Modern Foreign Languages at St-Michael's School
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela
French is introduced to pupils in Year 3 with an emphasis on developing an interest and enthusiasm for another language and culture. Our aim is to promote enjoyment of language learning and to provide a solid foundation in preparation for secondary school.
We begin with learning French through songs, games and rhymes with an emphasis on listening and speaking but gradually introduce the children to reading and writing in French.
Lessons are conducted in French whenever possible and the pupils are encouraged to respond with confidence and accuracy. Above all it is about having fun whilst learning a new skill.
The course follows the Buckinghamshire French Scheme of Work for KS2 but is supported and supplemented with materials taken from other resources. This enables the pupils to experience a multi-sensory approach to language learning.
Pupils are exposed to numerous aspects of French life and culture through video, stories and traditional songs. They are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the lessons, in order to become more confident. Short role plays are encouraged to enable pupils to demonstrate their understanding of situations and specific language skills. For example, in Year 5/6 we hold a breakfast café morning where the pupils are encouraged to put into practice their French speaking skills to order their food, pay for it in Euros.
Studies have shown that learning a foreign language at an early age has other general benefits.
Second Language Acquisition research has shown that "foreign language study in the early elementary (Primary) years improves cognitive abilities, positively influences achievement in other disciplines, and results in higher achievement test scores in reading and math." (Stewart 2005).