At Longacre we teach a foreign language to all children from the age of four years as part of the normal school curriculum as we believe that children really enjoy learning to speak another language. The earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired and young children tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development. It is widely believed that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.
The main objective of teaching a modern foreign language at Longacre is to promote the early development of a child’s linguistic competence.
French is taught from Reception to Form VI, by specialist language teachers. The fundamental skills for French language learning are categorised into four attainment targets, which are as follows:
1. listening and responding
3. reading and responding
Whilst all four skills are introduced from Reception onwards, greater emphasis is placed upon progression with listening and speaking. Reading skills need to be developed simultaneously with speaking skills; at a slower pace, and always after intensive listening and speaking practice.
Most forms of writing in French at Longacre will involve variations of copy writing. Children in Forms V and VI will be able to adapt and substitute words and phrases in a model text, in order to produce their own short pieces of writing. The French curriculum is organised into topics.
The emphasis in our teaching of Frenchis, as far as possible, on first-hand experience. We encourage children increasingly to take control of their own learning. Therefore, pupils are encouraged to share experiences/knowledge gained from holidays in French speaking countries
Form V and VI pupils have the opportunity to participate in the biennial residential visit to Paris. They are also introduced to a penpal in a French school with whom they communicate with via Skype and the written word via handwritten letters. When in Paris, the children meet their penpal and spend a morning at their school with them.
All pupils in Forms V and VI study Latin as part of their curriculum. Students are introduced to Latin by means of the fun and stimulating ‘Minimus’ books, which are designed for primary schools and help to reinforce English grammar and vocabulary as well as teaching pupils about Roman Britain.
In Form VI, after Senior School examinations, pupils are given a Spanish or Latin language option. They may continue their Latin studies or choose a Spanish introductory course.
Spanish teaching is based on topics, relevant and useful for pupils hoping to visit Spain, and focuses on the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Lessons are enthusiastic and quick paced, involving activities such as role play, action songs, games or short written activities.