With a diverse range of languages spoken at St Teresa’s, we aim to proudly celebrate and enjoy the nuances of language learning, whilst nurturing a love for communicating through new sounds and words. By fostering an understanding of cultural traditions and interesting facts related to the target language, children will develop a wider global understanding giving them a sense of ‘cultural currency’ if not access to a completely new world.
Accessing new linguistic terrain will enhance children’s knowledge of their own language, as well as help them to make connections with other languages and phonetic patterns or sounds that are novel and unfamiliar. Most importantly, communicating with others takes on a whole different form, delivering a feeling of liberty and success.
Research has proven that learning another language means the brain has to cope with complexity as it deciphers and absorbs new patterns. As a result, problem-solving and cognitive processes are improved, including memory, the ability to multi-task and an improved awareness of the structure of a child’s first language.
Studies show that as a result of these “higher cognitive” skills, that the benefits of learning a new language include higher scores in Maths, reading comprehension and vocabulary, by multilingual students, as compared to monolingual students. Therefore, the benefits of accessing language learning impact all academic areas of a pupil’s learning.
At St Teresa’s, French is taught from Year 3 to Year 6, encompassing all aspects of language learning, including the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Children are taught through games, songs and vocabulary based tasks with the aim of engaging and developing an early love of language learning. Lessons are weekly for the duration of 30 minutes using resources such as Linguascope and Atantot.
Children access French learning through a variety of topics, including holidays, food, directions and descriptions as well as many others that scaffold and progress language skills from year group to year group. A visit from a French school in Year 6 gives children the opportunity to exercise their linguistic skills, as well as attaining a perspective on how English is learnt in a French school, providing perspective and an opportunity to enjoy the pedagogic aspects of multilingualism.
We celebrate Bastille day every year by providing children with a taste of French food and themed activities. By year 6, children are skilled enough to progress to grammar based lessons, in anticipation of and in preparation for high school language lessons.
Our French specialist has created an accessible and varied scheme of work based on the guidelines of the National Curriculum which goes above and beyond these requirements to give children a fun, yet comprehensive experience of all aspects of language learning. Due to this comprehensive approach, the foundations of language learning are well established in order to ensure a smooth transition and accessibility to the languages curriculum in a high school environment, as well as the wider world.