“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.” – Chinese Proverb
At Dickleburgh Primary Academy, we believe that learning a new language is a valuable and worthwhile experience for all children. The skills, knowledge and understanding gained are essential skills in the development of each child’s aspirations and knowledge of the world as well as their understanding of their own culture and identity.
Teaching is inclusive of all children and aims to enhance and broaden not only cultural awareness but also develop oracy and literacy skills deepening each child’s understanding of another language and in turn their own.
For the last 4 years, pupils in Year 1 through to Year 6 took part in a weekly French lesson where they were all able to practise their speaking, reading and listening skills. Children’s vocabulary was broadened through regular opportunities for them to be immersed in their target language. Pupils in KS2 also had the opportunity to write in the target language and learnt about French grammar and phonics. Intercultural understanding was explored with all classes and was linked to current events where appropriate.
Throughout the academic year 2022-2023, we will be introducing the pupils for Year 2 to Year 6 to a new language-Spanish.
Spanish phonics will be taught in all KS2 classes appropriate to their level. Pupils will be introduced to stories, rhymes and songs which link to the vocabulary, grammar and phonics being covered in lessons.
Opportunities will also be used to explore cultural events throughout the year such as La Semana Santa (April), Los Sanfermines (The Running of the Bulls: 6-14 July), La Tomatina (Spain’s Greatest Food Fight: last week in August), Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead: Mexico – remembering and celebrating ancestral roots: 2 November), Navidad (Christmas: 25 December).
The ethos and rationale behind the Spanish teaching pedagogy at Dickleburgh includes:
- A carefully planned curriculum sequenced around logical pupil progression in the three pillars of language: phonics, vocabulary and grammar.
- Using the previous four years of French teaching through the three pillar approach, the lead Spanish teacher ensures the use of language that is being taught is carefully planned and tailored to build on pupils’ ability and prior knowledge.
- Opportunities for pupils to practise key phonemes, linked with its corresponding grapheme in the target language, are planned in a way to support children’s commitment to their long-term memory. This, in turn, directly supports children in being able to recall individual phonemes and blending entire words to progress onto greater language structures needed to communicate in an unscripted way.
- When bi-lingual or immersion texts are chosen, they will be authentic to purpose ensuring linguistic content is accurate and suitable for the children’s linguistic level. The use of these texts will be planned carefully, ensuring that children are not exposed to large amounts of unfamiliar language.
- Errors in the target language are a positive sign of willingness, effort and confidence in the unfamiliar tongue. Correction of any error will be explicit and focus on accuracy in correction. From an early stage of being exposed to the target language, children will be encouraged to elicit their own correction.
- Ongoing assessments of children’s acquisition will be recorded after each lesson; these are aligned to the clearly structured and sequenced curriculum.
- The lead Spanish teacher has a strong understanding of curriculum progression in languages as well as strong subject knowledge.
- There is a well-considered transition process between our primary and the secondary schools we feed into – our curriculum reflects solid grounds and well-planned next steps to transition smoothly across the key stages.
Our Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum is delivered through highly effective, specialist ‘quality first teaching’
Our MFL curriculum ensures that children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary. Through the breadth and depth that our curriculum offers, children have an appropriate balance of spoken and written language which lay the foundations for further language learning. Our curriculum encourages children to become confident global citizens within the ‘modern world.’