M.F.L.

M.F.L. (Modern Foreign Languages)
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all students:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

Here at Cockburn John Charles Academy our students have the opportunity to study French or Spanish (from September 2018). Our language students are well motivated individuals who enjoy speaking in the target language and participating in challenging and engaging lessons.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in M.F.L this year?
Students will make progress in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

They will be able to understand, talk and write about a range of topics including:

Getting Started!

  • Meeting people – Using pronouns
  • School objects and the alphabet – Using the indefinite article
  • Counting up to 20 – Using verbs to give your age
  • Saying when your birthday is – Understanding days and months
  • Talking about the classroom – Using the definite article
  • Saying what colour things are – Making adjectives agree with nouns

Self & others

  • Talking about brothers and sisters – Using 3rd person singular and plural
  • Talking about your family – Using possessive adjectives
  • Talking about your pets – Understanding plural nouns
  • Describing yourself and others – Understanding singular adjective agreements
  • Talking about hair and eyes – Understanding plural adjective agreements

At school

  • Talking about your school subjects – Using regular present tense verbs
  • Talking about your teachers – Developing use of adjectives
  • Giving opinions and reasons – Using connectives and intensifiers
  • Talking about what you do in the morning – Using reflexive verbs
  • Talking about what you do after school – Introducing high frequency irregular present tense verbs

House & home

  • Talking about where you and others live – Applying all subject pronouns
  • Talking about the rooms in your home – Consolidation of masculine and feminine nouns
  • Describing your bedroom – Using simple prepositions
  • Talking about activities you do at home – Using stem-changing verbs
  • Telling the time – Intense practice of the verb to be

Town & local area

  • Talking about places in town – Asking and answering questions using Is there…? andThere is/are…
  • Saying what your town is like – Building longer sentences using a wider range of connectives
  • Asking for directions – Understanding the difference between formal and informal address
  • Talk about where you are going – Using prepositions to the
  • Talking about the weather – Using whento join bits of information

Hobbies & interests

  • Talking about sports and games – Correct application of the verbs to play and to do
  • Saying what you like to do – Using the verbto like+ the infinitive
  • Saying what you do not like to do – Using simple negatives
  • Saying what you are going to do – An introduction to the near future tense

Students will be introduced to a range of grammar points which will be revisited throughout KS3 & KS4. They will learn about the definite & indefinite article, present tense regular & high frequency irregular verbs, reflexive verbs, possessive adjectives, singular & plurals, adjectival agreement, prepositions, simple negatives, connectives, adverbs & intensifiers.

Students will be encouraged to understand and express opinions with justification. They will be required to translate simple texts to and from the target language.

What type of homework will be set?
Students in KS3 are given regular learning homework. They will be required to learn key items of vocabulary and grammar regularly and will be tested weekly in class. Students will also be required to take home a vocabulary/grammar book which must be returned each lesson. Short research tasks will also be given as homework.

How will my child be assessed in M.F.L?
Weekly class tests will be carried out in order to assess students’ learning of new vocabulary and grammar. Students will be given regular formative feedback in their books and they will also complete formal assessments each term which will cover all four language skills.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Check what homework your child has by looking in their planner. Encourage your child to practise new words by writing them out at home and saying the words out loud. Short but frequent practice is essential when learning a language. Words could be written on post it notes and could be stuck around the house. Checking your child’s understanding of the English meaning and actively engaging in their learning would be greatly beneficial e.g. through word tennis or strategies such as look, say, cover, write, check.

Key Stage 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in M.F.L this year?

