Learning a foreign language is liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
At Gilbrook the teaching of Spanish is used as part of our enrichment curriculum. As many of our children have limited literacy skills much of the teaching and learning takes place verbally and practically by class staff. Class staff also make a judgement on when and how such lessons will take place. At our school we employ a qualified Spanish speaker from a language company who comes in and teaches some of the older children. This enables them to prepare for moving onto KS3 education where MFL is part of the structured curriculum. Because learning a language is part of our enrichment curriculum children are not assessed as they are in other curriculum areas such as English and MLths.
The National Curriculum programmes of study which we use to guide our lessons are;
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in andresponding
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link thespelling, sound and meaning of words
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond tothose of others; seek clarification and help*
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they arereading aloud or using familiar words and phrases*
- Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that areintroduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- Describe people, places, things and actions orally* and in writing