‘You live a new life for every language you speak. If you only know one language, you only live once.’ (Czech proverb)
At Oldway, we believe that learning a modern foreign language helps to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We believe the study of languages supports pupils’ understanding of similarities and differences between cultures and seeks to equip them to be active and engaged global citizens. The teaching of languages seeks to provide a positive, enthusiastic attitude to language learning within a secure and supportive environment and to provide the foundation for future language learning. Teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.
Oldway has chosen Spanish due to it being the most widely spoken language in the world and it is also the simplest phonically decodable language due to the low number of sounds to be learned. In addition, it has Latin roots and similarities in morphology to other European languages.
Oldway believes that language teaching should be frequent and immersive so that children hear and respond to language regularly, e.g. taking the register, classroom instructions, greetings.
At Oldway, languages are introduced from Nursery/Reception through songs and games progressing to reading and writing as pupils move through KS2.
Teaching is carefully planned around progression in the ‘3 pillars’ of language: phonics, vocabulary and grammar. Throughout Key Stage 2, children have weekly Spanish lessons using the resources and units of work from Language Angels, in addition to other resources. In years 3 and 4, children acquire basic skills and understanding of Spanish with a strong emphasis placed on developing their speaking and listening skills. This is often through games, songs and collaborative activities. Knowledge and skills will be embedded and further developed in years 5 and 6, alongside reading and writing. Children will learn grammatical structures - including the importance of verbs - alongside new vocabulary and phonics.
It is intended that when children leave Oldway, they will have a natural curiosity and confidence to explore other countries, cultures and languages. They will also have a firm foundation for future language learning.