• MFL

Modern Foreign Languages

"Progress made by pupils in modern foreign languages is outstanding year on year compared to their peers with similar starting points nationally."

Addey & Stanhope School Ofsted Report April 2018

Opening Doors to the World


The world is changing fast. Travel is easier and cheaper than ever before, international trade is fast becoming essential for many companies, and global events continue move at an ever-quickening pace. For many young people around the world, it would be unthinkable to only speak one language, and in employers’ eyes, an awareness of another language is moving from the desirable to the essential in their search for new recruits. While it may be the case that English is already a very strong language in global terms, the opportunities that can arise and the doors that can open for multi-lingual employees and students are many.  Just as important is the enjoyment, satisfaction and sense of challenge gained from learning about other cultures, cracking the codes of meaning and being able to express yourself and widen your horizons at the same time.

Our Approach


As well as equipping students with a language “toolkit” of strategies for creating the language itself, we try, as far as possible, to help students to learn French and Spanish within challenging and engaging contexts. To help pronunciation, students learn how to read British Airways announcements, for example, and students learn through project briefs including creating and marketing a music act, and designing travel itineraries for visiting tour groups. Wherever possible, we enhance the classroom learning with visits overseas or within the UK to help the students learn through experience and create their own context for language development. We deliver this at both Key Stages through the teaching of French and Spanish, two immensely important world languages, to allow our learners to succeed within the framework of their own personal strengths and interests. Within this, all students are encouraged to make progress in their own way and we have a variety of assessment pathways that allow this, giving clear recognition to a candidate’s particular learning strengths, while at the same time highlighting areas for development and consolidation.
 

Key Stage 3

Year 7 

Students have two hours of languages per week, either French or Spanish.

Students who have never studied languages before are introduced to key learning methods, and those with some prior experience have the opportunity to develop their learning even further. Students are taught using the “Expo 1” course, and learning can be further supported through ICT methods to encourage self-study and independent learning, both in school and at home. Students are assessed through formal, as well as continuous, assessment.

Year 8

Students have two hours of languages a week, either French or Spanish.

They continue with the Expo course into Year 8, building on the knowledge, skills and experiences they have developed in Year 7. A number of students are given the opportunity to study Latin as an extra, leading to the option of a Level 1 qualification.

Year 9

Students have two hours of languages per week.

Students complete their introduction to French or Spanish during the autumn term and, following on from project-based learning of Year 8, attainment is measured in a similar way. Students are introduced to aspects of the language that prepare them for GCSE, and themes such as relationships and fashion are covered.  

Key Stage 4

French and Spanish 

Students build on the basics of French or Spanish (as learners move up through school) learned in Key Stage 3 at the start of Year 10 to make sure that their language skills are absolutely solid, and then they build their learning to develop a deeper understanding of the language. Online text books are used to support homework and independent study.

Community Languages

If a student is literate in a home language which is examined as a GCSE, they are given the opportunity to enter the exam. We will support them with the rhetoric of the papers and organise the speaking element of the exam, although we cannot teach the languages. Currently, there are GCSEs in Portuguese, Punjabi, Persian, Polish, Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, Gujurati, Italian, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), German, Turkish and Russian. These exams are usually taken in Year 10.

How to support language learning at home 

It can be difficult to assist your child in learning a language, especially if you do not speak the language being taught. Nevertheless, there is a variety of simple things that could be done at home in order to maximise progress and ensure that your child develops strong language learning skills for their future.

  • Help your child make time to practice. Learning a language is like learning to play an instrument. There needs to be time to practice. There is a variety of free online resources; of these www.languagesonline.org.uk is highly recommended to help students consolidate their use of grammar.

Additionally, the following apps also have websites to support your child:

  • Quizlet
  • Cram
  • Duolingo
  • Memrise
  • http://www.fluentu.com/french/

Other paying options described on: 

 http://www.fluentu.com/french/blog/best-apps-for-learning-french/

  • Have your child teach you to say something in the language every day. Explaining is learning. Let your child laugh at your mangled pronunciation - and correct you.
  • Provide videos, books and music in the language.  Ask the teacher for suggestions before you buy to make sure the resources are geared toward a young learner rather than an adult business traveler. Apps such as “news is slow French” and websites such as “coffee break French” are excellent.

Other options presented on:    http://www.fluentu.com/french/blog/french-podcasts/

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, Ms Wylde: cwylde@as.lewisham.sch.uk