Acle Academy

Modern Foreign Languages

 

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
- Nelson Mandela

Our vision in the Modern Foreign Languages department is that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world.

The department is committed to developing strong, lifelong linguistic skills. We aim to support students to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences. We aim to broaden horizons to promote tolerance, empathy, adaptability and consideration for others within our local and wider communities. 

Ultimately, we would like our students to enjoy languages, and we aim to achieve this by encouraging a linguistic curiosity to explore and respect other cultures and people. 

The MFL department strives to make language learning fun and meaningful, providing students with many opportunities for both collaboration and independent work in each lesson. We strongly feel that students need to be involved in tasks they find interesting in an environment where active and successful learning is encouraged. Games, technology and quizzes keep motivation levels high in lessons.  Curriculum maps are designed to ensure that all four skills (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) are covered in every unit and opportunities to revisit key skills, in different ways, are built in to students’ learning journeys.  

Rationale

The MFL curriculum will develop the 4 skills (reading, listening, speaking and writing) from word level, to building sentences, to finally extended responses or passages using complex vocabulary and structures. E.g. The topic of family is taught every year.

Low stakes testing is carried out regularly, through vocabulary testing, in-class games or quizzes and through programmes such as Quizlet and Kahoot.

The department has high expectations for all students and structures lessons to suit all abilities. A range of strategies, such as group work, pair and share work and role plays are employed to create a classroom culture where learning from others is valued. Topics are covered at times that fit best with students’ personal experiences, for example, the topic of holidays is covered after the summer holidays and festivals is taught leading up to Christmas. 

Grammar skills are taught explicitly through every unit of work, and regularly revisited; with the emphasis on equipping students with the linguistic skills to unpick and decode unfamiliar language. Grammar is the foundation for building language skills. Learning grammar enables students to speak and write more accurately, confidently and fluently.  

Within the MFL classroom, we consistently emphasise that it is ok to make mistakes. We believe students learn when deciding how they move on from these errors. This allows students to grow in confidence and not feel intimidated in speaking out in front of the class.  Opportunities for reflection are built in at regular intervals so that students can become resilient, independent learners. 

The MFL department provides a range of extra-curricular language opportunities to enthuse and motivate the young linguist. From trips to Cambridge University in year 9 to Vocab Clinics in KS4 and the German Exchange offered to pupils from year 8 onwards, students are exposed to a culture where languages are alive and easily accessible for all. 

Students are taught to become determined, independent and curious linguists who:

  • use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present, past, and future as appropriate to the language being studied
  • use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns
  • develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, allowing them to give and justify opinions and take part in discussion about wider issues
     

Learning Journey & Schemes of Learning

See our learning journeys, these outline the sequence of units, and progression of knowledge and skills across a key stage.

The schemes of learning found below provide an insight into each individual unit within the learning journey.

 The schemes of learning found below provide an insight into each individual unit within the learning journey.