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Modern Foreign Languages

At Lowton, we nurture a love of languages and harness a curiosity about the world and its citizens. New technologies mean we can communicate easily with citizens from all over the world, therefore, languages are ever more important for business and global communication. We develop an excitement in recognising how the building blocks of language (including vocabulary and grammar) result in communication.  At the heart of our curriculum is the idea that we are global citizens and need to be able to communicate with each other in each other’s language. As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language that he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

How do we ensure academic rigour in our MFL curriculum?

  • Students studying our modern foreign language (MFL) curriculum study a broad range of topics which are relevant to their daily lives and the world around them. As fluency increases, expectations in terms of quality develop.
  • The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in French or Spanish are assessed with equal weighting. Students are taught how to use and recognise the present tense at first, and then a greater range of verbs in different tenses, allowing them to understand and talk about past and future events as well as what they would like to happen.
  • Students are also taught the disciplinary knowledge they need in order to work out meaning (despite encountering language they are unfamiliar with) and to find detail. This gives them the skills to work out meaning while visiting a foreign country despite encountering many words they don’t know.

How do we nurture and develop our students through our MFL curriculum?

  • Students are given the opportunity to write to students in a school in France or Spain and get great pleasure from using what they have learned for real life purposes.
  • Students are given encouragement to step out of their comfort zones in a supportive way e.g. by learning to speak to a variety of different students in the target language, doing group work with a variety of students, speaking confidently in the target language to the class.
  • Learning a language at Lowton is about confidence building and opening students up to the possibilities of travel and work in different countries.

How do we promote social action and courageous advocacy through our MFL curriculum?

  • International links are a strong feature of our MFL department, with many opportunities to take part in E-Twinning projects with schools from other European countries. E-Twinning projects at KS3 show students how they can work with other students in different countries to meet the same goal. 
  • Learning a foreign language helps to teach students about having respect for people of different cultures.
  • Students are taught about global and social issues in year 9 and KS4 and think about how they can contribute to a healthier, greener world and a better society.