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'Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.'- Flora Lewis

Appleton Thorn's Approach to Language Learning

Our intent when it comes to Modern Foreign Languages is threefold, we want our children:

  • To grow as linguists
  • To speak in French as often as possible
  • To enjoy their learning

​For us to engage all pupils with a positive attitude towards learning an additional language we embed language learning through relateable everyday contexts, cultural events and occasions (both at home and in French speaking countries) to ensure our pupils become fluent conversationalists, with skills and knowledge that is taken with them into their future learning. We are passionate that our children's experience of language learning is a positive one.

To realise these aims we deliver our unique curriculum through Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI), an approach to learning devised by Dr Gianfranco Conti. In brief, EPI focuses on patterns and chunks of language, rather than isolated words and grammar rules. Dr Conti describes it as a Lexicogrammar approach that focuses on depth of learning over breadth, or quality over quantity. Each of our EPI modules are delivered through the MARS-EARS sequence allowing for the development of micro-skills, long-term retention and fluency, with reading and listening skills developed first, follwed by the focus on speaking and writing.

The impact of our bespoke MFL curriculum following this approach is capable, enthusiastic language learners who are well-equipped for their move to secondary school. 

You can read more about how we teach French by reading our 'One Page Wonder'.

If you require any further information or paper copies, please contact Mr King, our Modern Foreign Languages Lead via the school office on 01925 266764 or email office@appletonthorn.tcat.uk.com

Progression of language skills

Inspirational Person - We can look to Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman hails from a Jewish family and is fluent in both English and Hebrew, but these aren’t the only languages she speaks. She became passionate about foreign languages at an early age and became conversational in French, Japanese, German, and Arabic.

Portman continued to grow her multilingual talents as an adult and decided to learn Spanish while starring in Goya’s Ghosts. The Black Swan star told America Reads Spanish that she considers Spanish as “one of the languages most useful in the world”.

The Oscar-winning actress also discussed her love for languages during this interview and said that she studied so many because the process of learning new things brings her joy.

“I didn’t do it for my career as is not required of an actress at all… Learning gives you an open mind. Knowing languages is a tool that helps in some situations where all you do is just, you don’t even think about it, you just keep moving forward,” explained Portman

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