Modern Foreign Languages
The study of a modern foreign language is increasingly important in a global economy and also has great value in terms of cultural and linguistic richness in our society, personal fulfillment, global citizenship and understanding. Through the study of a foreign language, pupils understand and appreciate different countries, cultures, people and communities and as they do so, begin to think of themselves as citizens of the world.
Our MFL teachers are confident with the full range of learning styles and ensure the learning is very active with a range of enjoyable activities, like puppets, songs, poems, finger rhymes, learning games, dance, listening, speaking, writing and reading activities and the integration of digital learning.
At GEMS Royal Dubai School we are laying the important foundations for successful language learning. Learning Arabic is crucial for both language development and the maintenance of cultural identity. Arabic is compulsory for native and non-native students and makes a positive contribution to the Primary Curriculum. Learning a language opens up avenues of communication and exploration, and promotes, encourages and instils a broader cultural understanding. In the Arabic department we encourage children to take responsibility for their own learning, to be involved as far as possible in reviewing the way they learn, and to reflect on how they learn. In the Arabic Department we are working to make sure that we achieving the following goals:
- To foster an interest and enthusiasm in learning Arabic
- To teach in a stimulating, enjoyable and fun learning environment, where children actively take part and learn;
- To ensure young children are aware that language has structure, and that the structure differs from one language to another;
- To help children develop their cultural awareness;
- To develop moral values in accordance to the moral education (forgiveness, respect environment, generosity, responsibility, courage, kindness, caring, and tolerance) of UAE and Islam.
- To develop their speaking and listening skills;
- To lay the foundations for future study and utilisation of the Arabic language in personal and professional environments.
- To make as many cross curricular links to give students a wide variety of learning experiences in Arabic.
We also make sure all the time that we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the learning activities to the needs of the children. We achieve this through a range of strategies. In lessons we do it through differentiated group, paired and independent activities. Whilst at other times the students will work in mixed ability and collaborative groups. We use classroom assistants to support and extend the children’s learning and to support those who need extra support. This enables the activities to be matched to meet the needs of individuals. Students use the learning wave and self-assessment to support their understanding of where they are on their learning journey, what they need to do next and how they will get there. Students use digital learning throughout lessons where applicable and this adds a motivating learning dimension for students. Digital learning is accessed through the use of iPads, laptops, and any other devices available for the children to use. Many programs and apps are used to enhance student learning experiences.
Our principal aim is to develop student knowledge, skills and understanding in Arabic through a wide range of in house and out house activities eg. Participating in different Arabic competitions held in Dubai linked to the vision of the UAE.
In the Arabic department we make sure that we cover all the language skills; reading, writing, listening, speaking and grammar. We also believe that Reading is the best way to enhance the knowledge of the students, so we focus on reading skills in a variety of ways. Children are provided weekly opportunities in class to select a book to read from the Arabic guided reading library. Some students take books home if required. In addition, "I read Arabic” is an online resource provided to improve reading skills, students use it in school and at home. The programme includes a diagnostic assessment and produces a reading level for each student.
Writing is a very important skill in all languages, so our sstudents have the opportunity to write a variety of texts including fiction and non-fiction, persuasive writing, informative writing, storytelling, stories summaries. Students have a writing journal and opportunities for ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ writing pieces are planned for.
Grammar is taught explicitly and in line with curriculum expectations and guidelines. Students from Year 1-6 have weekly spellings, which are practiced at home and tested each week. In the Arabic department we are using Talk for Writing to support extended writing.
The Spoken Language is an important element in our Arabic lessons. Regular opportunities for students to develop their speaking and presenting skills are planned for.
We provide opportunities for Listening, through a variety of strategies. For example, talk partners, critical thinking discussions, following instructions and listening to recorded texts and audio/visual texts.
From Year 3 students will be given the opportunity to learn some aspects of French. Children who struggle with aspects of basic skills should not be overburdened or left out. Our specialist teachers decide what level of input is appropriate and differentiate accordingly as learning a foreign language should be fun for all children. Our fluent French-speaking children act as helpers and are given extended tasks and more open-ended questions whilst students who have had no exposure to French may attend catch up sessions held outside the normal lesson time during after school clubs once a week every term.
Our teaching and learning is strengthened with the use of www.linguascope.com for practicing French at home and extension activities.