Head of Languages: Mrs E Frame
Modern Foreign Languages
Learning a language provides a way of breaking down cultural barriers, allowing students to view their world from a different viewpoint. Students widen their experience by learning about different cultures and being able to compare what is familiar to them with the unfamiliar. Through learning a new language, they make natural comparisons with their own language and can make the connections with grammar patterns and spelling rules. Their confidence will increase as their language develops and they can understand and participate in a variety of spoken situations. Pronunciation and spoken language are strengthened through a focus in oracy. Through carefully planned lessons, students develop deep learning in all four skills. Core vocabulary and grammar is revisited throughout both key stages, using online resources such as ActiveLearn and VocabExpress and memory retrieval techniques to enhance home learning and promote independence. Learning a language is made accessible to all through scaffolding, modelling and interleaving key concepts throughout all modules, which is particularly beneficial to our EAL and SEN pupils. EAL pupils are given guidance when sitting GCSEs in their own language.
Students learn through a variety of contexts throughout the course and are able to describe what they see and feel in many real life situations. The curriculum in languages has been carefully devised so that grammar is sequenced according to prior learning so that students are given the ability to master key concepts at every stage of their journey. It is vital that students have the opportunity to experience as many of the different sides to learning a language as possible. In order to expose our pupils to a wide variety of cultural capital, we offer a range of enrichment opportunities both within and outside of lessons. These include: Spelling Bee competitions, celebrating European Day of Languages and International Day, opportunities to explore festivals and traditions, language taster sessions in new languages, visits abroad to the countries where the taught languages are spoken (Sevilla and Madrid, Spain / Paris, France), visits to the local universities and the opportunity to mentor and teach younger students as MFL Ambassadors.
Learning Spanish and French
The MFL curriculum at St Gabriel’s is ambitious and designed to give all learners the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed. It is coherently planned, immersed in the Catholic Faith, and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning. All pupils start learning Spanish following the successful, interactive Viva course. There will be plenty of opportunity to practise new vocabulary and phrases in lessons and this is supported by on-line learning at home. The pupils will all have login details for the Viva homework package and will be set regular homeworks from this. Included in the course there are also opportunities to learn about festivals in Spain and Latin America. Students will also have access to Vocab Express. Students can continue Spanish up to GCSE. They can also pursue French, or both. Trips to Spain and France are a regular feature of the academic year.