Modern Foreign Languages

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: Mrs Sophia Jasieczek 

Modern Foreign Languages have an important place in the school curriculum here and we are pleased to be able to offer a range of languages to our pupils, namely French from Nursery to Year 8 and a foundation course in German and Spanish in Year 8. The MFL Department is fully and firmly committed to the practical use of the language. Pupils learn how to communicate in the language in both spoken and written forms. This approach means that the target language is used as often as possible and that pupils speak French from day one. The underlying philosophy is that Modern Languages are both fun (fun to learn and fun to teach!) and functional.  Pupils are fully prepared and equipped to tackle GCSE courses and examinations in their next school.  

 French is a curricular subject (with an oral approach) from Nursery. The development of listening, speaking & reading skills continues along with the introduction of writing in Year 3. Reinforcement of the four core skills comes with more formal study of a course book from Year 4.  From Year 5 the Studio course is followed & supplemented by a range of audio-visual & ICT resources. The School has a subscription to Linguascope and pupils have access to this software from home as well as at school. 

The four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are accorded equal importance in line with the National Curriculum & Common Entrance. Skills are regularly practised & assessed through a mixture of assignments (classwork/homework/unit reviews/exams) from Year 3 onwards. By Year 7 pupils learn to express themselves more fully and use the language for real on a residential French Language Visit to Northern France (Normandy).  

Our Year 8s have a command of past, present and future tenses and can express themselves confidently and freely.  Some pupils sit Entrance and Scholarship exams to a range of academically selective Independent Schools. Year 8 pupils follow a foundation course in German and Spanish to give them a taste of another Modern Foreign Language before language options at their next school.  

It is hoped that your son's experience of a first foreign language and of other modern languages at Merchant Taylors' Prep is positive, enjoyable and rewarding.