Curriculum Vital

    Lost in translation
    The new MFL programme of study

    With Brits lying bottom of European language tables and uptake of languages at GCSE still low, children in England will now be required to learn a foreign language from age seven. Schools will be allowed to choose whichever language they'd like from a list of seven. They are: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin, Classical Greek and Latin.

    Below is a summary of the new programme of study and the best language resources:

    Key Stage 2

    • Teachers are free to choose the language from the prescribed list of seven, though should focus on one language throughout the four years;
    • Emphasis on speaking: 'The focus of study in modern languages will be on practical communication';
    • Poetry and memorisation, prevalent throughout the new National Curriculum, are emphasised in languages: 'Pupils should be taught to: appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language; write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly.'

    Related resources

    Key Stage 3

    • Much less prescription, which leaves language teachers with a great deal of flexibility;
    • Students must translate from the foreign language into English and vice-versa;
    • Teachers must employ authentic texts: 'Pupils should be taught to: read literary texts in the language, such as stories, songs, poems and letters.'

    Related resources






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    Mandarin Chinese