Bienvenido! Welcome to Spanish. Spanish is becoming of greater importance in Europe, where it often is the foreign language of choice after English. And it’s no wonder that Spanish is a popular second or third language: with some 400 million speakers, it’s the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world (after English, Chinese and Hindustani), and according to some counts it has more native speakers than English does. It is an official language on four continents and is of historical importance elsewhere. It’s easy: Spanish is one of the easiest foreign languages to learn. Much of its vocabulary is similar to English and written Spanish is almost completely phonetic.
The jobs and careers market is very different from the jobs market a few years ago and it is very different from what the jobs market will be in a few years’ time. One thing is certain: the best jobs will involve links abroad and travel. People who are able to speak Spanish will be at a massive advantage over those who cannot. Businesses are global and UK business relies on selling abroad and business abroad relies on selling to the UK. English 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. Learning Spanish also covers and develops skills which complement all other aspects of learning – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The Spanish Department is well-resourced with interactive whiteboard, access to IPads, laptops and good quality resources. We are currently organising a trip to Santander (North of Spain) which is very popular with all our students and we are aiming to run every two years. We are also looking into the possibility of a link with a school in Spain.
In Key Stage 3, students quickly learn how to develop their skills in Spanish. Their ability in the four linguistic skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing will be developing fast and they will be learning many aspects of grammar which will help them to operate independently in the language.
Structure of course
In Year 7, students have one 75 minute period of Spanish per week and one period of French.
Topics covered include: Introducing oneself, family, numbers, dates, school, pets and places in town.
The skills students will learn this year are
Students will learn how to respond to a range of simple questions, copy words correctly, write basic sentences and give their opinions. They will also be able to read simple texts and identify key points in short listening passages. By the end of Year 7, students who can write in paragraphs will achieve Level 3 and very able students will achieve Level 4.
Students are assessed by
Students will learn key vocabulary on a regular basis and will be tested on this. They will also have to learn sentences and short paragraphs from memory. They will be assessed in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing and translation from and into the target language.
Structure of lessons
In Year 8, students have two 75 minutes lesson per week.
These topics will be: daily routine, household chores, family, holidays and travel, food and drink.
The skills students will learn this year are
Students will learn how to progress to higher level by being able to use the past and future tenses in their work. They will be able to express and justify their opinions and narrate events in three different tenses. Their translation skills will be developing and their knowledge of grammar will mean a high level of independence.
Students are assessed by
Students will learn key vocabulary on a regular basis and will be tested on this. They will also have to learn sentences and paragraphs from memory. They will be assessed in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing and translation from and into the target language. By the end of Year 8 most students will be working towards Levels 5 and 6.
The GCSE in Spanish is a very interesting and varied option. Presently, students receive a final grade at GCSE based on: listening (terminal exam) 20%, reading (terminal exam) 20%, speaking (controlled assessment) 30% and writing (controlled assessment) 30%. The speaking exam consists of two separate tests, each 4-6 minutes long. The written exam consists of two pieces of written work, each 200-300 words long, completed over Years 10 and 11. Students may be entered for higher or foundation GCSE in the terminal exams. Writing and speaking results are by outcome.
Students will have a keen interest in the language and have the ability to learn words from memory on a regular basis. They need to be able to produce pieces of written and spoken work independently and recall them from memory. Spanish is one of the 5 Ebac subjects and so is a very well respected qualification because it is not an easy GCSE so students must be committed and willing to learn.
Students will study the past, present and future tenses in more detail to ensure they have a secure grasp of them – this is vital for a grade C or higher at GCSE. Students will also cover the imperfect past tense and the conditional tense, which will allow access later on to the highest grades. Students will gradually be exposed to foundation level past GCSE papers in preparation for the Year 10 and 11 work.
Students will study travel and tourism, family and relationships, social issues, the environment, school, WEX and future plans (including jobs and further education). The amount of time spent on each topic will vary according to the controlled assessment choices of the teacher.
Students will cover any topics not covered so far and also be revising all other topics covered in previous years in greater depth in preparation for the GCSE exams. They will practise past GCSE papers on a regular basis and develop confidence and skill in answering questions on these papers. Staff may also choose to undertake controlled assessments in Year 11 or to introduce additional assessments on different topics to improve on previous grades.
Listening, speaking, reading and writing and, in future years, translation skills. Parts of past papers may be used and towards the end of Year 9 students may attempt whole foundation papers. At the end of the year, students will do their first GCSE Speaking assessment. Students will need to continue to learn new key words and phrases as different topics are covered.
Past papers will be used to assess listening and reading and these may be foundation or higher. Speaking and listening will be assessed through controlled assessments covering foundation and higher level. Students will need to continue to learn new key words and phrases as different topics are covered.
Past papers will be used on a regular basis and controlled assessment may also be undertaken in Year 11. Students will need to continue to learn new key words and phrases as different topics are covered.
The speaking exam consists of two separate tests, each 4-6 minutes long. The written exam consists of two pieces of written work, each 200-300 words long, completed over Years 10 and 11. Students may be entered for higher or foundation GCSE in the terminal exams. Writing and speaking results are by outcome and students are not entered by tier.
You can opt for Advanced Level (A Level) and then continue to degree level at University. You would usually have to spend a year abroad if you study Spanish for a degree (you will go to Spain or in one other Spanish speaking country especially in South America).
Many highly paid jobs such as translating, interpreting, international law, international banking and finance, working for large multinational companies, teaching (including primary), medical work abroad, journalism and reporting, buying, the fashion industry, travel and leisure, international aid work, manufacturing and industry (e.g. the car industry), international estate agency. After medicine a degree in Spanish with business studies is the most demanded qualification and the most likely subject combination to lead to employment. Companies often pay more to employees who can offer a language – you will be in demand!
Mr E Nsengiyumva (Head of French and Spanish)