Phonics is all about explicitly teaching students how to read and link their pronunciation to what they are reading:

You can download the presentation and all the accompanying resources and ideas which Lynn and I showed and which Julie Prince has been working on in a new book with Lynn over at

Phonics is part of the statutory Programme of Study for MFL

  • it aids pronounciation
  • it teaches students how to decode letters and sounds
  • it is about how to read & write in a foreign language
  • Be careful - NEVER mix English phonemes with the target language (eg NEVER display letters of alphabet with an English spelling system suggesting how to 'say' the letters - it confuses students further, especially as Englsih is NOT a naturally phonetic language and so the letters you have chosen are not likely to be ones the students would naturally have chosen...(eg If 'O' has 'ow' written underneath is that as in 'cow' or 'know'?!?!)

I found it easiest to introduce phonics through 5 minute starter activities, which I would have on the board as students arrive and they can get started on straight away.

Here is a PowerPoint I made of 99 of these 5-minute activities - they are in no order and you might want to rearrange them.

and here are some of the songs (if youtube is blocked in your school you'll need to download)
ABC from Poisson Rouge - Free site for younger children (KS1/2) with abc in French, Spanish Greek & German
ABC from Poisson Rouge - Free site for younger children (KS1/2) with abc in French, Spanish & Greek
Le Manuel Phonique - Like Jolly Phonics but in French. A powerpoint mini-version
with soundfiles is supplied on the disc that accompanies Catherine Cheater Scheme of Work for Year 5.

A ppt very general & simplified reference to French spelling & pronounciation
can be downloaded here
Buchstabenübersicht- As above in German. Spanish Language - a fantastic list of pronounciation/phonic resources for teachers of Spanish.
J'apprends à lire avec Sam et Julie - fantastic little book with page by page introduction to French phonemes and graphemes, with example words, little diagrams showing shape of mouth and simple child-friendly exercises. You can use it with the children, perhaps concentrating on one phoneme for a few weeks or a unit of work, dip in and out occasionally, or keep it for teacher reference.
German Phonics slideshare and Helena Butterfield's slidecast Phonik
Rachel Hawkes slideshare for Spanish phonics and more phonics for Spanish
TicTac - Free online simple alphabet site in French with sounds/pronounciation.

Phonétique- is a comprehensive French site for teachers to use to improve their own pronounciation (whatever their level of fluency) and also to use selectively with a whole class with lots of sound exercises.

More resources including phoneme fans, Happy Family Card games etc from

Multilingual Resources
  • Letters and Sounds - In English of course, but free & all of these games are very useful for practising any language sounds.
  • There is a huge collection of free resources on Suzi Bewell's 'Do once and share' wikispace, which is well worth signing up to. Suzi is a SSAT lead practitioner.