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Linguists - MFL
Why learn a langauge?
At The Dolphin School we believe that learning a modern foreign language provides children with a valuable educational, social and cultural experience. The aim of teaching and learning a foreign language is to introduce the children to other languages and cultures early on. The children will develop an appreciation of the diversity of languages and an awareness of cultural differences in other countries.
We are proud that our school has been awarded the International Schools foundation level award and we are currently involved in projects making real and online links with classrooms and schools around the world.
Learning a foreign language opens doors that would not otherwise be opened. Bilingual (or trilingual) people have access to resources, people, places, and things that the rest of us do not. Not only can a foreign language provide a competitive edge in the workforce, but it creates a deeper understanding of and appreciation for humanity and culture, enriching one’s life and personal experiences in the world.
How we teach Languages at TDS
Children at The Dolphin School are taught French as a foreign language from Year 1 . In KS1 they receive between 20-40 minutes and in KS2 they receive 30-60 minutes of French lessons every week throughout the year, taught by their class teacher and/or our specialist language teacher. In addition, all children throughout KS1 and 2 attend a weekly French assembly where they listen and join in with French stories and songs and find out about French culture and celebrations.
We teach French at The Dolphin School through stories, songs, activities and games that will engage and interest your child. The children learn listening, reading, writing and speaking skills, including French phonics and pronunciation with a strong emphasis on exploring and enjoying the language.
Throughout the year at The Dolphin School there are many celebrations of language learning and culture. Some examples of the activities we have done are: Celebrating world languages on European Day of Languages in September with a whole school assembly, quiz, activities, songs, games and stories; Visiting students from Colston’s Girls’ school have taught taster lessons in Spanish, German and Arabic; Year 2 had a video link with a classroom in Turkey as part of their enquiry about how our schools are the same, Year 3 have had a Latin Taster day with students and teachers from Colston’s Girls School while they were studying the Romans; Year 3 and 4 have taken part in a French video project with schools in Bordeaux as well as an animation project; Year 5 have exchanged Christmas cards with a French school in Martinique; Year 6 have exchanged letters with French penpals in Paris and Bordeaux.
In January we have a visiting teacher from Bordeaux for 2 weeks and we have a whole school French Day when all the children have a pop-up French café in their classrooms and they order croissants and hot chocolate using the French vocabulary they have learnt.
In EYFS and KS1 children listen to French songs and rhymes and they are exposed throughout the year to other cultures and stories from around the world.
We run weekly after school clubs in French, Spanish and Japanese.
At TDS we value all the languages spoken within our school community and we celebrate our bilingual learners. We hold Mother Language Day celebrations in February and children take part in a variery of activities to celebrate and learn about each other's home languages. If your family speaks another language at home then we welcome to come in and share them with us.
What you can do to help at home
There are many ways you can support your child to progress in learning a foreign language, even if you don’t know a language yourself!
Learn with your child. Try picking up a few words in French, or a language of your choice, and use them in daily conversations.
Practise vocabulary of everyday objects by asking your child to label items around the home in French.
Explore the library for books, audio books and music CD’s in a foreign language.
Download an app so your child can practise new vocabulary by playing games, completing artwork, solving puzzles or singing.
Watch episodes of familiar programmes in a foreign language or listen to a popular song in a different language.
We have a subscription for this site and access to lessons and interactive games to help practice and consolidate key French vocabulary, grammar and structures that you child is learning in KS2. Contact your class teacher or Madame White for your login details if you do not already have them.
The BBC has a range of activities for children to complete in French, including songs and interactive games, some of which we use in class.
A lovely site with songs and stories collected from around the world.
This website helps to make early French and Spanish listening and speaking practice available to any interested child, teacher, parent or student to use at beginner and intermediate level.
A fun and competitive app for learning a language on your phone or other device.
This is a fun website for older learners with interactive games, bright colours, plenty of French phrases and vocabulary to use and practice and you can even create your own French comic strip!
This site has links to more good sites for learning Primary French.
10 good reasons to learn French.