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Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages (French) at Lady Joanna Thornhill


"Les limites de ma langue sont les limites de mon monde.


 The limits of my language are the limits of my world."



At Lady J, we are committed to embedding a positive attitude to language learning amongst pupils and staff and developing an awareness and appreciation of cultural similarities and differences.



The National Curriculum states that it is compulsory for children in Key Stage 2 to learn a foreign language. Children in Key Stage 1 do not receive formal lessons in French; however, KS1 teachers are encouraged to introduce some foreign vocabulary in their everyday classroom life. In addition, there is an after school French club for KS1 children. In addition to the formal teaching of French to KS2 and the French club for KS1, other opportunities for children to immerse themselves in the French language and culture, include the Year 6 trip to France and the school’s annual International Week.


At Lady J we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils.


The aims of Primary Languages teaching at Lady J are to:

  • Foster an interest in language learning by introducing children to other languages in an inclusive way that is accessible to all pupils.
  • Develop children’s confidence in speaking in the target language by encouraging them to join in songs, rhymes stories and games, which enable them to practise the language in an enjoyable and non-threatening way.
  • Help children develop their awareness of cultural similarities and differences.
  • Lay the foundations for future language study by pupils.
  • Support linguistic understanding of the first language.



Speaking and listening

In developing oracy in the target language, children will learn to:

  • Understand longer and more challenging texts on a range of topic areas.
  • Engage in longer conversations, expressing opinions and giving reasons for them, as well as asking for clarification when necessary.
  • Compose their own sentences in conversation, using knowledge of basic sentence structure.
  • Use pronunciation and intonation effectively to accurately express meaning and engage an audience.


Reading and writing

Through reading and writing in the target language, children will learn to:

  • Read aloud and understand a short text containing unfamiliar words, using accurate pronunciation through applying understanding of phonemes and spelling.
  • Recite a song or poem using the written text for support.
  • Read a range of texts independently, using different strategies to make meaning.
  • Use vocabulary learnt from reading in different writing contexts and use dictionaries to find a wide range of words.
  • Write a range of phrases and sentences from memory and adapt them to write their own sentences on a similar topic.
  • Select appropriate adjectives to describe a range of things, people and places; appropriate verbs to describe actions and begin to use adverbs to enhance description.

Language structure

In developing an understanding of the structure of the target language, children will learn to:

  • Conjugate a range of high frequency verbs.
  • Make changes to an adjective in accordance with the gender or number of the noun.
  • Understand how to use some adverbs in sentences.
  • Adapt sentences to form negatives and form questions.
  • Have an awareness of similarities and differences in grammar between different languages.

Intercultural understanding and social development

Children will learn to identify similarities and differences in everyday life, social conventions, traditional stories and celebrations with their own, whilst understanding and respecting cultural diversity.

The five fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith are interwoven into the teaching of Primary Languages, in particular how it relates to the intercultural understanding elements of French and Francophone culture and its similarities and differences to life in Britain.