Students will continue to make progress in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

They will be able to understand, talk and write about a range of topics including:

Describing people

  • Describing friends using adjectives – Consolidation of adjectival agreement
  • Describing celebrities – An introduction to comparatives
  • Talking about different nationalities – Reinforcing masculine and feminine agreements
  • Preparing extended spoken and written work

In my free time

  • Inviting someone to go out and making excuses – Adding expression to your spoken language
  • Talking about what you do with your friends – Using inclusive pronouns
  • Talking about TV programmes you have watched – An introduction to the past tense
  • Describing a past weekend – Extended writing practice

Holidays

  • Countries and languages – Using different prepositions
  • Modes of transport – Expressing preferences
  • A written description of a past holiday – Using sequencers
  • Giving an oral presentation about holidays – Using a mixture of tenses (present, past and future)

Food and drink

  • Expressing opinions about food & drink – Using the definite article
  • Eating out – Taking part in short dialogues in a restaurant
  • Shopping for food – Understanding prices & quantities
  • Preparing for a party – Using impersonal structures

Fashion

  • Talking about clothes & fashion – Development of adjectival agreement
  • Buying clothes – Using superlatives
  • Talking about school uniform – Developing opinions
  • Describing what you wore to a special event – Using the past, present and future tenses together

Film, music and culture

  • An introduction to different genres – Expressing opinions with justification
  • Critical appreciation of a variety of foreign films – Themes, characterisation, plot
  • Popular music – A focus on music from around the world
  • Festivals – Regional festivals and customs

Students will revisit grammar points covered in year 7 and will be introduced to modal verbs & more complex irregular present tense verbs, the near future tense, the past tense (perfect & preterite), comparative & superlative adjectives, more complex negative constructions & partitive articles.

Students will be further encouraged to understand and express opinions with justification. They will be required to translate more complex texts to and from the target language. Students will begin to write creatively.

What type of homework will be set?
Students in KS3 are given regular learning homework. They will be required to learn key items of vocabulary and grammar regularly and will be tested weekly in class. Students will also be required to take home a vocabulary/grammar book which must be returned each lesson. Short research tasks will also be given as homework.

How will my child be assessed in M.F.L?
Weekly class tests will be carried out in order to assess students’ learning of new vocabulary and grammar. Students will be given regular formative feedback in their books and they will also complete formal assessments each term which will cover all four language skills.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Check what homework your child has by looking in their planner. Encourage your child to practise new words by writing them out at home and saying the words out loud. Short but frequent practice is essential when learning a language. Words could be written on post it notes and could be stuck around the house. Checking your child’s understanding of the English meaning and actively engaging in their learning would be greatly beneficial e.g. through word tennis or strategies such as look, say, cover, write, check.

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn in M.F.L?

GCSE French GCSE Spanish. These qualifications are linear, meaning that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

Students study all of the following themes on which the four assessments (listening, speaking, reading, writing) are based. Theme 1: Identity and cultureTheme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interestTheme 3: 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 French is spoken.

Theme 1: Identity and culture covers the following four topics:

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends (Relationships with family and friends, Marriage/partnership)

Topic 2: Technology in everyday life (Social media, Mobile technology)

Topic 3: Free-time activities (Music, Cinema and TV, Food and eating out, Sport)

Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest covers the following four topics:

Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region

Topic 2: Social issues (Charity/voluntary work, Healthy/unhealthy living)

Topic 3: Global issues (The environment, Poverty/homelessness)

Topic 4: Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment covers the following four topics:

Topic 1: My studies

Topic 2: Life at school/college

Topic 3: Education post-16

Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions

What type of homework will be set?

In KS4 there is a focus on extended writing as well as continued vocabulary acquisition and application of grammar. Students are expected to work independently using revision guides and workbooks in addition to any work set by the teacher. Students are also required to speak as much as possible in the target language, so role-play preparation and conversation practice is also an integral part of homework in KS4.

How will my child be assessed in M.F.L?

Assessments
Students are rigorously assessed in all four language skills. They complete weekly grammar tests and receive regular formative feedback in their books and files.

Students will be externally assessed at the end of the course. GCSE French & GCSE Spanish has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take four question papers (listening, speaking, reading & writing) at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

What can my child move onto with M.F.L?
Studying modern foreign languages is hugely important in today’s working world. Employers are constantly on the lookout for students with language skill as linguists are confident people with excellent communication skills. Languages can open up many potential career paths for example in international law, travel & tourism, sport, fashion, teaching, journalism, interpreting, advertising or publishing. Learning a language is immensely enjoyable and worthwhile, not only does it enhance your career opportunities but it also enables you to make friends with people from all over the world.