Modern Foreign Language Teaching Staff
- Mrs N Shilliday – Curriculum Leader
- Mr D Shilliday – Second in Department
- Mrs N Lear
- Dr J Swarbrick
Why learning a language is so important
“The limits of my language is the limit of my world” Ludwig Wittgenstein
At The Wey Valley Academy, the Modern Foreign Languages department believe that language learning is essential to being able to thrive in a growing, global world. The study of languages is integral to the curriculum and benefits learners as they grow to understand cultures, traditions, identity, and celebrate the root of communication in our exploration of modern language study. Language learning is the doorway to cultural communities and enhancing our students’ achievements and future career opportunities. We believe that the communication and cognitive skills required through language learning are transferable and can be applied across the curriculum. In KS3 and KS4, we want:
- To enable the students to enjoy and to have the confidence to communicate in a foreign language.
- To broaden the students’ horizons by developing intercultural understanding, thus developing their respect and tolerance for other cultures.
- To develop communication strategies and enhance cognitive development through problem solving and pattern recognition.
- To improve the students’ employment and travel opportunities.
- To provide a high-impact, broad and balanced curriculum to all students.
Teaching and Learning in Modern Foreign Languages
From year 7, the students study either Spanish or French and they continue to study these languages until the end of year 9 when they can opt to follow it as a GCSE in years 10 and 11.
The MFL curriculum is based on the belief that the teaching of lexis and grammar should serve communication; hence language learning should be about learning to perform real world communicative tasks through a range of high frequency L2 chunks and constructions.
Within this context, the teaching and learning process at KS3 will be as follow:
- MODELLING: The use of chunks in context through sentence builder/ story telling/songs/ etc.
- AWARENESS RAISING: sensitizing the learners to the patterns/rules governing the target chunks formation and use (Pop-up grammar)
- RECEPTIVE PROCESSING: High-intensity processing practice through receptive skills (Controlled input)
- STRUCTURED PRODUCTION: intensive scaffolded and highly controlled production practice (Pushed output)
- EXPANSION: structure is learnt in greater depth and practised with old and new vocabulary and structures overtime through systematic recycling (scaffolding may still be necessary)
At KS4, The MFL curriculum is themed-based to reflect the demands of the GCSE syllabus with key grammatical points which can be employed across all topic areas.
Key Stage 3
Students are taught in mixed ability sets.
In years 7,8 and 9 students cover all requirements of the KS3 national curriculum and are taught following the EPI method (Extensive Processive Instruction) which prioritises the teaching of chunks derived from communicative functions over the teaching of single words and traditional grammar.
Each class will work from two sentence builders per half term. The sentence builders will cover a range of topics and grammar that will lay strong foundations for the GCSE course.
Key Stage 4
Students are taught in mixed ability sets.
In years 10 and 11, students study in greater depth the vocabulary and grammar of the Spanish and French language.
At the end of Year 11, students will complete an exam in each of the four key skills of language learning – listening, speaking, reading and writing. All skills are equally-weighted and each contribute 25% towards a student’s final GCSE grade (9-1).
Students continue to develop the skills they have been introduced to at KS3. For papers 2 and 4 (speaking and writing) they will focus on extending their ability to narrate in detail a series of events in the past, present and future with reference to others as well as themselves. They will be able to offer a wide range of opinions and justify them, using “compare and contrast” techniques to order their ideas effectively.
For papers 1 and 3 (listening and reading) students will use authentic materials, including some short literary extracts in the target language, to develop their cultural understanding. They will also learn the skills required for effective translation from and into the target language.
For French – AQA.org.uk
For Spanish – AQA.org.uk
The department is planning on developing more extra-curricular activities such as trips or languages days. We wish to establish strong links with the local primary schools and MFL staff organise/attend primary school visits. Intervention sessions with targeted pupils or year groups run from Easter to June.