Modern Foreign Languages
All students study a language at GCSE; those who show particular enthusiasm and aptitude for languages are able to take a second language if they wish to, learning their second language ab-initio in Year 9.
The aim of the course is to develop and promote effective understanding of, and communication in, the foreign language, as well as an appreciation for and understanding of the cultures in which the language is spoken. The syllabus encourages an understanding of key grammar and syntax, as well as the exploration and enjoyment of new cultures. The course content provides a solid base from which to pursue future study of the language, at either A Level or a later point in life.
4 exams, weighted equally in speaking, listening, reading and writing in Year 11.
Foreign language study has been proven to boost literacy, increase memorisation skills, and is well regarded by Sixth Form and University admissions. Beyond the traditional linguistic routes of translating and interpreting, language skills are required in almost every industry in today’s global economy, with employers rating proficiency in a second language second only to IT skills as the most desirable trait in a job candidate.
The content covers three topic areas, with the aim of allowing students to narrate, describe, give and justify opinions on the 5 topic areas:
- Local area, holidays, travel - Home, town, neighbourhood and region, holidays and travel and tourism.
- Identity and culture - Self, my family and friends, technology in everyday life, free-time activities, customs and festivals in target language-speaking countries/communities.
- School - My studies, life at school and education post-16
- Future aspirations, study, work - jobs, career choices and ambitions.
- International and global dimensions - social and global issues
A GCSE vocabulary book, revision workbook and guide are available for purchase from the department. In Year 11 students are issued with a library copy of the GCSE textbook for independent study and revision.
Miss J Harkin – Head of Modern Foreign Languages
As the technology revolution makes the world smaller, foreign language skills are becoming increasingly valued by employers seeking to compete in global markets. The Modern Languages courses aim to provide students with a thorough knowledge of the languages (Spanish and French) and to develop, in particular, the skill of speaking with a high degree of fluency. They provide a basis for the further study of foreign languages at degree level or as a support to other fields of study.
The College expects students to have
Grade 6 or above in their chosen language.
The ability to speak languages is of benefit for those who wish to pursue a career in teaching, translating and interpreting. With the globalisation of industry and commerce, graduates with a good command of modern languages are sought after for numerous roles in government and business, examples being overseas development, banking, business and law.
Year 1 - Unit 1: Listening, Reading and Translation 45% | Unit 2: Essay on film 25% Unit 3: Oral examination 30%
Compulsory content: students will study the two topic areas over the year and also one text or film.
Topic 1: Aspects of Society: Family and it’s values (French and Spanish), The Digital World (French and Spanish), The role of voluntary organisations in the target language country (French), Equal Rights (Spanish).
Topic 2: Artistic Culture: Pride and Heritage including food and tourist attractions, The seventh art (French), Regional identity (Spanish), Contemporary music (French), Modern day idols (Spanish).
Film study: Students will discuss key themes, social and cultural contexts of films alongside character analysis.
Year 2 - Unit 4: Listening, Reading and Translation 45% | Unit 5: Essays on text/film 25% | Unit 6: Oral examination 30%
Compulsory content: Students will study FOUR topic areas over the year and two texts or one text and one film.
Topic 1: Aspects of Society: Topic 2: Artistic Culture
Topic 3: Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues, positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated.
Topic 4: Aspects of political life in the French speaking world; teenagers, ‘The right to vote and political commitment’, demonstrations, strikes - who holds the power?, politics and immigration.
Topic 3: Multiculturalism in Hispanic society - immigration, racism, integration.
Topic 4: Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world, today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens, monarchies and dictatorships, popular movements.
Literary Study (Spanish/French): This module looks at theme, character, social and cultural context in a literary work.
Independent Research Project: This will form one element of the Oral examination. Students conduct research into a subject or key question which interests them and relates to a country where the target language is spoken with guidance from the teacher. This could relate to a topic studied during the course.
There is an opportunity for all A Level students to take part in a French Exchange with our partner school in Rouen and a Spanish Exchange to Madrid, where they can practice their oral skills and this could provide research for the project. The department also has strong links with UEA, offering expertise when studying the cultural topics.