teacher, who also carries out self assessments, to monitor the progress that they are making in listening, speaking, reading, writing and intercultural understanding. This is done informally during the lessons and formally at the end of each topic (half termly) to inform future planning.

The Progression of Skills (POS) document provides a clear map of the expectations in Spanish language learning from Reception through to Year 6. Progress is evaluated against the POS in order to inform future planning and with reference to the four national attainment targets of: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. On an annual basis, we report progress to parents as part of our end of year report.

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 pupil’s 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 coordination and planning of the MFL curriculum are the responsibility of the subject specialist teacher and deputy head. The Headteacher takes overall responsibility for the implementation of the MFL policy across.

See also School Policies on:

  • SEND
  • Assessment
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Health and Safety
  • Inclusion

The committee with oversight for this policy
Curriculum
Policy to be approved by the
Headteacher
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
03/2025

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