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Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum

The Furness Academy Modern Foreign Languages curriculum for each year group is detailed below. 

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Students will develop their understanding of phonics, vocabulary and grammar in different contexts during Year 7 in order for them to be able to use the language in a variety of settings.  They will also learn about the culture and customs of French-speaking countries.

Les descriptions

  • Asking for and communicating personal information
  • Describing objects (using adjectives of colour)
  • Describing people including oneself (size, appearance and personality)
  • Focusing on the verbs avoir and être

 

Au collège

  • Expressing likes, dislikes and opinions with regard to school subjects
  • Focusing on adorer, aimer, détester

Mes passe-temps

  • Expressing likes, dislikes and opinions with regard to free time activities
  • Focusing on a variety of ER verbs and faire

Ma zone

  • Describing a town
  • Making arrangements to go to a café
  • Focusing on the verb aller

Culture

  • Study of short excerpts from the book, cartoon and film Le Petit Nicolas relating to the areas above
  • Comparing and contrasting the school system in France with the UK
  • French art relating to sport, cities and country scenes
  • French/French-speaking sportspeople and countries
  • French towns and cities

Students will build on their understanding of phonics, vocabulary and grammar from Year 7 as well as French culture and will apply their understanding in a variety of different contexts.

Mes passe-temps

  • Describing free time activities and frequency
  • Describing likes, dislikes and reasons

Ma zone

  • Describing places (towns and activities that can be done there)
  • Making comparisons
  • Describing weekend activities in the present tense
  • Expressing likes, dislikes and reasons

3…2…1…Partez!

  • Describing routine behaviour in the present tense
  • Describing present and future holidays
  • Requesting information on the above (formulating questions)

Culture

  • Famous French/French-speaking people
  • French art (relating to sports, towns/cities)
  • Summer camps in France
  • French film (French Roast)

Those students studying Spanish will be introduced to the sounds, vocabulary and grammar in Spanish as well as the culture of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries.

Mi insti

  • Expressing likes, dislikes and reasons with regard to school/school subjects
  • Describing activities at school

Mi familia y mis amigos

  • Describing people, including oneself (appearance)

Mi ciudad

  • Describing places
  • Describing future events (weekend activities)
  • Requesting information on the above (formulating questions)

Culture

  • Comparing the Spanish school system with the UK
  • Mafalda
  • Towns and cities in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries
  • Spanish festivals

Students studying French will build on their understanding of phonics, vocabulary and grammar from Year 8 as well as French culture and will apply their understanding in a variety of different contexts.

Paris

  • Expressing likes and dislikes, supporting an opinion
  • Describing present, past and future events

Chez moi chez toi

  • Describing a house/an ideal house
  • Comparing and contrasting locations and belongings
  • Expressing positive and negative emotions (relationships with family members)
  • Describing past/future events in different rooms

Bien dans sa peau

  • Describing future changes (with regard to diet and exercise)
  • Requesting information on all of the above (formulating questions)

Culture

  • Paris (monuments, art, poetry, music, history, métro, events)
  • Accommodation, food and drink
  • Relationships between France and the UK
  • French/French-speaking sportspeople
  • French film

Those students studying Spanish will continue to develop their understanding of the sounds, vocabulary and grammar in Spanish as well as the culture of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries.

Mis vacaciones

  • Describing past events (holidays)
  • Expressing likes, dislikes and reasons

Todo sobre mi vida

  • Describing how mobile phones are used
  • Making comparisons with regard to music and television
  • Expressing likes, dislikes and opinions

En forma

  • Describing routine behaviour in the present
  • Describing diet, ailments and keeping fit

Culture

  • Spain and Spanish-speaking countries
  • Music, television
  • Events – festivals
  • Food and drink

Number of lessons:

  • Two Modern Foreign Languages lessons per week.

Students develop their skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing.  In addition to this, students develop other skills through their study of a modern foreign language, which can benefit them greatly in later life, such as problem solving, decoding (using resources to work out meaning), working in a group and leadership skills.

All students need to carry the following equipment in pencil cases in their bags.

  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Rubber
  • Laptop

Access to a bilingual dictionary would be beneficial.

Students’ understanding of the phonics, vocabulary and grammar is assessed formally mid-module and end-of-module through the modalities of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Different skills are targeted in these assessments.  A variety of tasks are used such as vocabulary testing, application of grammar in translation tasks, dictation, online quizzes to gain an overview of students’ understanding of the target language and extended writing. 

Your positive attitude towards language learning is essential if your child is to experience success.  Encourage your child to learn vocabulary on a regular basis.  Ask them to teach you a new word every day or week. 

