At Forest and Sandridge C.E. Primary School we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our children. Children develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They also develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the French and English.
Through language learning we aim to:
· To give children a positive, enthusiastic attitude to languages through learning within a secure and supportive environment.
· To foster an interest in learning other languages
· To introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun
· To stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language
· 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 extend our language teaching beyond mother tongue learning
· To raise staff awareness of and competence in French
We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement in languages: these include games, role-play and action songs. We invite native speakers into the classroom to provide an excellent model of the spoken language whenever possible as well as to involve the children in learning about the culture of country. We use mime to accompany new vocabulary as this serves to demonstrate the language without the need for translation. We emphasise listening, responding and speaking skills in the Foundation Stage and KS1 and then continue these in KS2 with the addition of simple reading and writing skills. Language learning is interactive, fun and inspiring for all our children. Where possible we link French to other topics in class.
We take part in ‘The International Day of Languages’ every year. This gives every child an opportunity to learn another language; from Greek to Chinese. The children also spend the day learning about the culture and traditions of the particular countries they are focusing on.
We currently have a link with a school, l’ècole du Morier, in Joué-lès-Tours. Children in certain year groups communicate via email and post, to exchange information and videos of language learning.
We often have after school clubs that embrace the love of languages! Every other year we have had a Comenius Assistant join us in school. They have been active in promoting and supporting language learning. They also give the opportunity for the children to learn about the French culture.