Primary Languages

At Ashfield we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils.  Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are often carried out in languages other than English.

The aims of MFL teaching at Ashfield are to provide children with opportunities:

  • to develop a positive attitude to language learning and the confidence to learn languages in the future.
  • to develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning.
  • to develop linguistic competence, learn the intricacies of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the target language and English.
  • to enhance their awareness of the multilingual and multicultural world and introduce an international dimension to their learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others.
  • to provide a medium for cross‐curricular links and for reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.

At Ashfield French is the primary foreign language we teach.  We integrate language learning into everyday school life, with teachers, teaching assistants and children using and experimenting with their knowledge of different languages when the opportunity arises.  French is taught on a weekly basis throughout the school, and using a variety of resources.  French lessons and activities are planned by HLTAs and teachers reinforce the content of these sessions, by using incidental language, providing children with up to an hour of French each week.  We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement in the primary language: these include games, role-play and songs.  We frequently use mime to accompany new vocabulary, as this serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation. We make the lessons as entertaining as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of primary languages.

At Ashfield School we aim to find a balance between teaching the spoken and written language.  All children will develop the skills to communicate ideas, facts and feelings in French.  Our planning in the lower key stage teaches children to explore sounds of language through songs and rhymes.  We teach them to develop accurate pronunciation, by engaging in conversation in the target language.  As children move through the school they will also learn skills to read and write in French.  Towards the end of the upper key stage, children will have developed the skills to write sentences from memory in order to express themselves.  We provide opportunities for children to enhance their enjoyment of their own and other cultures.

MFL contributes to many subjects within the primary curriculum by providing the children with opportunities to develop:

  • their use of the skills of listening, speaking reading and writing
  • their understanding of cognates
  • an understanding of their social and cultural traditions
  • an appreciation of the diversity and richness of their cultures
  • presentation skills