Bienvenue! !Bienvenido! Welcome to French and Spanish. There are 128 million people in the world who speak French as their main language, 72 million who live in a country where French is spoken as a language and 110 million people who are or have learnt French – you are one of them. There are 33 French-speaking countries. Spanish is certainly a popular language to study and is the 4th most spoken language in the world. Many universities prefer undergraduates who have studied a language because fewer and fewer students have the skills which learning French and or Spanish gives you – resilience, not being afraid to take chances, good listening skills, a key communicator who is open to learning about new ideas and cultures. French and Spanish are also subjects which counts towards the EBACC qualification.
Every two years, the Modern Foreign Languages department offers a trip to Spain. We believe this gives pupils an amazing chance of experiencing another culture. The trips are always popular and well thought of by pupils.
Today’s careers market is very different from a few years ago, and certainly with the changes with the EU, a knowledge of a second language will definitely help our young people stand out against their opposition if they have the ability to speak another language. Businesses are global and UK business relies on selling abroad and business abroad relies on selling to the UK. English alone is not enough – 94% of the world’s population do not speak English as a first language and 75% do not speak English at all.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department is well-resourced with interactive whiteboards, access to iPads, laptops and good quality interactive resources. Pupils are given the chance to use I.T. in lessons, we also encourage pupils to use learning apps to enhance their learning at home.
Students will follow a Modern Language course that is designed to inspire curiosity and develop communication skills.
Each student begins at a basic level, although we celebrate languages learnt in Primary Schools. Our courses are designed to provide students with language they would need to interact with people abroad in a range of situations and to prepare them for the GCSE course in Key Stage 4.
Structure of course
In Years 7 & 8 students have two 60-minute lessons of French per week.
Students cover numerous topics, learn the grammar of the language and encounter the culture and traditions of the country. These may include: Greetings, Food and Drink, School, Places in town, Directions, Holidays, Travel and Transport, Hobbies, Clubs and Leisure Time and Shopping.
The skills students will learn this year are
Students will learn how to answer simple questions, writing and speaking in lessons is very much encouraged, pupils will give their opinions and be able to read simple texts and pick out key points.
Students will learn key vocabulary on a weekly basis and will be tested on this using the knowledge organisers provided at the start of their course. They will also have to use their knowledge of the language to produce short paragraphs and will be assessed in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation to and from the target language.
During Years 9 to 11, students may choose to continue to study with a language to GCSE level which also forms part of the EBACC qualification.
The GCSE consists of four assessments and covers the following five contexts:
Students build upon and broaden their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar through a wide range of activities. All our GCSE students have access to a website with vocabulary, grammar, reading and listening practice activities and we actively encourage independent learning outside time-tabled lessons. In Key stage 4 we continue with the weekly vocabulary learning and tests, as well as this, students may have other grammar or reading homework to complete. It is imperative that vocabulary is learned on a regular basis, the websites listed below can be accessed by pupils at home to help pupils improve their vocabulary.
Students are assessed in all 4 skills and each are weighted at 25%.
In all areas of assessment, pupils are assessed on their communication and understanding skills. Grammar and translation now play an important part of the new GCSE.
Students will need to have a keen interest in the language they are choosing to study. They will be speaking and writing from memory and will need to be prepared to study on a frequent basis at home. A Modern Foreign Language is an academic subject, it is a well-respected qualification and because of this a Modern Foreign languages student needs to be committed, resilient and willing to learn.
Students may opt for Advanced Level (A Level) and then continue to degree level at degree level at University. You have the opportunity to spend a year abroad if you choose to study a Foreign Language at degree level, this is an excellent experience to have on a CV and can teach young people some invaluable life skills.
Languages attract many highly paid careers. Sports coaches, International Law, Editing and Publishing, Banking and Finance, Translation and Interpreting. After medicine, a degree in a language along with business studies is the most sought after qualification in leading to employment. Companies will often pay more to employees that can offer a foreign language – you will be in high demand!
Mr E Nsengiyumva (Head of MFL)