Apprendre le français
Why we teach French
At St Patrick’s, we believe that primary school is about providing the best possible start in life for children. Language skills and an awareness and understanding of other cultures broaden a person’s outlook and increase the opportunities available to them in adult life. Language is the vehicle that brings emotional content to our lives, it defines who we are. An awareness of other cultures gives us an appreciation of the similarities and differences between people and therefore a deeper appreciation of our communities.
Introducing children to foreign languages at primary school, encourages an interest and helps to develop a strong foundation in learning language, which they take with them to secondary school. Children are more likely to study foreign languages later in life if they have been introduced to them at primary school. Young children are well adapted to learning languages whereas this often becomes more difficult in later life. The modern foreign language taught in the school from Year 3 to Year 6 is French. France is our nearest neighbour and French is spoken in many countries around the world .Whether in the course of work or on holiday, adults are likely to be confronted with occasions when the ability to understand and speak French will be of advantage to them.
Principles of Teaching and learning
Classes are planned to cover all abilities. Each lesson builds on the previous one so that words already learnt are rehearsed regularly and new vocabulary is added to a child’s skill set. This then allows them to have short conversations that become longer each week, as they can assess and understand how to continue a conversation in French.
A collection of reading books in French is available in the library for children. Throughout Key Stage 2 French lessons cover, numbers, greetings, emotions, commands, colours, animals, food and much more. Year 5 and 6 have a greater emphasis on developing their pronunciation skills and reading and writing in French. This is done through a series of fun activities, games and songs.
We use role play in groups and in pairs. This is designed to give the children confidence in using the language in everyday situations such as introducing themselves, buying items in shops and asking travel directions.
The aim here at St Patrick’s is to develop an ability to communicate in everyday situations through the use of French. Children will also develop an understanding of the structure of language while gaining awareness of the diverse cultures and languages that are spoken across our school, Europe and the world. They will begin to look at the importance of language in society and develop the understanding of the significance and importance of learning another language.