Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.
At Snapethorpe Primary School we use ‘Rigolo’ in key stage two to ensure pupils progressively develop language skills. The sessions last for a minimum of 20 minutes on a weekly basis and each lesson introduces the children to a set of new language as well as reviewing previously learnt vocabulary. Pupils use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary to equip them with the skills to be confident global citizens. Rigolo is a course that combines a variety of new and traditional media making French accessible and exciting to pupils. Rigolo provides several excellent ways to extend the fun beyond the whiteboard. Children relate to the Rigolo family characters ‘Les families Mills’ and the puppets bring these characters to life in a fun and illustrated context. The big books offer the possibility not only for enjoyment but for seeing and hearing the language in a different way. The songs are also a very powerful way of developing children’s effective learning, they quickly learn and remember not only the whole song but its elements. The virtual teacher offers a level of support for teachers who lack confidence or practice in French. In presentations, the VT will pronounce each item of language usually giving an associated gesture at the same time. You can click reply, to play the clip again or zoom if you want to focus more closely on the teacher’s mouth movement to aid pronunciation. The new language is then practiced in a mixture of whiteboard and class activities using puppets, flashcards and other props where appropriate. Children develop their oracy skills separately by practicing speaking and listening before applying them to resources and activities. Every other unit also contains a set of sounds/spelling activities focusing on French sounds and counted in the preceding two units and a set of assessment activities to gently tests pupils progress through key stage 2.
We hope that by the end of Key Stage 2 children are able to listen attentively to the spoken language of French and respond appropriately. Pupils will be able to speak in full sentences and write phrases from memory, and they will be able to form sentences using basic grammar rules appropriate for the language of French. By the end of year 6, children will have developed an accurate pronunciation and intonation so that they are understood by others. This will have been developed through the learning of songs and rhymes, which in turn will give children the confidence to present information orally to a range of audiences. Along with developing their speaking and listening skills and written skills, children will read the French language carefully whilst developing their understanding of what they have read.