Modern Foreign Languages

Aims of the department

  • To encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages, and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations.
  • To show pupils that the learning of a foreign language can be an enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding experience.
  • To enable pupils to understand the spoken and written word in the foreign language.
  • To develop the ability to use the foreign language effectively for purposes of practical communication.
  • To enable pupils to recognise grammatical patterns and manipulate language structures for their own purposes.

Facilities

  • All MFL classrooms are equipped with an interactive white board.
  • Dictionaries and text books are provided for use in school, alongside the interactive ‘textbook’ of resources Boardworks.

A level Spanish, French and German

Course details

The course not only covers the skills of speaking, reading, writing, translation &  grammar, but also a variety of the following themes:

Social issues & trends:

  1. The changing state of the family
  2. The digital world
  3. Youth culture – fashion, trends, music & TV
  4. Immigration & racism
  5. Politics & history
  6. Cultural heritage

Artistic Trends:

  1. Art & architecture
  2. Festivals & traditions
  3. Cultural life – past & present
One literary text or film
 

Link to course specification - Spanish

Link to course specification - French

Link to course specification - German

Assessment

For A level languages, we follow the AQA board of assessment. This is a 2 year course with all examinations taking place at the end of the two years. Assessment takes place in the form of three examinations:

Paper 1: Listening, Reading & Translation into English.

Paper 2: Writing (translation into the target language and one essay on a text or film studied)

Paper 3: Speaking (discussion of one contemporary issue and one cultural topic)

Enrichment opportunities

As part of the A level course, students may be offered the opportunity to attend university workshops on their chosen language of study, language speaking conferences & visits to the National Theatre for viewings of target language films and or production of plays being studied. Students are also kept informed of work experience opportunities abroad offered by external agencies, enabling the chance to live and work in the country where the languages are spoken. 

Student quotes

“Studying an A level language has really helped me improve my understanding of topical issues in the news and current affairs. It is not just about learning the language, but being able to hold conversations about real life issues too.” 

“I studied A level Spanish last year and really enjoyed our lessons, we try to speak as much Spanish as possible in class and with each other. I was also lucky enough to spend two weeks in Salamanca over the summer doing work experience. I loved it! I met new people and grew so much more confident with the language.” 

Progression

If you are seeking a career in interpreting or translating, then an A level language is a must! Studying a language at advanced level however also leads itself to a variety of industries and job opportunities in the fields of teaching, travel, tourism, business and marketing. It is well researched that students with an A level language or degree have a distinct advantage at the point of interview and typical earn a higher starting salary than their counterparts.  Many of our MFL students take the subject further onto university. The A Level is diverse in the skills of researching, communicating orally and in writing, leading and taking part in discussion and debate and the production of essays. The skills gained throughout the course are transferrable to many higher education courses and careers.

Independent study

Students are actively encouraged to read the news, follow discussions online in the target language to keep up to date with current affairs and practice the vocabulary.  Students should also ensure they revise and practice key terms, new vocab and grammar points in study periods. 

Useful web-sites

Web address

Title

Brief description

www.languagesonline.org.uk

Languages online

Grammar and vocab based exercises and explanations.

www.languagesresources.co.uk

Languages resources

Power Points, worksheets and comprehensions based on all A level topics

www.quizlet.com   

Quizlet

Topic based vocabulary to learn, drill and self-assess.

 

Suggested Reading List

Spanish:

French:

German:

El laberinto del fauno Guillermo del Toro (2006)-  Film

Les 400 coups François Truffaut (1959) - Film

Good bye, Lenin! Wolfgang Becker (2003) -  Film

Volver Pedro Almodóvar (2006) - Film

Au revoir les enfants Louis Malle (1987) - Film

Lola rennt Tom Tykwer (1998)

Federico García Lorca La casa de Bernarda Alba - Play

Albert Camus L’étranger - Text

Heinrich Böll Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum - Text