If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
In Key Stage 3, all students have the opportunity to study both French and Spanish in years 8,9 &10.
The Modern Foreign Languages course of study at KS3 ensures that pupils have a wide and balanced knowledge of the basics of the target language in terms of vocabulary and grammar and provides them with a foundation for their future study of GCSE languages course, should they choose to continue. In Years 8-10, pupils are encouraged to confidently use the simple vocabulary needed to cope with everyday situations. Pupils begin to learn grammar and to apply this in their translating exercises and in communicating with their teacher and their peers in the target language. They will learn about culture, festivals, and customs in the countries where French and Spanish are spoken. As languages teachers, we try to create a supportive and encouraging environment, where the four main skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking are developed with growing confidence, to build a solid foundation for further study and enjoyment.
We follow the CCEA GCSE courses in both French and Spanish, helping pupils to develop their spoken language, their reading and aural comprehension, and writing skills. The GCSE course allows pupils to gain a sound basis for moving on to study A Level.
OUTLINE OF COURSE
The GCSE Languages courses seek to build on the foundations laid at Key Stage 3. Students are introduced to new material and topics as well as covering in greater depth many of the areas already focused on in Years 8-10. The Contexts for Learning (see below) provide the opportunity for the development of personal and inter-personal skills, study skills, thinking and reasoning skills and increased versatility and confidence in communication for a variety of purposes.
Contexts for Learning:
Identity, Lifestyle& Culture
Local, National, International & Global Areas of Interest
School Life, Studies & the World of Work
The contexts also serve to enhance students’ self-esteem and creativity by stimulating their curiosity and imagination and fostering greater cultural understanding.
The CCEA A-level Languages courses enable students to develop and build on the skills acquired at GCSE to become more confident speakers and language users. As well as studying the broad themes below, students are given the opportunity of studying the culture of the countries in question through literature, film, and independent research into political and cultural topics.
GCE Languages gives students the opportunity to explore two broad areas of interest. These are:
social issues and trends; and either
political culture or intellectual culture or artistic culture.
Students explore the areas of interest by studying four themes:
Culture and Lifestyle (AS)
Young People in Society (A2) and
Our Place in a Changing World (A2)
Our pupils have taken part in the NICILT Spanish and Languages debates on several occasions taking 1st prize in 2017. We regularly take part in cultural trips to Barcelona or Paris with pupils from KS3 and this is, for many pupils, a major highlight of their time in Foyle College.
The Languages Department prides itself on its extracurricular provision, organising activities and events throughout the year to celebrate our students’ cultural and linguistic diversity. Our annual celebrations for European Day of Languages include Languages Breakfasts, a European-themed lunch menu and whole-school language assemblies and competitions.
Where to next?
Pupils from A-level Modern Foreign Languages have progressed to further study in such diverse areas such as: Education, Engineering, Economics, Finance, Dentistry, Medicine, and Law. Many of our A-level languages students go on to study the subject either on its own or combined with other subjects such as Law, Medicine, Accounting and Business at university.
We firmly believe that learning a language and studying another culture broadens the mind and widens your horizons. In an increasingly global economy, proficiency in a foreign language is a highly marketable job skill.