Modern Foreign Languages
Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages Department
We are part of a multi-cultural society and a world where the ability to speak another language is a highly valued skill. In our department we strive to give all pupils the opportunity to learn another language and at the same time gain a better understanding of the diversity in our world. All our pupils learn a language to GCSE and during those 5 years we believe they will improve not only their knowledge of a foreign language but they will also have a better understanding of how their own language works. We teach pupils to use language in a real –life situations and give opportunities to go on visits abroad. Confidence and enjoyment in using languages is our goal for every pupil.
What are the educational purposes of modern foreign languages teaching?
Our perception is that it should:
- provide pupils with the ability to use languages effectively for practical communication;
- prepare students for working in a global market where language skills are highly valued;
- provide a sound foundation for language skills, an understanding of how language “works” and a positive attitude to language study required for further study, work and leisure;
- offer insights and experience of the values, beliefs, culture and civilisation of countries where studied languages are spoken, as well as insights and interest in language and culture of countries across the globe;
- develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning skills;
- provide enjoyment, intellectual stimulation and a sense of real achievement;
- encourage positive attitudes to language learning and other cultures;
- promote learning skills which support the wider curriculum – e.g. deduction and analysis, problem-solving, information retrieval, memorising for short and long term use, drawing of inferences;
- develop understanding of the pupils’ own culture and understanding of themselves in the International World.
What contribution does the study of modem foreign languages make to the school curriculum?
- providing a variety of opportunities and authentic tasks and contexts to develop Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing skills;
- bringing a new perspective to pupils' perception of language and English study, enabling them to compare and contrast to sharpen their understanding of concepts in both languages;
- promoting valuable study skills – e.g. intensive and extensive listening and reading skills; predicting, selecting, comparing and interpreting information; collaborative and independent working; writing for different purposes;
- developing pupils' awareness of cross-curricular themes and skills; communication, co-operation, developing creative and imaginative skills; vocational skills; multi-cultural perspectives, citizenship; economic and industrial understanding;
- supporting ICT skills and use;
- increasing pupils' self-confidence and providing a sense of achievement; encouraging them to follow and gain from the provision of short, medium and long-term goals.
- Ms I. Vujicic, Curriculum Leader Languages
- Ms L Pearce,
- Dr L. Bonelli, Deputy Head Teacher
- Mrs S Mitchell
- Ms S Jaafary
- Ms C Vigliotti
- Ms B. Travani
- Mrs P. Trotman, Language College Manager
Foreign Language assistants will meet KS5 students on a weekly basis and help them with the preparation of their oral examinations as well as developing their cultural awareness. At KS4, FLAs will work on a one to one basis and help students prepare their oral GCSE exams. At KS3, they will take small groups out of class and practise/reinforce their speaking skills.
The MFL Department recommends parents to buy a dictionary for pupil to use when doing homework. Students can also use www.wordreference.com as a reference point.
Exercise books and pupil files
Every pupil will be given an exercise book at the beginning of the year. Before a new book is issued, teachers will ensure that all available space has been filled, and a new book will not be given until all pages have been used. Lost exercise books must be paid for before a new one is issued.
The MFL department’s teaching rooms and resource bases are situated in the Sixth Form building. The staff timetables indicate the relevant teaching bases. Each classroom is carpeted, well-equipped and resourced with an interactive white board. There is an MFL ICT suite with language lab technology where students go on a regular basis.
Key Stage 3 (Year 7- 8)
Students follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study through the teaching of texts put together to follow the QCA schemes of work for Key Stage 3.
In French, the following texts are used:
Year 7 Voila 1
Year 8 Expo 3 (top set) Voila 2 fonce (set 2) )
In Spanish, the following texts are used therefore:
Year 7 Listos 1
Year 8 Listos 1/2
Key Stage 4 (Year 9-11)
We start preparation for the GCSE exams in Y9. We use:
- French: Metro/Expo/ AQA
- Spanish: Listos /AQA
- Italian: Amici
Overview of the Modern Foreign Languages at the Convent
Key Stage 3 (Year 7- 8)
All pupils study a language at KS3. During the first term in Year 7, all students study a carousel of different languages, doing a taster in each. Before Christmas the students choose which language to continue with out of French, Spanish or Italian. This is an important decision for the girls as they will continue with that language until they have completed their GCSE. For details of the courses at Key Stage 3 please see the pupil booklets for more information.
Key Stage 4 (Year 9-11)
Modern Foreign Language study is compulsory for all pupils in Key Stage 4. All pupils continue with the language they have studied since Year 7 and complete a full GCSE course. The examination board used for all languages is AQA. Please see the KS4 MFL pupil booklets for more information about the course.
Students for whom English is an additional language are encouraged to sit an exam in their native language early (from Year 8/9). Girls take their GCSE/GCE in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Polish, Arabic and Greek.
We have subscriptions to various websites to help students with their language learning.
Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)
French, Spanish and Italian are currently offered at AS and A level. A-Level students are taught for 6 periods a week. They also have 1 period a week with a foreign language assistant for intensive speaking practice with a native speaker. For more details about the course, please see the KS5 MFL content page.
Students are also offered language/cultural classes as part of their enrichment activities in Year 12.