Modern Foreign Languages and Latin

Aims of the Department

Our pupils learn languages in a positive and encouraging environment where they master the rules of grammar and develop the confidence to communicate well in their chosen languages. As they progress we expect more intellectual rigour in the target language including discussions about social and global issues, culminating in the Sixth Form in which culture, contemporary social issues, history and literature are discussed.
Languages are the ideal opportunity to widen their knowledge of the world and other cultures.

Employers know that linguists have:

  • An international dimension
  • An awareness of cultural differences
  • Team-working, oral communication, problem solving
  • A skill for life

Linguists are well regarded by universities and employers since Modern Languages GCSEs and A-Levels give students an advantage in the job market at every level, thanks to the many transferable skills which they will have mastered during their ‘Linguistic’ journey.

In Year 7 French is taught to all during 3 weekly lessons, with the progression to both French and Spanish for all students from Year 8, at a rate of 2 weekly lessons per language. Pupils will have made their choice of either French or Spanish for their GCSE by the Spring term of Year 9. Pupils are offered opportunities to practise their language skills in context and learn more about other countries through a programme of courses and visits abroad.

Italian is offered as a co-curricular class at KS3 and can lead to a GCSE qualification. Latin is offered as a co-curricular class at KS3 and as a curriculum option from Year 10, to lead to a GCSE qualification and potentially an A-Level.
 

Our approach to lessons

What drives our curriculum is the curiosity to understand how languages work to enable effective communication while discovering new cultural concepts to broaden horizons. All of this implies students being able to equally express themselves and understand others in a different language. 

Our department is enthusiastic about pedagogy and plans collaboratively by sharing ideas and resources which brings consistency across classrooms. Students know what to expect when entering the MFL department and they all have the same quality experience thanks to the well-established routines which maximise time and develop independence.

By the end of KS3, we want our students to have developed a greater understanding of most grammatical concepts and tenses needed for clear communication as well as a range of vocabulary and cultural contexts. These have been carefully mapped out so that students keep being equally motivated and challenged. By the end of KS4, we want our students to have mastered most grammatical concepts and tenses needed for clear communication and to apply them to a variety of culturally engaging contexts. By the end of KS5, we want our students to develop advanced-level, transferable language skills alongside a deeper appreciation of the target language culture with an emphasis on promoting understanding of grammar in order to allow spontaneous and creative use of language to suit different purposes. 

In Year 7, students choose if they want to study French or Spanish. From Year 8 boys are given the possibility to study another language as part of the co-curricular programme.

Department Staff

                                                           

Ms Emile Sinot - Head of Modern Foreign Languages: e.sinot@fulhamboysschool.org.uk

Ms Alexandra Gaudé - Second in Charge of MFL

Ms Annie Embiricos - MFL Teacher

Ms Michela Iannucci - MFL Teacher

Mr Martin Hartigan - Latin Teacher

 

Year 7 curriculum

In year 7, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of language learning. The course focuses on the four main skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and already starts preparing students for GCSE. Students discover and build on new vocabulary in class and also on the online language learning platform called Memrise where we have created targeted vocabulary lists. They also explore grammatical structures, the basis of conjugation and cultural discoveries through the different topics covered.

  • Talking about yourself and your family

  • School and free time activities

  • Talking about where you live

 

 How the boys will be assessed in Year 7

  • Within each topic, we assess all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. 

  • Assessments are linear which means that students are also tested on prior knowledge from earlier in the year.

  • Students are assessed through formal exams twice in the academic year. For each of these cycles of data capture, Reading and Writing are assessed during the formal exam week. Listening and Speaking are assessed at different points in the calendar but all 4 skills are taken into account for the data capture.

 

Year 8 curriculum

The year 8 curriculum builds on the foundations established in year 7. Students continue to look into a variety of new topics, keep developing all four skills and discover new key tenses, including the past and future. 

By the end of the year, students should be able to write using two time frames, including some of the most common irregular verbs. They should also be able to express and justify opinions. Students will also develop their confidence in tackling new vocabulary, more complex texts and engaging in  longer dialogues.  

  • Hobbies and free time activities

  • Holidays

  • Talking about your daily life and your house

 

How the boys will be assessed in Year 8 

  • Within each topic, we assess all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. 

  • Assessments are linear which means that students are also tested on prior knowledge from earlier in the year and previous academic year.

  • Students are assessed through formal exams twice in the academic year. For each of these cycles of data capture, Reading and Writing are assessed during the formal exam week. Listening and Speaking are assessed at different points in the calendar but all 4 skills are taken into account for the data capture.

 

Year 9 curriculum

In year 9 students will begin to fully prepare for their GCSE. They will investigate more complex vocabulary and structures and demonstrate their opinion on a number of topics relevant to their stage in life. All four skills are extended within those topics and students further develop their grammatical understanding and use context and prior knowledge to understand longer texts. Students are challenged to express opinions and understand those of others in more complex texts. 

