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Modern Foreign Languages 


The modern foreign language that children learn at St Austin’s is Mandarin. This is taught throughout Key Stage 2. The programme is developed through our Chinese Language Assistant and the emphasis of the lessons is initially on speaking and listening.

Children learn to recognise basic words and sounds in Mandarin from Year 3 and gradually learn to put sentences together, enabling them to hold a brief conversation by the time they are in Year 6.

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

• Languages is optional at Key Stage 1.


• In the chosen modern language:

      • Speak

      • Read

      • Write

• Look at the culture of the countries where the language is spoken. 

• If an ancient language is chosen, read, translate and explore the culture of the time.


Learning Objectives


  •  To read fluently
  •  To write imaginatively
  •  To speak confidently
  •  To understand the culture of the countries in which the language is spoken



Milestone 1

Milestone 2

Milestone 3

To read fluently

Milestone 1 (optional)

• Read out loud everyday words and phrases.

• Use phonic (or logographic in Mandarin) knowledge to read words.

• Read and understand short written phrases.

• Read out loud familiar words and phrases.

• Use books or glossaries to find out the meanings of new words. 

• Read and understand the main points in short written texts.

• Read short texts independently.

• Use a translation dictionary or glossary to look up new words.

• Read and understand the main points and some of the detail in short written texts.

• Use the context of a sentence or a translation dictionary to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words.

• Read and understand the main points and opinions in written texts from various contexts, including present, past or future events. 

• Show confidence in reading aloud, and in using reference materials.

To write imaginatively

• Write or copy everyday words correctly.

• Label items and choose appropriate words to complete short sentences.

• Write one or two short sentences.

• Write short phrases used in everyday conversations correctly.

• Write a few short sentences using familiar expressions.

• Express personal experiences and responses.

• Write short phrases from memory with spelling that is readily understandable.

• Write short texts on familiar topics.

• Use knowledge of grammar (or pitch in Mandarin) 

to enhance or change the meaning of phrases. 

• Use dictionaries or glossaries to check words.

• Refer to recent experiences or future plans, as well as to everyday activities. 

• Include imaginative and adventurous word choices.

• Convey meaning (although there may be some mistakes, the meaning can be understood with little or no difficulty).

• Use dictionaries or glossaries to check words.

To speak confidently

• Understand a range of spoken phrases.

• Understand standard language (sometimes asking for words or phrases to be repeated).

• Answer simple questions and give basic information.

• Give responses to questions about everyday events.

• Pronounce words showing a knowledge of sound (or pitch in Mandarin) patterns.

• Understand the main points from spoken passages.

• Ask others to repeat words or phrases if necessary.

• Ask and answer simple questions and talk about interests.

• Take part in discussions and tasks.

• Demonstrate a growing vocabulary.

• Understand the main points and opinions in spoken passages.

• Give a short prepared talk that includes opinions.

• Take part in conversations to seek and give information.

• Refer to recent experiences or future plans, everyday activities and interests. 

• Vary language and produce extended responses.

• Be understood with little or no difficulty.

To understand the culture of the countries in which the language is spoken

• Identify countries and communities where the language is spoken.

• Demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of the customs and features of the countries or communities where the language is spoken.

• Show awareness of the social conventions when speaking to someone.

• Describe with some interesting details some aspects of countries or communities where the language is spoken.

• Make comparisons between life in countries or communities where the language is spoken and this country. 

• Give detailed accounts of the customs, history and culture of the countries and communities where the language is spoken.

• Describe, with interesting detail, some similarities and differences between countries and communities where the language is spoken and this country.


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