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Languages in primary school

Since September 2014 all primary schools have taught chidren a foreign language in Key Stage 2. Your child is likely to learn French, German, Spanish and Italian – languages that many teachers have some experience of – but some schools will offer less conventional options such as Mandarin Chinese, Latin or Ancient Greek, Makaton sign language or Japanese.

In this section of the site, find out more about how languages will be taught in Years 3-6, what will be expected of parents, how you can help your child learn languages at home, recommendations for the best language-learning apps for kidsadvice for bilingual families and tips to help you help your child learn new languages.

We also have advice on supporting your child at primary school if English isn’t your first language.


Languages in primary school
Language-learning in primary schools
Since September 2014, the new National Curriculum has made learning a language compulsory in Key Stage 2. We explain how it works and what languages your child might be introduced to.
Primary-school Chinese
Primary-school Chinese: the lowdown
Learning a foreign language has been compulsory for Key Stage 2 children since 2014, and Mandarin is an option in forward-thinking schools. Lucy Dimbylow explains what you need to know about Chinese in primary schools.
Best language-learning apps for kids
Best language-learning apps for kids
All children in KS2 have to learn a foreign language at school. We've rounded up the best apps to give them a headstart with language-learning.
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Get started with French

Our beginner's guide to French is designed to help children grasp basic vocabulary and form simple sentences. We’ve asked a native French speaker to record all the words and phrases in the pack, so your child will hear the correct pronunciation and intonation, just as they would on an audio language course. Bonne chance!