Modern Foreign Languages
At Limehurst Academy, the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum is designed to enable students to grow into thinking, confident linguists.
In Year 7, the course starts by building on skills and knowledge, which students have acquired in Key Stage 2. It is our aim to show them how much they already know and how much they can already do, as we are aware that not all students have the same Modern Foreign Language provision in Key Stage 2.
In Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9), the focus is on enabling students to become independent, ‘Thinking Linguists’, rather than ‘Language Parrots’. Students are encouraged to analyse the language and to think about how they are using it. The focus is also on encouraging the students to use the language to communicate. They are provided with resources and opportunities to work independently and to be ‘creative’ (communicating their own ideas). This helps students to be able to transfer linguistic skills at Key Stage 4.
In Key Stage 4 (in years 10 and 11), students can choose to study either French or Spanish GCSE. We follow the Edexcel specifications.
Students are still encouraged to analyse the language, to think about how they are using it and communicate their own ideas independently. They are provided with ‘in-house’ resources to support their learning.
Knowledge and Understanding.
The content of the Key Stage 3 course has taken into account, the interests, which students have as they move through Years 7 to 9. Topics in Year 9 are more challenging as students are encouraged to look beyond their sphere of experience. Cultural aspects have been woven into the course to enable students to broaden their view as a citizen. This is continued in Key Stage 4 as the students follow the GCSE specifications. They are encouraged to widen their view of the world and the part they play in it as they move through the GCSE topics. At first, they study more familiar topics, but gradually the topics encourage them to reflect on current experiences and to think about what is to come in the future.
At Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, the main four language skills are taught: Listening, speaking, reading and writing. The learning is based on the understanding that the receptive skills are taught before the productive skills. It is acknowledged that repetition of the language enables students to better internalise it. This is achieved by introducing, practising and reinforcing the language throughout the course. To avoid the students remaining as ‘language parrots’ they are taught the language rules and how to use known language to communicate more creatively.
It is acknowledged that teaching students how the mechanics of the language work, is essential to enable students to use it independently. By thinking more deeply about the grammar rules and by identifying language patterns, students are able to improve their literacy in English as well as in the foreign language. Lessons are planned and resources are produced ‘in-house’ to engage students and also to make them think creatively. The course allows time to focus on important content and skills.
The Modern Foreign Language curriculum aims to encourage the growth of confident, articulate and independent-thinking linguists, who are used to analysing and problem-solving. During the course, it is pointed out to students, how to transfer their skills into different languages. This means that students have the opportunity to continue to study their language or to start to learn a new one, at a later stage in their careers or just for fun!
Many employers and the providers of post 18 educational courses value Modern Foreign Language linguists, as they are considered to be confident, analytical, solution-finding candidates, who are well organised and good communicators.