At Bishop Monkton School our aim is for the children to enjoy learning a language, to learn about France itself and to give them confidence for when they start languages at secondary school. Confidence in the language is probably the most important element in language-learning if they are to succeed, along with regular practice and exposure to the language.
We cover topics on a two year cycle and they are revisited in greater depth 2 years later. Due to the nature of language acquisition, repetition is imperative and therefore frequent revision of topics is essential. The vast majority of work done is speaking/listening and we make as much use as possible of pictures/songs/games/videos/technology to make it more interactive and appealing. We also do an element of reading/writing work especially for the older pupils. Although the curriculum is primarily vocabulary-based there are also elements of grammar involved with all year groups.
All pupils have a DUOLINGO account which is proving both popular and effective. Duolingo is a highly effective versatile online tool which can be accessed at home and school on a computer/tablet/smartphone and can be done in bitesize chunks. It teaches children a new language and incorporates all elements of language-learning (listening/speaking/reading/writing). Languages are so much easier to learn if they are drip fed and DUOLINGO is a great way of achieving this.
We offer a French trip in Year 5 to allow the children to practice what they have learnt and also experience French life and food. We go to Le Touquet, a small town in Northern France, and stay in a hotel for 2 or 3 nights. Activities we offer whilst we are there include visits to a Boulangerie (to try making croissants), a snail farm (to learn about snail farming and taste snail products) and a local market, to practice conversation with the locals.