Modern Foreign Languages
Welcome to Birmingham Tutors.
We offer tuition in Modern Foreign Languages – French, German and Spanish – at Key Stages 2 and 3, GCSE and A-level by Enhanced DBS checked specialist tutors.
To find a tutor please click on ‘find a tutor’, fill out the details and we will put a Modern Foreign Languages tutor in touch with you.
Why should I learn a modern foreign language?
Learning a modern foreign language should stimulate children’s and young people’s inquisitiveness and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should equip children and young people 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 make themselves understood for practical reasons, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the basis for learning further languages, and, in so doing, enable children and young people to continue their study and even work in other countries.
The national curriculum for modern foreign languages aims to ensure that all children and young people understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of sources, which are as authentic as possible. It aims to make sure that children and young people are able to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
At a more advanced level young people should be aspiring to write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt. They should also discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied – French, German or Spanish.
The National Curriculum guidelines for Modern Foreign Languages gives equal weighting to the four attainment targets of Speaking – the development of young people’s ability to communicate; Listening – the development of young people’s ability to understand and respond to spoken language; Reading – the development of young people’s ability to read, understand and respond to the written language; and Writing – the development of young people’s ability to communicate in writing.
For young people with learning difficulties it is appropriate to focus on those areas that boost and encourage existing skills. This might mean that speaking and listening, for example, is given priority over writing, particularly as for this teaching group language development and communication is of more value and relevance.
Children should be able to listen carefully to the language being spoken and show their understanding by actively joining in and responding. This could include exploring the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes. They should then be able to link the spelling and the sound to the meaning of words.
Children should be able to participate in dialogue. They should be able to ask and answer questions as well as share their own opinions and respond to those of others. They should be able to speak in simple but accurately structured sentences, using everyday vocabulary and phrases. Perhaps most importantly, they should develop precise pronunciation and intonation so that others understand when they are reading aloud or using everyday words and phrases.
Reading & Comprehension
Children should be able to read carefully and show understanding of words, phrases and simple writing. This can be achieved through engaging in stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language. Through their reading of familiar written material, their vocabulary should increase as should their ability to understand any new words that are introduced.
Children should be able to express ideas clearly through their writing of phrases from memory, and making alterations to these phrases to create new sentences. Clearly, an
understanding of the basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied is essential. Children’s understanding of the key features and patterns of the language should help them to see how these differ from or are similar to English.