‘You live a new life for every language you speak.
If you only know one language, you only live once.’
S každým novým jazykem, kterým mluvíte, žijete nový život.
Pokud známe jenom jeden jazyk, žijete jen jednou.
- Czech proverb
As part of the National Curriculum, it is compulsory for children in Key Stage 2 to learn a foreign language. At Avenue, we have opted to learn French. The children in Years 3-6 have regular French lessons taught by teachers who have an expertise in the area.
Over the last few years, children have had the opportunity to experience a whole school 'French Day', which involved a traditional French breakfast and the opportunity to take part in a variety of French learning activities as well the chance to watch a French/English play performed by native French and English actors from the bilingual theatre company, Onatti.
The teaching of French at Avenue is interactive and fun. We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement in French, including: playing games, role-play, puppets/soft toys, finger rhymes and songs.
We frequently use mime to accompany new vocabulary in the Foreign Language, as this serves to demonstrate the language without the need for translation. We use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching, i.e. we try to introduce a physical element into some of the games, as we believe that this serves to reinforce memory. We make the lessons as entertaining and enjoyable as possible, as we realise that this approach serves to develop a positive attitude in the children to the learning of languages.
Children at Avenue are taught how to:
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes and link the spelling, sound and meaning of words
- Engage in conversations, ask and answer questions, express opinions and respond to those of others, and seek clarification and help
- Speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using familiar words and phrases
- Present ideas and information orally
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in French
- Read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing
- Broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including dictionary use
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, expressing their ideas clearly
- Describe people, places, things and actions in speech and in writing
- Understand basic grammar including: phonics rules, masculine and feminine forms and the conjugation of high-frequency verbs; key features and patterns of the language; how to apply these, for instance, to build sentences; and how these differ from or are similar to English.