How do we teach Spanish at Abbeyfield?
The National Curriculum
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
At Abbeyfield Primary Academy, over 90% of the pupils are learning English as an additional language. Pupils are from a variety of minority ethnic groups including Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Yemini, Malaysian, Caribbean, African, Slovakian, Hungarian, Roma, Polish and Czech. Learning a foreign language will allow pupils to develop transferable skills and language learning skills whilst also increasing awareness of different countries and cultures. Learning another European language could also help to tackle the stigmatisation of those learning English, as it acts as a leveller for all in the class.
In our school, children have the opportunity to learn a modern foreign language as part of the school curriculum. Children are involved in the learning Spanish from Year 3 through to Year 6 in line with the national curriculum.
We recognise that language learning in its broadest sense has three core strands – oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding. We also recognise that children should be encouraged to apply their knowledge and that we should equip them with strategies for language learning that they can use in the future, when studying another foreign language. As a result, opportunities to develop knowledge about language (KAL) and language learning strategies (LLS) underpin the three core strands. This follows the five strands recommended in the KS2 Framework for Languages.
We teach the four strands of speaking, listening, reading and writing and to understand basic grammar, including: feminine, masculine and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features, phonics and patterns of the language; how to apply these to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.
Children are introduced to Spanish in KS2 and receive a weekly lesson. This enables the children to develop early language acquisition skills that facilitate their understanding of the patterns of language and how these differ from, or are similar to, English. Children learn Spanish throughout Key Stage 2, which is timetabled for a 40-minute session per week; this is then followed up by regular practice throughout the rest of week. The class teacher delivers the language in his/her class and incorporates Spanish where possible in daily routines. We follow the i-languages scheme of learning.
Learning a modern foreign language in a child’s early years equips them with the tools for the learning of other languages in later life. It has also been proven that learning a foreign language enhances the student’s grasp of their mother tongue and other known languages. At the same time, the earlier a child is exposed to a modern foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired.
Progression of Skills in Spanish
We send out learning journeys to families at the start of each half-term. Here is an example of a Y3 Learning Journey for Autumn 2
We send out learning journeys to families at the start of each half-term. Here is an example of a Y5 Learning Journey for Spring 1.