Michaela Community School | Languages at Michaela School Wembley London
Michaela School Wembley London

Modern Foreign Languages

Language teaching at Michaela is like nothing you have seen elsewhere. We don’t use pictures, PowerPoints, games, pair work or group work. Neither do we do large discrete blocks of grammar. “Today we are “doing” the Perfect Tense.” are words you will never hear at Michaela. We also take a very pragmatic stance on the use of target language.

At Michaela, we do not believe in the orthodoxy of the communicative teaching approach.  Indeed, pretty much everything that you’ve ever been told about “this is how to teach a foreign language” we reject. Instead pupils read aloud lots and we are real sticklers for excellent pronunciation. We place a heavy focus upon target language phonics. Weekly spelling tests are key, and yes, written accuracy is paramount!

Everything we teach focuses upon memorization and the ready mastery of past, reasons, opinions, future, and subjunctive. We adopt this approach from the start of Year 7 across the ability range.

N’ayez pas peur ! Il faut tout simplement se jeter à l’eau!


We teach proverbs, idioms, eye-catching expressions. We want our pupils to stand out from the crowd. And they really, really do. When you visit you’ll be amazed by their accents, their ability to break language down and build it up, their range of expression, their spoken and written accuracy. And we do this by completely rejecting MFL teaching orthodoxy.

If you are a parent and you really want your child to excel in French, in a way that no other school can offer, then Michaela is a clear winner. If you’re a teacher, tired of the games and pictures that yield so very little, you’ll be inspired and amazed by our methods and our pupils.

Look at some of our pupils’ work by clicking here.



Mr Barry Smith, Deputy and Head of Languages

“I’ve been teaching since 1997 and I’ve always had a very “different” take on language teaching. But only now that I’ve joined Michaela have I really begun to see what is possible. The accents, the accuracy, the range, the enthusiasm, the endeavor, the phenomenal behaviour. We have so many visitors to Michaela and, every time, they leave French lessons stunned. So much is possible here because our pupils really love success, they really understand the value of hard work and, lesson after lesson, wherever they go in the school, they rise to the challenge. It really is an honour to teach here”

Read more about Mr Smith by clicking here

Read more about the French curriculum by clicking here