Modern Foreign Language
At St John Fisher we aim to foster enthusiastic language learners who are comfortable and confident in a language classroom. We focus on encouraging learners who are engaged and resilient in their learning, securing the foundations for them to build their skills and knowledge as they transition to Secondary education.
‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.’
National Curriculum Programme of Study 2014
Alongside acquisition of language, learners will develop an interest and appreciation for other cultures. We envisage pupils developing their sense of belonging to the wider world, accessing ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures.
Pupils will develop specific knowledge of one language, Italian, learning words and structures that enable them to ask and answer questions, listen to, read and understand stories, songs, poems and other short texts, and to write from memory about themselves. At the same time, they will develop language learning skills and strategies that will equip them for the learning of additional languages.
The school’s 5-year scheme of work is structure in termly units, which will be either:
- Discrete – focused on the foundations of language learning to enable learners to be confident and successful, for example, basic early language and phonics.
- Thematic – learners use language in the context of their wider foundation theme to begin to make links with other curriculum areas.
Language learning is taught once a week, for one hour, by a specialist Italian teacher. The specialist teacher has Italian as their first language, as well as fluency in English.
In lessons, pupils are given regular opportunities to listen to, join in with, read, speak and write Italian. In the early stages of language learning, pupils engage in a lot of learning to train the ear, to tune into and learn how to produce the sounds of the language, through the teaching and learning of phonics and phonics-related activities. Joining in with songs, rhymes, stories and poems all serve to reinforce the sound-writing patterns. Pupils then begin to develop, from the earliest stages in Y3, the ability to form simple sentences of their own. As learning develops, pupils develop confidence in writing from memory, building up over the course of KS2.
By the time children leave St John Fisher, after a full five years of learning Italian, we aim for the children to be able to:
- Use a bank of key phrases and vocabulary confidently to allow them to converse in Italian and they can be understood.
- To use an Italian accent as much as possible when speaking.
- To write some sentences in Italian.
- To be able to read some basic KS2 Italian text.
- To appreciate the geography and culture of Italy when comparing to British culture.