All pupils in Lower and Middle School have one French lesson per week, taught by a MFL specialist. Lessons focus mainly on speaking and listening skills and we use a variety of techniques to encourage pupils to have an active role learning French. These include games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs). We frequently use mime and picture flashcards to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation. Written work takes the form of labelling, gap-fill and matching activities. In Middle School, extended writing tasks are set, with scaffolding where appropriate.
In Lower School the emphasis during French lessons is on improving confidence in speaking French and on learning and remembering new vocabulary. In Middle School, pupils are introduced to grammar concepts such as masculine and feminine nouns, cognates and informal and formal pronouns. All French lessons follow a 4 year scheme of work, with topics for each term such as “Food and Drink”, “My Home” and “Animals”.
This year, we have subscribed to an online languages site (www.linguascope.com) to support learning both at school and at home. We also access the internet and DVDs to enable students to listen to and watch native French speakers and to learn about French culture.