By the end of the year, students should be writing in three time frames with confidence as well as reusing the skills on topics covered during Year 7 and 8. They should be able to express, expand and justify opinions and understand more complex texts. They should recognise patterns and conjugate verbs as well as apply knowledge to grammar in new contexts.

Theme 1 :

  • Who am I?: relationships; when I was younger; what my friends and family are like; what makes a good friend; interests; socialising with friends and family; role models

  • Daily life: customs and everyday life; food and drink; shopping; social media and technology (use of, advantages and disadvantages) 

  • Cultural life: celebrations and festivals; reading; music; sport; film and television

 

How the boys will be assessed in Year 9 

  • Within each topic, we assess all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. 

  • Assessments are linear which means that students are also tested on prior knowledge from earlier in the year and previous academic year.

  • Students are assessed through formal exams twice in the academic year. For each of these cycles of data capture, Reading and Writing are assessed during the formal exam week. Listening and Speaking are assessed at different points in the calendar but all 4 skills are taken into account for the data capture.

 

Year 10 curriculum

Year 10 builds on the skills acquired at KS3 and students are introduced to some more complex tenses and grammatical structures. The aim in year 10 is to develop their understanding and use of a variety of tenses as well as other general grammatical concepts in context and to enable students to expand their communication skills. 

Theme 2 :

  • Town, region and country: weather; places to see; things to do

  • Holidays: preferences; experiences; destinations

  • Travel and tourist transactions: travel and accommodation; asking for help and dealing with problems; directions; eating out; shopping 

Theme 3 :

  • What school is like: school types; school day; subjects; rules and pressures; celebrating success

  • School activities: school trips; events and exchanges

 

How the boys will be assessed in Year 10

  • Each term, we assess all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. 

  • Students are assessed through formal exams twice in the academic year. For each of these cycles of data capture, Listening, Reading and Writing are assessed during the formal exam week. Speaking is assessed at different points in the calendar but all 4 skills are taken into account for the data capture.

 

Year 11 curriculum

Year 11 is similar to year 10 in terms of developing their grammatical accuracy, range of vocabulary and their ability to communicate more fluently in the target language.  In the Spring term we practice and intensively revise all 4 skills ready for their GCSE exam at the beginning of the Summer term. 

Theme 4 :

  • Using languages beyond the classroom: forming relationships; travel; employment

  • Ambitions: further study; volunteering; training

  • Work: jobs; careers and professions

Theme 5 :

  • Bringing the world together: sports events; music events; campaigns and good causes

  • Environmental issues: being ‘green’; access to natural resources

 

How the boys will be assessed in Year 11

  • Each term, we assess all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. 

  • Students are assessed through formal exams twice in the academic year. For each of these cycles of data capture, Listening, Reading and Writing are assessed during the formal exam week. Speaking is assessed at different points in the calendar but all 4 skills are taken into account for the data capture.

 

KS5 curriculum

Our Key Stage 5 curriculum is rigorous and we spend the first half term of year 12 bridging the gap between GCSE and the expectation of A-Level. The aim of the curriculum is to foster curiosity within our young people through the study of topics that are relevant to their daily lives. Throughout the KS5 journey, students further develop the 4 key skills and really start to establish linguistic accuracy and fluency.  

The A-Level specification covers political, social, cultural and historical topics that relate to either the French or Spanish speaking world. Students also study in depth a book and a film, which really immerses them into the world of their chosen language. We aim to encourage effective independent study through the Independent Research Project where students can choose a topic that interests them and apply themselves to becoming experts on this topic. This develops key research and presentation skills which effectively prepare students for university. 

 

How the boys will be assessed in KS5

  • Each term, we assess all 4 skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. 

  • Students are assessed through formal exams twice in the academic year. For each of these cycles of data capture, for their mocks students will sit a Listening, REading and Translation paper as well as a Writing paper. Speaking is assessed at different points in the calendar but all 4 skills are taken into account for the data capture.

 

The Exam Board at both GCSE and A-Level is Edexcel.

 

MFL Co-Curricular

The department is heavily involved in the school’s co-curricular programme, including lunchtime activities.

We currently offer French & Spanish booster sessions, dual-linguist options from Year 8 and early GCSE preparation for bi-lingual students.

 

What do the students say about learning in MFL?

MFL in Spring – by Joshua Tindale-Paul

In French for World Book Day this year we are looking at Les Miserables, the author who wrote it and attempting to understand French literature. In our French World Book Day lesson we watched ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’, then we read the first few pages of Les Miserables and explored the language. In normal lessons though we have to use French to ask to sit down and take our blazers. Also to enhance our speaking and listening skills we can be the teacher for the first 5 – 10 minutes and ask for an assistant (someone to control the computer), a point keeper for the points board and a point keeper for individual points, all in French.

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