Learning a foreign language increases a child’s understanding of their own language. The process of learning a foreign language reinforces fluency and understanding of grammar, syntax, sentence structure and verbal precision. It provides children with an opportunity to develop thought processes and communication skills that will build a foundation for becoming multi-lingual citizens. It promotes enjoyment, initiative, new ways of thinking, independent learning and encourages diversity within society.
At Icknield Primary School we have chosen to deliver Spanish because it complements the rest of our English curriculum which makes it easier to learn at Primary level. The aims and objectives of learning a modern foreign language at Icknield Primary School are as follows: -
- to foster an interest in learning other languages;
- to introduce young children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun;
- to make young children aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another;
- to help children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries;
- to develop their speaking and listening skills;
- to provide children with the transferable skills to learn foreign languages in the future.
We believe that pupils learn more effectively if they are enjoying what they are doing, so the teaching of Spanish at Icknield Primary school involves lots of interaction with visual, auditory and kinaesthetic prompts to support all styles of learning. We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement Spanish including games, role-play and songs (particularly action songs). We often use mime to accompany new vocabulary in the foreign language, as this serves to demonstrate the foreign language without the need for translation. We emphasise listening and speaking skills over reading and writing skills. 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 modern foreign languages. We build children’s confidence through constant praise for any contribution they make in the foreign language, however tentative.
Lessons are taught on a weekly basis for 40 minutes across the whole of Key Stage 2, providing excellent modelling and correction, as well as continuity and overview of progression. During Spanish lessons, children are given the opportunity to work as a class, as part of a group, in pairs and also as individuals. The choice of class organisation is determined by the learning task. Lessons generally follow the “present, practise, produce” model and allow pupils to develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar. In Upper Key Stage 2 more focus is given to reusing vocabulary taught in Lower Key Stage 2 in new contexts combined with grammar so that they can form their own sentences and questions with little support.
Practice at Home
Below, you can find resources to practise Spanish at home. Have a go!