Finding our talent as linguists
Modern Foreign Languages
At Swillington Primary School we find the talent in everyone. During our MFL Lessons we develop children's skills of speaking, listening and reading in Spanish.
Our MFL curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils:
Understand and respond to spoken and written languages from a variety of authentic resources.
Are able to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and that they are continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
Links to British Values around tolerance and respect.
Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.
In an ever increasing global and multicultural society, we feel it is vital to assist children in developing awareness of the world around them. A high quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. MFL enables our children to develop the knowledge to be able to communicate in another language other than English. At Swillington Primary School we believe that the learning of a language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. Learning another language also helps children develop skills that will open further opportunities later in life. It helps them to develop communication skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing, with an aim of making substantial progress in one language. In addition, children’s knowledge of how language works will be developed to lay the foundations for further language learning in the future.
Children tend to really enjoy learning a new language at primary school and the lessons are mostly carried out in Spanish, using pictures and gestures to facilitate understanding. Our MFL curriculum is designed to include challenges that encourage children to persevere. They understand that FAIL is ‘First Attempt at Learning’. Lessons follow a set structure, creating a safe and comfortable space where children feel confident to participate and everyone gets a chance to talk and share ideas.
The impact of our MFL curriculum is that children are encouraged to understand the relevance of what they are learning in languages and how it relates to everyday life and travel. Learning Spanish could help them in another country or to talk to a Spanish speaker. Varied learning experiences, including ‘Theme Weeks’ also ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community whilst providing a context for language learning and develop the children’s understanding of different cultures.
Children are currently introduced to Spanish from KS2, each class has a timetabled Spanish lesson of 30 minutes per week. In developing this curriculum, we have utilised components of published MFL materials including Le Jolie Ronde resources. Lessons across the Key Stages support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing:
Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work, singing activities and games. As confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences.
Children develop an appreciation of a variety of stories, songs, poems and rhymes in Spanish that are delivered through the curriculum.
Cross curricular links are made where possible, e.g. with history and geography.
Children are encouraged to use bilingual dictionaries to support their learning.
We strive to ensure that our pupil’s attainment is in line or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. The learning challenges ensure that children are accessing work at age related expectations, with regular opportunities to be challenged and master objectives.
How to Help at Home
Here are some suggestions for ways you can help your child:
Cook a typical Spanish meal
Familiarise your child with Spanish cuisine by having him or her help you whip up a traditional Spanish meal. You could try Gazpacho (tomato soup served cold), Paella (a rice dish), Tortilla (Spanish omelette) or Patatas Bravas (cubes of potato in a spicy, tomato sauce) for example.
Watch a Spanish movie
Host a Spanish movie night with your family watching films such as Ferdinand, Coco, Donkey Xote or Tad, the Lost Explorer. You could also watch cartoons on YouTube presented in Spanish, such as Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer or The Robot Boy.
Listen to Spanish music
Download some Spanish songs to listen to while at home or on the road. Listening to Spanish music will help familiarize your child with Spanish accents and pronunciations.
You can download and print dozens of free puzzles for your child. They will have fun playing, while simultaneously learning Spanish vocabulary. Keep a stack in the car for long trips.
Create some Spanish flashcards and place them face down on a table. Your child flips over two cards. If the pictures match, your child flips over two more cards. The point of the game is to match all of the cards from memory.
Spanish Memory Game
There are a wide selection of beginner Spanish books such as: ‘Gazpacho for Nacho’ by Tracey C Kyle, ‘La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Ninos’ by Susan Middleton Elya, ‘Chato’s Kitchen’ by Gary Soto, ‘Round is a Tortilla: A book of shapes’ by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and ‘Abuela’ by Arthur Dorros. You can find these books online.
This Spanish activity is played exactly like the original Hangman version, except you are using Spanish vocabulary words and phrases instead of English.