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MFL: French

MFL: French

Learning a foreign language broadens horizons, instils confidence and deepens the understanding of the world in which we currently live. The Modern Foreign Languages department at Ashington Academy employ these core beliefs into our languages curriculum to develop curious and confident language learners of the future who will have the skills and capacity to master whichever language they may choose.

During their time in the language classroom, students will gain a deeper understanding of the way that language is structured in order to form accurate sentences and communicate with fluency and confidence. This is a supported process from Year 7 through to Year 13 where students become more independent and creative in their use of language as they progress. This is facilitated through a range of everyday topics and themes such as Family and Relationships, Technology and Holidays but also tackles global and social issues where we explore the type of citizen that we are. Not only do students develop effective skills and techniques across reading, writing and listening, but they also practise their conversational skills should they want to eat out at a restaurant, complain about the poor service in a hotel or to ask their way around Paris. Lessons are varied and students practise a range of skills throughout each lesson, from grammar points to listening activities to speaking tasks to translation and written questions. Where appropriate, we use as much original material as possible; from the latest songs to cultural anthems to clips from French news and sports’ interviews to authentic texts from French literature, newspapers and magazines.

During their first years of study, students have the opportunity to visit France with the Academy. This highly popular cultural visit aims to ‘put into practice’ the skills learnt within the classroom and students are encouraged to speak in the target language throughout the visit. This is a real opportunity to bring the subject to life for our learners.

In the latter years of study, we offer Modern Foreign Languages students the opportunity to participate in a film day where they watch a current French film and further enrich their skills by discussing their opinions and points of view with others in French. This provides another insight into the culture of the country.

J’aime bien le français puisque je le trouve vraiment intéressant et captivant. Les profs m’aident beaucoup et j’aime communiquer avec les autres dans leur propre langue.
Year 9 student

Curriculum information

Year 7

Learning outcomes

Students build upon the skills and knowledge of French vocabulary and culture acquired at Key Stage 2 to develop and extend their understanding of how a foreign language is structured in order to give opinions on everyday topics and to communicate across different time frames.

Topics taught

  • Introducing self and family
  • Talking about what you study at school
  • Introducing where you live
  • Talking about what you do in your spare time
  • Discussing what you like to eat and drink
  • Discussing what you wear

Year 8

Learning outcomes

Students further develop their understanding of the key aspects of grammar and syntax of the French and begin to apply these to a range of different contexts whilst also being able to give and explain opinions on a range of topics across three time frames (past, present and future).

Topics taught

  • Discussing holidays – where you’ve been and would like to go
  • Talking about what sports you do and how often
  • Discussing your health and how to keep healthy
  • Giving your opinions on different leisure activities including cinema, TV and books.
  • Finding your way around town
  • Talking about your lifestyle
  • Describing your home

Year 9

Learning outcomes

Students deepen their skills and techniques across all four elements of language learning via a variety of everyday topics; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar and syntax rules are further explored and practised in order to produce and understand language with more independence, conveying points of view and covering the three time frames.

Topics taught

  • Discussing Relationships with family and friends
  • Talking about your town and its interests
  • Giving your thoughts on your studies at school and talking about what your school is like
  • Talking about your leisure time and what you like to do
  • Discussing food and sport.
  • Ordering food
  • Researching and discussing Francophone festivals and customs and comparing these to your own.

Year 10

Learning outcomes

Students further develop their skills and techniques across all four elements of language learning via a variety of everyday topics; listening, speaking, reading and writing. More complex grammatical rules and syntax are explored and practised in order to produce and understand language independently, conveying and explaining points of view and covering the three time frames.

Topics taught

  • Discussing what life is like at school
  • Talking about travel and tourism
  • Considering life post-16, future careers and aspirations
  • Discussing healthy and unhealthy lifestyles
  • Talking about marriage and partnerships
  • Considering technology and its role in everyday life

Year 11

Learning outcomes

Students perfect their skills and techniques across all four elements of language learning via a variety of everyday topics; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar and syntax rules are further explored and practised in order to produce and understand language independently, conveying and explaining points of view with fluency across the three time frames.

Topics taught

  • Considering social and environmental issues
  • Skills’ focus and practice
  • Key techniques and strategies for listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Review of key themes
Link to exam specification https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658
I find languages really interesting as I love learning about the culture of the countries speaking the language. Teachers make lessons fun and interesting. They really break apart the language to help me to make the sentences I want to make. I think it's useful for the future to know more than one language.
Year 9 student