Modern Foreign Languages - Spanish
“You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language you only live once.” – Czech proverb
At St Dennis Primary Academy, we agree that learning a new language opens doors to new worlds. Our languages curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first-hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become confident reading and speaking another language.
Learning a different language:
- Encourages curiosity about and respect for other cultures
- Encourages children to find enjoyment in learning another language before they reach an age where they may be inhibited, embarrassed, or intimidated by apparent difficulty
- Provides opportunities for singing, games and group work
- Provides opportunities for cooperative circle activities
- Provides an equal playing field in which all children start from the same point
- Provides enjoyment, pride and a sense of achievement
- Enables children to explore and apply strategies to improve their learning
St Dennis Primary Academy intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.
The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.
The intent is that all children will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.
All classes have access to a high-quality foreign languages curriculum using the Language Angels scheme of work and resources. This progressively develops skills in foreign languages through regularly taught and well-planned weekly lessons in Key Stage 2 which will be taught by class teachers.
This year (2022-23), we have made the decision to teach Spanish across the whole of Key Stage 2 (rather than French in Year 3 and 4), to ensure our children have the best start to their secondary language education where children study for GCSE Spanish. For this reason, we have a implemented a two year plan.
Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge organised around age-appropriate topics and themes - building blocks of language into more complex, fluent and authentic language.
Children build on previous knowledge gradually as their foreign language lessons continue to recycle, revise and consolidate previously learnt language whilst building on all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Knowledge and awareness of required and appropriate grammar concepts are taught throughout all units. Grammar rules and patterns will be taught by level of challenge:
- We start with nouns and articles and 1st person singular of high frequency verbs in Early Learning units.
- We move on to the use of the possessive, the concept of adjectives, use of the negative form, conjunctions/connectives and introduce the concept of whole regular verb conjugation in Intermediate units.
- We end with opinions and introduce the concept of whole high frequency irregular verb conjugation in Progressive units.
The school has a long term plan in place outlining what each class in each year group will be taught and when. Each class in each year group will have an overview of units to be taught during the academic year to ensure substantial progress and learning is achieved.
Each teaching unit is divided into 6 fully planned lessons.
- Each unit and lesson will have clearly defined objectives and aims.
- Each lesson will incorporate interactive whiteboard materials to include ample speaking and listening tasks within a lesson.
- Lessons will incorporate challenge sections and desk-based activities that will be offered will three levels of stretch and differentiation. These may be sent home as homework if not completed in class.
- Reading and writing activities will be offered in all units. Some extended reading and writing activities are provided so that native speakers can also be catered for.
- Every unit will include a grammar concept which will increase in complexity as pupils move from Early Language units, through Intermediate units and into Progressive units.
- Extending writing activities are provided to ensure that pupils are recalling previously learnt language and, by reusing it, will be able to recall it and use it with greater ease and accuracy. These tasks will help to link units together and show that pupils are retaining and recalling the language taught with increased fluency and ease.
In addition to following the lessons provided in the Language Angels scheme of work and resources, we explore languages in other ways such as:
- Foreign language celebration assemblies.
- Cookery sessions of traditional foods from the country of the language being studied.
- Fashion shows demonstrating typical / traditional clothing from the country of the language being studied.
- Weather forecasts based on maps from the country of the language being studied.
- School celebrations of national feast days from the country of the language being studied when appropriate to facilitate a whole school approach to foreign language learning along with improved cultural awareness.
As children work through our scheme of learning, they will be exposed to much longer text and will be encouraged to formulate their own, more personalised responses based on a much wider bank of vocabulary, linguistic structures and grammatical knowledge. They will be able to create longer pieces of spoken and written language and are encouraged to use a variety of conjunctions, adverbs, adjectives, opinions and justifications.
Children continuously build on their previous knowledge as they progress in their foreign language learning journey through the primary phase. Previous language is recycled, revised, recalled and consolidated whenever possible and appropriate.
Assessment of pupil learning and progression in the key language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and against the 12 DfE Languages Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 attainment targets occurs throughout each unit through formative assessment and at the end of each 6-week teaching unit. This information is recorded and will be monitored by the Modern Foreign Language Lead who can use this information to ensure teaching is targeted and appropriate for each pupil, class and year group.
How does learning a language promote British Values?
Collaborative work in language lessons develops mutual respect for the differing opinions, beliefs and abilities of others. In addition, children learn to appreciate the value of similarities and differences and learn to show tolerance. A variety of experiences teaches them to appreciate that all people, and their views, are equally important.
Our languages curriculum provides a basis for teaching and learning about other cultures, and this is incorporated into many areas of the curriculum including personal and social education and citizenship, geography, religious education, design and technology, music, art and dance. We ensure that learning across the curriculum includes a ‘flavour’ of the countries where the focus language is spoken.
The five fundamental British values are interwoven into the languages curriculum, in particular how they relate to culture of the countries in which French and Spanish are spoken and the similarities and differences to life in Britain.
Outside of School
For children who wish to continue this learning at home, there are a range of websites, some of them free, which contain games and activities that will allow children to practise and develop their language skills and extend their vocabulary in the language of their choice.