Students are taught to accept and embrace other languages and cultures through the teaching of MFL. In relation to this, students are educated on the religious beliefs of the people in countries of the language they are learning, particularly Catholicism in Argentina and Spain and religious restrictions in Cuba. A whole range of GCSE topics, and KS3 material covers topics from travel to education, healthy living and social awareness. Students are encouraged to be empathetic to the cultures, beliefs and traditions of others and stereotypes are challenged where necessary.
Students are encouraged to show empathy and understanding to others and learn about right from wrong and the choices historical figures from Hispanic culture have made. Stereotypes and intolerance are challenged through the teaching of language and culture. The MFL schemes of learning identify and explore many moral issues in a global society context, covering famous people (within a high moral context) to issues relating to the environment, equality of education within a global context (comparing the UK to less wealthy countries, such as Bolivia), work opportunities, social mobility, travel as a means of exploring the world and the consequences of this, and media and new technology, including Facebook, texting and the Internet as a means of communication (and discussing the moral outcomes of this).
Students are encouraged to work independently in lessons and proactively use the target language in classwork, whether through pair work, co-operative learning techniques or group work. Students are often differentiated in groups of varied abilities to encourage social interaction with others in the class with whom they may not usually interact. Students are encouraged to experiment with language and learn from their mistake. There is a supportive environment in MFL classes where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, rather than as failures. The students are encouraged to use each other as a learning tool and develop social strategies for dealing with confrontational situations or problems.
Cultural development and cultural awareness are fundamental in language learning at Cedar Mount. At all stages of MFL teaching and learning, cultural development is at the forefront of our success criteria. Exploration of language and culture is key to language learning, whether through lessons or school trips. Students are encouraged to embrace ‘difference’ at all stages of their linguistic development and accept ideas which may be ‘alien’ to them, as culturally significant. Students are encouraged to discuss and challenge stereotypes within a national and international context. Media and new technology are encouraged to explore students’ interest in language and culture in all aspects of their learning.