Since 2014 it is compulsary for primary school children aged seven and above to learn another language.At Mission Grove, children had already the opportunity to learn Mandarin for a few years. Since last year, they have been taught French as it is more frequently learned in secondary school and therefore it is a natural progression.
Every class from reception to Year 6 are taught French for 45 to 60 minutes a week for at least 2 terms by a specialist teacher. Children learn phonics, key vocabulary and basic structures, both individually and in groups, through games, songs, films, role plays and authentic French books. When possible, it is linked with their topic for the half term. During STEM week children explore a famous French landmark in each year group and during Film week work is based a foreign film. They also have the opportunity to learn about the different cultures of some of the French speaking countries including art, traditional food and festivals. The aim is for children to develop curiosity and enthusiasm for languages, but also to gain confidence and have fun speaking the language and successfully communicate with other French speakers. Since I am a native speaker, this will help the children to develop an authentic intonation and pronunciation.
The national programme of study for Key Stage 2 states that:
Pupils should be taught to:
- listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
- speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
- broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
- write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
- understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neuter forms and the conjugation of high- frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English
Under each tab on the left (coming soon) you will find which topics are covered for each Key Stage as well as some links to the songs used in class, the core vocabulary and some websites for children wishing to practice their French at home.
For all year groups I recommand two websites to help children in their learning:
- https://www.french-games.net is a free website for beginners and lower intermediate where children can learn words and sentences from different topics (numbres, colours, family, sports ...) throught games and test their knowledge at the end.
- https://www.culturetheque.com is an online French library from the French Institute. You will need to register (for free) to access hundreds of children books (some are both in French and English) and online resources.