In Key Stage 4, we deal with three distinct themes which cover identity and culture, local, national, international and global areas of interest and current and future study and employment. Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where our native languages are spoken.
Evidently, MFL content is delivered through a spiral curriculum so that students revisit key themes with increasing complexity so that the language is constantly reinforced, solidified and extended. We interleave vocabulary content and grammatical theory and use spaced learning and retrieval practice to increase the storage strength of knowledge. Our students are constantly involved in active practice, consolidation and reflection in order to cement deep learning whilst frequent low stakes testing enables the transfer of knowledge into long term memory.
There is a strong grammar focus in everything we do and pupils learn to use and manipulate a variety of key structures and patterns as concepts are introduced and recycled within each module and then through the course whilst they learn to communicate more independently in the foreign language. Pupils learn quickly to identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present, past, and future as appropriate to the language being studied. Pupils learn to write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences using and manipulating a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns that they have learnt.
They understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of increasingly authentic sources and they speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
They show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material. They read extracts from literary texts in the language such as stories, songs, poems and letters to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture and so learn new ways of thinking.
Our ultimate aim in Key Stage 5 is for our students to use the spoken and written language spontaneously. At this level, they engage with themes directly relevant to social and cultural issues in the relevant country(ies) such as immigration, changes to family structures, the influence of the media and new technologies and sexual equality. They engage critically with literary works and films and there is a much increased focus on critical and analytical thinking in the language of study. They embrace the requirement to carry out independent research and present their findings on topics of their choice and interest.
Our students are tenacious, resilient and uninhibited and so are not afraid to make mistakes and to learn from them. They seek and establish patterns, can deduce and use logic to make intelligent guesses and are self-confident. They learn to use context to establish meaning, accept some uncertainty and are flexible in their approach.
Our teachers are experts and as professional linguists we need to maintain and develop our skills in all the languages we are teaching. We are passionate about the languages we teach and the countries they relate to. Consequently, we read widely in the foreign language, use all aspects of technology to maintain our knowledge of key social, political and cultural events, maintain long term friendships with people oversees and visit our countries of interest whenever we can. We enjoy having native speakers as part of our faculty and encourage any links we can foster and maintain with these nations.