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National Curriculum

MFL and the national curriculum aims

MFL has a distinctive contribution to make to the aims of the national curriculum. The MFL programme of study provides opportunities to plan sequences of work, learning outcomes and teaching approaches that develop:

Successful learners

Linguistic skill and confidence are the keys to becoming successful communicators. While learning another language, pupils build on their literacy skills in English and improve their ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Learning another language involves learning about another culture. This stimulates pupils’ curiosity and develops enquiring minds. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own culture and compare it with that of other countries.

Pupils are required to work independently as well as in pairs and groups, constantly practising their spoken and written language skills, evaluating their progress and reflecting on the effectiveness of their approach.

Confident individuals

Language learning helps pupils to express themselves clearly. It should provide frequent opportunities to perform before an audience. This nurtures pupils’ self-esteem and self-confidence and develops strong interpersonal skills.

Language learning opens doors to new experiences and often places pupils in unfamiliar and unpredictable situations. A willingness to try new things and to take risks is essential. As pupils progress, they are able increasingly to cope with a variety of situations in which they need to communicate with speakers of other languages. Confident pupils can take the initiative in conversations and discussions.

Responsible citizens

Communicating with speakers of other languages is easier if pupils are familiar with their customs and culture and can judge the appropriate form of language to use in different situations. Learning about other countries fosters respect for others and an appreciation of different cultures and traditions. It also encourages pupils to appreciate the richness and diversity of the multicultural society in which they live.

Learning a language helps pupils to realise that communication is a two-way process. Working cooperatively in pairs or groups they learn to express their opinions, listen to others and take account of different views.

Learning to communicate effectively with others in a language that is not their mother tongue prepares pupils to become responsible, tolerant citizens in a multilingual world.

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