How We Teach Languages at Kyson
Language teaching is based on the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages (2005). This framework provides clear progression from year 3 to year 6 in all key areas of language learning: Oracy, Literacy and Intercultural Understanding. Running through each of these strands are ‘Knowledge about Language’ (KAL) and ‘Language Learning Strategies’ (LLS) which are the essential knowledge and skills required for children to be successful linguists.
At Kyson, the main language taught is French. It is taught for an hour a week by a specialist teacher and all children have the opportunity to learn through bespoke planned lessons which enthuse and motivate them. We also celebrate languages that are spoken within our school community and use the European Day of Languages as a springboard for this. We have good links with the Farlingaye High School language department and regularly take up exciting opportunities which include an extra-curricular German club and visits from Year 9 language students who work with Kyson children to develop their oracy skills.
Oracy (speaking, listening and spoken interactions) is where all language learning begins. At Kyson, the children have plenty of opportunities to practise their oracy skills through songs, rhymes, poems, conversations, class surveys, role plays and performances in a safe and secure environment which aims to build confidence. They interact with the teacher as well as being exposed to French native speakers through audio and video clips.
Literacy (reading and writing) is entwined with oracy so that right from the beginning of the children’s language learning, they are used to hearing, saying, reading and writing new vocabulary. We work systematically to build from single word learning to short phrases, sentences and short paragraphs, all the while ensuring that key grammatical concepts are taught and reinforced through a variety of topics. Children are taught not to be afraid of unfamiliar foreign language texts by having regular practise at decoding and translating using key ‘Language Learning Strategies’ which include bilingual dictionary use.
We recognise that learning about different countries and cultures is integral to developing as open-minded and tolerant citizens. We strive to provide rich learning opportunities for Kyson children to explore the similarities and differences between themselves and children in other countries in terms of their daily routines, values, traditions and beliefs. Each year group learns about special French festivals and celebrations which include Les Fêtes des Rois, le Premier Mai and Bastille day. We experience food, music and games/activities from these festivals as well as using the power of the internet to take our children on virtual trips abroad e.g. through the use of Google Expeditions.
Story Based Learning
Each year group is exposed to at least one story text which forms the basis for at least a half-term of teaching. This deep focus on specific texts allows children to apply their learning to a different context.
- Year 3: Miss Louise goes to Paris and La Chenille qui fait des Trous (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
- Year 4: le Radis Géant (The Giant Radish)
- Year 5: Mimi la Fourmi d’espace (Mimi the Ant in Space)
- Year 6: Les aventures des TinTin and Mr Gumpy’s Outing
Year 9 Farlingaye Students working with a Group of Year 5 Children