Helmshore Primary has a clear vision to develop the language skills of students at KS2. Since September 2014, all students from years 3-6 receive a languages lesson from a specialist teacher and also access further resources and materials throughout each week. Through specialist intervention, class teachers are continually improving their own languages skills and are building the confidence needed to deliver high quality MFL to their classes in the near future.
Schemes of learning and lesson planning are written with specialist support in order to ensure that all key elements for progressing in MFL are included. Our vision is of a four year course which includes key grammar points and structural content to enable students to move onto KS3 with a high level of both proficiency and confidence. All our lesson plans contain references to the key skills highlighted by government guidance for MFL.
We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement in the modern languages; these include games, role-play, use of story books and songs (particularly action songs). We sometimes use puppets and soft toys to demonstrate the foreign language, and use mime to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation. We use a variety of resources to expose the children to more than one voice in the foreign language. We emphasise the listening and speaking skills over the reading and writing skills. We also use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching, i.e. we try to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory. ICT materials are used, where appropriate, to enhance language learning. We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of modern foreign languages. We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the language.