Liden Primary School Primary Languages Policy
Liden Primary School believes that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable
educational, social and cultural experience for its pupils. Pupils develop communication
and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop
linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore
differences and similarities between the foreign language and English. Learning another
language raises awareness of the multi-lingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an
international dimension to pupils’ learning, giving them an insight into their own culture
and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-
curricular links and for reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed
in other subjects.
The National Languages Strategy, “Languages for All; Languages for Life” was launched
in 2002. Every primary school child will be entitled to learn a language as part of the
curriculum by 2010. The KS2 Framework For Languages is designed to underpin the
commitment and principles set out in the National Languages Strategy.
Aims and objectives
Our aims of language teaching are:
to develop a positive, enthusiastic attitude to language learning within a secure
and supportive environment.
to foster an interest in learning other languages.
for children to be introduced to another language in a way that is enjoyable and
to stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language.
to encourage children to be aware that language has structure, and that the
structure differs from one language to another.
to help children develop an awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
to develop children’s speaking and listening skills.
to lay the foundations for future language study.
to extend our language teaching beyond mother tongue learning.
to raise staff awareness and competence in a new language.
We teach French to all Key Stage 2 classes in 30 minute lessons. In most cases, the
teaching of French is delivered by the class teacher and lesson objectives are followed
up each day in the form of greetings, registers, classroom routines, warm up activities,
praise words, games and songs. In total, French is to be taught for a minimum of one
hour per week using the above format. In Key Stage 1 and the Foundation Stage,
teachers are encouraged to introduce a small amount of French to the children in the
form of short, fun, activities and classroom routines.
The lessons are planned using a cross curricular approach and are based on the
progression of skills highlighted in the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages. Lessons
are planned by the class teachers in each year group with the support of the Primary
Languages Co-ordinator where necessary.
We teach the children how to:
ask and answer questions
use correct pronunciation and grammar
memorise words and phrases
understand basic grammar
work in pairs and groups to communicate in French
look at life in another culture
Tasks and activities will:
have clear, achievable objectives
be carefully planned and structured
be practical, active and varied
involve the use of ICT where appropriate
include whole class, small group and pair work
promote success and self esteem
Teaching and learning style
At Liden Primary School we use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to
have an active engagement in the new language. These include games, role-play and action
songs. We use puppets and soft toys to demonstrate the foreign language, and we also
invite native speakers into the classroom where possible to provide an excellent model of
the spoken language as well as to involve the children in learning about the culture of the
country. We use mime to accompany new vocabulary as this serves to demonstrate the
language without the need for translation.
We use a multi-sensory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching i.e. we try to introduce a
physical element into some of the games, rhymes and songs as we believe this serves to
reinforce memory. We make lessons as enjoyable as possible so that the children
develop a positive attitude to the learning of modern foreign languages. We build the
children’s confidence through praise for any contribution they make however tentative.
We recognise that there are children of widely different linguistic abilities in all
classes, so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the
challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this in a variety of ways by:
setting common tasks which are open-ended and can have a variety of responses;
setting tasks of increasing difficulty (not all children complete all tasks);
grouping children by ability in the room and setting different tasks to each
providing resources of different complexity depending on the ability of the
using teaching assistants to support the work of individuals or groups of
We take in to account differences in religious and cultural beliefs of the children by
highlighting the different religious festivals in the target language countries. Teaching
Primary Languages is a vital way to enhance pupil’s perceptions and to promote positive
attitudes towards cultural diversity.
Language teaching in Liden Primary School, as well as making its own distinctive
contribution to the school curriculum, also helps to develop skills in other areas,
especially in the development of Literacy (language skills, rhythm, rhyme, research,
grammar, spelling patterns, communicating ideas), dance (practising dances from other
countries), I.C.T. (through contact with children in France via a Blog), P.S.H.E.
(reflecting on other cultures), RE (learning about religious festivals in other countries),
Geography (studying the position and features of other countries).
Teaching languages to children with special educational needs
At Liden Primary School we teach languages to all children, whatever their ability.
Through our language teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to
make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each
child’s different needs. IEPs may include, as appropriate, specific targets relating to
languages. Please refer to the policy for Gifted and Talented children, which deals with
more able children.
Assessment and recording
Teacher assessment is incorporated into class teachers' weekly planning. We assess
children's knowledge and understanding by questioning, listening and observing in class
as an ongoing process. Evidence may be in books or on display.. Taped dialogue or videos
are excellent means of keeping evidence within this subject.
The pupils have the opportunity for self assessment using the European Languages
Portfolio. This is based on a series of “can do” statements, based on the skills based
objectives from the Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages.
Information on a child’s progress in French will be communicated to parents in the
written report once yearly.
The languages subject leader keeps samples of children’s work and events in a portfolio.
We use a wide variety of resources, many of which are already used in school in other
parts of the curriculum, e.g. multi link and dice. We use songs and stories from different
publications. The Interactive Whiteboard, flashcards and realia are all used for many
aspects of teaching MFL. Flashcards are also a useful resource.
The co-ordinator of the subject from whom information/explanation may be
Visiting native speaker’s expertise may be utilised in a manner of ways to share
information about the language and culture of the country.
Languages experiences and events
We believe that languages enrich the lives of people, and so we wish to involve as many
children as possible in language-based activities. Liden Primary School has been
accredited with full International School Award status for organising events and
experiences which allow children to learn about the languages and cultures of many
other countries. For example: each year we hold a whole school celebration for the
European Day of Languages on 26th September. This can take many forms which include
language and culture based activities. We have worked in partnership with the Japanese
Honda factory in our local area and will be teaching Japanese to Year 4 classes with the
help of Japanese teaching assistants. We are benefiting from the volunteer work of
German speaking trainee teachers who work along side the children in our classes. We
will continue to provide the children with many more language and cultural experiences.
Monitoring and review
The work of the subject leader involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of French,
being informed about current developments in the subject and providing a strategic lead
and direction for the subject in the school. The languages subject leader has specially-
allocated time for carrying out the vital task of reviewing samples of children’s work and
visiting classes to observe teaching in the subject.
Quality teaching and learning of languages within the school will be reported by the
coordinator via subject status report to the Headteacher. Quality teaching will exist
when all staff are able to successfully deliver the objectives from the Key Stage 2
Framework for Languages with confidence.
This policy will be reviewed as per CDP
Heather Hunt, August 2008