Our Languages curriculum for French and Spanish aims to prepare students for adult life by giving them:
- A practical skill and a love of languages
- An awareness of and respect for other peoples and cultures
- Enhanced language skills which also link to and support their use of English
- Learning a foreign language is a crucial part of a student’s academic and social development, enabling them to become more knowledgeable about the world in which they live, and to develop their skills and confidence to participate in an increasingly global society.
- Learning a language provides students with academic and cultural capital that will enable them to be well educated citizens. Many young people have not had exposure to people from other cultures, and many have not travelled abroad. Sometimes as a result of the context in which children grow up, they have a lack of understanding of foreign languages, cultures and practices which can form a barrier to experiencing new cultures and making the most of opportunities around the world, or within their own community.
- Learning a language is often the first step in developing a more open-minded attitude to the world, recognising that people live differently in other countries, and that this difference can be positive. In addition to the cultural aspect of learning a language, there are a number of challenging academic concepts that students must master when learning a new language, and as such the regular study of French or Spanish within the curriculum plays an important role in developing the academic capital of students. An integral part of language learning is being able to recognise and manipulate a range of linguistic and grammatical structures, which can often support students’ understanding of English.
- The same is true for the development of reading and listening skills in the target language. Students need to develop the confidence and skills to communicate with others, especially when this communication is difficult or there is a barrier. By studying French or Spanish, pupils will develop the confidence, resilience and skills to communicate with others in a range of formal and informal settings.
Learning a language reinforces and often explicitly teaches the skills needed to communicate effectively, no matter what the language, for example by considering how to understand a question and give an appropriate response, or by using accurate syntax to communicate an idea clearly.