You can also test your child on their vocabulary.

Encourage your child to use language-learning apps like duolingo or memrise to have some fun with the language they are studying and to increase their vocabulary.  They can also use Seneca to practise their French.

Encourage your child to listen to French music too.

Students have enjoyed educational visits to France in the past and these have allowed them to practise their language skills in authentic situations.  We aim to provide students with the opportunity to visit Spain in the future too.  In addition, we are currently trying to make links with schools abroad, both in France and Spain.  Students who would like to extend their language learning and cultural knowledge can attend our languages club.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Students follow the AQA specification.  There are three themes that are studied across the two-year course.

Theme 1: Identity and Culture

Topic 1 – Me, my family and friends

Topic 2 – Technology in everyday life

Topic 3 – Free-time activities

Topic 4 – Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Topic 1 – Home, town, neighbourhood and region

Topic 2 – Social issues

Topic 3 – Global issues

Topic 4 – Travel and Tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Topic 1 – My studies

Topic 2 – Life at school/college

Topic 3 – Education post-16

Topic 4 – Jobs, career choices and ambitions

 

In Year 10, students will have studied some of the topics from all three themes in order to allow them to transfer vocabulary, grammar and structures from one theme to another across a variety of topics:

 

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Free-time activities
  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Travel and tourism
  • My studies
  • Life at school/college

 

In Year 11, students study the remaining topics in each theme thus building on their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.  These topics tend to cover more complex, global themes, but also link in with topics relevant to students’ current circumstances, such as making choices about their future.

 

  • Free-time activities
  • Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Number of lessons:

  • Three KS4 lessons per week
  • They are taught in a small mixed ability group and work is differentiated to enable students to access Foundation and Higher Level.

Students develop their skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing.  In addition to this, students develop other skills through their study of a modern foreign language, which can benefit them greatly in later life, such as problem solving, decoding (using resources to work out meaning), inferring meaning, working in a group and leadership skills.

In Year 10:

Students’ understanding is assessed at least once per term through at least one of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing).  In listening and reading, assessments take the form of online quizzes, translation from French into English, multiple choice questions based on longer spoken and written passages and longer written answers either in French or English.  In speaking, students are assessed using past speaking examination questions, such as a photocard, role-play, short presentation or general conversation questions.  In writing, students apply their understanding of vocabulary and grammar by practising the type of questions they will be expected to complete in the GCSE paper, starting with shorter tasks and resulting in longer extended pieces.

In Year 11:

Students’ understanding is assessed formally and informally during the Autumn Term in the four modalities of language (listening, speaking, reading, writing).  Past papers in listening and reading give a good indication of students’ understanding and where further work needs to be carried out.  In the Spring Term and Summer Term, students will complete these papers to give them examination practice and will focus on their preparation for the oral and written examinations.

Students are entered at either Foundation Tier (Grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (Grades 4-9) for all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing).

The speaking examination usually takes place in April/May. 

The listening, reading and writing examinations usually take place in May/June.

Details of the format of these examinations are given below:

Listening

  • 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • Each examination includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played. There will be questions about the listening tasks in English and in French.

Reading

  • 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
  • There will be questions in English and French about the written passages and there will be a translation from French into English.

Speaking

  • 7-9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time, 10-12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time.
  • The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier:
  • Role-play
  • Photo card
  • General conversation

Writing

A variety of written tasks, including writing a message, a short passage, a translation

from English into French, a structured writing task and a more open-ended writing task based on the topics covered in Year 10 and Year 11.

All students need to carry the following equipment in pencil cases in their bags.

  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Rubber
  • Laptop

Students would be advised to purchase a French-English/English-French dictionary for use at home and at school.

In order to support your child, you should encourage them to learn vocabulary every week and to practise their speaking skills, which could include recording themselves on their phone reading out a piece of written French in order to practise their pronunciation. 

Websites such as duolingo, memrise and Seneca provide excellent revision opportunities.

The world’s best way to learn French – Duolingo

Learn a language. Memrise is authentic, useful & personalised.

Free Homework & Revision for A Level, GCSE, KS3 & KS2 (senecalearning.com)

You could also encourage your child to listen to French music or the news in French on websites such as  News in Slow French – French Podcast (subscription required).

They could also read French newspapers online.

15 Free Online Newspapers to Learn French with the News (yourfrenchcorner.com)

Students may have the opportunity to travel abroad during their GCSE course or to make contact with other French schools through V-Lit (combinationlanguages.com).