In our school we support the view that learning a modern foreign language is an entitlement for all pupils during their time in Key Stage 2. We are therefore committed to the principle that learning another language is appropriate for all children, whatever their ability or special needs. We will also seek to develop our curriculum so that teaching a foreign language is a normal part of it. We will do this for several reasons. Firstly, we believe that many children really enjoy learning to speak another language. Secondly, we also believe that the earlier a child is exposed to a foreign language, the faster the language in question is acquired, and an advantage of introducing a new language at primary school is that children tend to be less self-conscious about speaking aloud at this stage of their development. Also, it is widely accepted that the early acquisition of a foreign language facilitates the learning of other foreign languages later in life.
Our main objective in the teaching of a modern foreign language at lower school is to promote the early development of linguistic competence. We believe that to accomplish this, we should help the children to do all of the following:
- familiarise themselves with the sounds and written form of a modern foreign language;
- develop particular language-learning skills;
- begin to understand a new language, and communicate in it;
- make comparisons between languages;
- learn about different countries and their people, and work with materials from different countries and communities, thus increasing their awareness of other cultures;
- develop a positive attitude towards the learning of foreign languages in general;
- use their knowledge of the foreign language with growing confidence, both to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves in speech and writing;
- acquire, through all of the above, a sound basis for further study at Key Stage 3 and beyond.