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Languages

Our aim in the Modern Languages department is to promote an enjoyment of communicating in another language, a skill becoming increasingly relevant and necessary in today’s world.  A knowledge of other languages is the key to gaining an understanding of the lives and cultures of people everywhere.  Learning languages is more than just words, grammar and sentences.  Students also learn about tolerance, awareness of cultural differences, and the importance of good communication skills.  As the famous quote states, “One language sets you in a corridor for life.  Two languages open every door along the way.”  Our aim is for students to be brave, open-minded and curious about what they are learning and to feel motivated by the fact that they can transfer what they have learnt in class to real-life situations.

Enrichment

All students have the opportunity to visit France and Belgium.  We regularly run trips to Boulogne, where students visit the Sea Life Centre and have the opportunity to have lunch in a French restaurant and soak up the atmosphere.  The Christmas trip to Bruges is incredibly popular, with students able to take the time to wander around the streets of the beautiful historic city and experience life on the continent.

We run clubs and masterclasses for those with an additional interest in languages, including Latin as part of our extra-curricular Classics programme.

Curriculum at KS3

Students study either French or Spanish at Key Stage 3.

 Year 7Year 8Year 9
 Key TopicsKey TopicsKey Topics
AutumnIntroducing yourself  
Greetings
Alphabet
Numbers and dates
Family members
Personal descriptions
School and Daily Routine  
Time
School subjects Revision/development of opinion phrases with reasons
Daily routine
Jobs at home  
Extended Family Relationships  
Personal ID
Relationships – family
Divorce/single parent families etc
Family activities  
SpringHouse and Home  
Types of houses Rooms in the house
Bedroom items Locations – North/South etc
Locations – in the town/in the countryside etc
Places in the town
Directions Environment  
Healthy Lifestyle  
Parts of the body Illness
Food and drink
Healthy living  
School, Employment and Future Plans  
School and future plans
Jobs
Technology
Social Media
SummerHobbies  
Sports
Activities
Opinions
Music
Going out    
Technology and Media  
Television
Cinema
Books
Internet
Social Media  
Holidays  
Destinations
Transportation
Accommodation
Activities
Food and drink
Weather  

Why should I choose Languages at GCSE?

We want you to have a different vision of life.  We want you to be the person who wins a promotion because you speak French/Spanish. Equally, we want you to have the opportunity to go to a really good university because you have a GCSE in a different language from your own either. 

Learning a foreign language says that you are confident (you know that you don’t need to worry if what you say isn’t perfect, as long as it gets your message across), you are creative (you can think of lots of ways to say what you want to say), that you persevere (even when things are tough, you stick at it) and much, much more.

For more reasons to learn a language, go to: http://www.llas.ac.uk/700reasons

Supporting Wider Literacy

MFL plays an integral part in supporting literacy across the school.  Learning a foreign language requires students to understand and get to grips with the grammar – the mechanics – of a language.  This, in turn, supports them in writing and speaking at a calibre much higher than they had previously been able to.  Additionally, students learn that there are often connections with Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary in English, thus improving their word power.

Equality and Diversity in MFL

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 from Catholicism in France to religious restrictions in Cuba. Famous people from both the Francophone and Hispanic worlds are regularly highlighted to ensure that students are exposed to cultural icons from across the world.  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 and intolerance are challenged where necessary.

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 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 mistakes. There is a supportive environment in MFL classes where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities and develop social strategies for dealing with confrontational situations or problems.

Examination body

At GCSE, we use the AQA examination body.

Please see http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658 for more details regarding the French specification.

Please see https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/urdu-8648 for more details regarding the Urdu specification

Please see http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698 for more details regarding the Spanish specification.

Assessment

At KS3, students are assessed regularly in class to ensure that progress is being made.  Typically, a student will be assessed in all four skills across the term.  Students are then assessed formally at the end of each half term to ensure that progress is being made and to offer next step advice.

At KS4, in-class assessments are made twice every half term. 

All assessment takes place at the end of the course in Y11.  At the end of the GCSE, students are examined in  Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. 

Supporting your Child

  • Encourage your child to watch a tv show or film with subtitles in another language
  • Get books, films and magazines from abroad if you go on holiday
  • Get a subscription for a language magazine
  • Download interactive games to support learning languages – all students are set homework regularly on Quizlet !
  • Ask your child to teach you to say something in the foreign language each day
  • Encourage your child to look for popular singers and bands from other countries and play music in the foreign language at home
  • Ask your child to make mind maps and revision cards to learn new language
  • Help them to use the “look, cover, write, check” method to practise spellings
  • Play word association games and test them on their vocabulary

Useful resources

  • Make an effort to learn the vocabulary that your teacher gives you, or, even better, try to learn a new word every school day – that would be 195 new words in each school year!
  • Le Cinéma- Go and see a French movie at the “Ciné Lumière”; a cinema dedicated to showing French and other European films. A cultural experience if nothing else, but a valuable language learning activity also! (020 7073 1350)
  • Visit “L’Institut français du Royaume Uni” (French Cultural Institute in the UK), near South Kensington tube:  www.institut-francais.org.uk Lots more than just films here.
  • Au Restaurant- Enjoy a family meal in a French Restaurant/Bistro! Try “Le Bistrot” at the French Institute, you’ll find a choice of freshly prepared French regional dishes, creative sandwiches, yummy pastries and more. A more accessible place to try is the chain “Café Rouge”; they offer a great snack menu and also fantastic specialities from different regions of France. Try a Croque Madame or a Croissant au fromage!
  • Check out www.cineworld.com for some great Bollywood films!

Have a look at some of the websites below: