Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages

INTRODUCTION

The Modern Languages Department aims to enable pupils across all age and ability ranges to study foreign languages with success and pleasure.

Pupils will be encouraged to:

  • develop the ability to understand foreign languages effectively for the purposes of practical communication.
  • develop the ability to use foreign languages imaginatively and creatively.
  • develop an understanding of the structures, grammar and nature of foreign languages.
  • enhance study skills, in particular language learning skills.
  • appreciate the culture and civilisation of foreign countries, sometimes through visits abroad.
  • adopt positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to native speakers of the language.
  • use skills which have wider application, such as information technology.
  • consider pursuing the study of languages to a higher level where appropriate and desirable.

CURRICULUM

Key Stage 3

Prior to arriving at the school, pupils are allocated to either a French or Spanish group. In Year 8, all pupils will learn the modern foreign language that they started in Year 7 and will also start German.

Key Stage 4

All pupils must learn French or German or Spanish; they may opt to learn another language as well.

FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

The Department has four dedicated classrooms, including a 28 station digitised audio language laboratory. There is also a room for the assistant’s lessons and Sixth Form study with widescreen TV, TV DVD monitor and two computers. All rooms have a computer and amplifier through which to play sound recordings and a data projector. Two ICT further rooms are easily accessible.

Each language in each year is supported by a specialist course. At KS3 staff follow the Claro, Studio and Na Klar courses for Spanish, French and German respectively and we have recently begun to implement the NCELP program of study. Pupils at KS4 and KS5 follow the AQA OUP course, supplemented with an array of authentic materials, which also benefits from the Kerboodle platform and can be accessed from home.

The Department uses many digital resources, and we make full use of Google Classroom so that pupils can easily access materials and communicate with their class teacher. Some of our favourite digital tools include Quizlet, Blooket, EdPuzzle, Flippity and PearDeck.

TRIPS AND VISITS

To enhance the pupils’ feel and understanding for their language learning and to give them first-hand insight into the socio-cultural backgrounds of the languages which they are learning, pupils are strongly encouraged to participate in the visits abroad and other cultural activities laid on by the Department.

Visits abroad:

a) Every year a short stay trip for Year 7/8/9 takes place to France, Germany or Spain in the summer during which they will undertake mini language projects

b) A trip to Berlin in conjunction with the EP and History department for Year 10 and 11 normally takes place in October with the same format as the Paris trip.

Students, especially older ones, are encouraged to make trips abroad by their own initiative. Information about gap years and work experience abroad is posted from time to time on Departmental notice boards.

The Department also arranges a number of trips to support pupils’ learning and promote interest in the learning of languages and encourage curiosity about the cultures of their chosen language. In recent year there have been a number of trips: including a Year 10 German trip to HOME cinema in Manchester, and a study day for A Level Spanish at Manchester University.

EXTRA CURRICULAR

The Department is dedicated to providing a wide variety of learning opportunities.  We currently offer a Film Club and an Italian Club, as well as revision sessions.

We also encourage participation in a number of regional, nationwide and indeed international competitions including the Young Translator’s competition for Sixth Form in November and the Northern Schools MFL Debating Competition. In February, we run the Linguistics Olympiad Competition for Year 9 and above.  Students have also had the chance to take part in an essay writing competition organised by Oxford University.

In addition to this, we organise a European Day for Year 8 with outside speakers and various cultural and linguistic activities offered which reflect the diversity of Europe. Year 11 pupils also have a dedicated Language Enhancement morning with guest speakers from Lancaster University and industry as well as taster sessions in different languages including Russian and Japanese.

Mrs S Broom
Head of Languages