Modern Foreign Languages
Subject Lead - Mrs Kristen Mounce, 01805 623531 Ext. 252 or email@example.com
Teachers - Mr Matthew Anderson, Mrs Lénaïck Miller, Mr Paul Royl-Muir
Languages Assistant - Mrs Claudine Savage
We strongly believe that the study of different languages and cultures is a vital part of the development of young people. It is through the understanding of other languages and cultures that we come to understand our own better.
Moreover, the process of learning another language leads to the acquisition and development of key skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and independent thinking. Further to this, the ability to speak another language provides opportunities for both future study and employment that are not available to those who only speak English.
At GTS we are proud to offer pupils the choice of studying either French or Spanish. We believe that it is important that pupils are able to decide which language they study based on family connections, their own interests or future ambitions.
As teachers of modern foreign languages our intent is:
- To ignite curiosity, and instil a sense of appreciation and respect, of different languages and cultures enabling pupils to better understand the world around them and their place in it.
- To teach pupils a range of strategies which focus on enabling them to cope with, to understand and to manipulate language in a variety of contexts. Thus, ensuring they can use them effectively in real life situations as well as for academic purposes.
- To develop in pupils the knowledge, confidence and desire to use their linguistic skills and cultural capital in their future life. Moreover, to be lifelong learners of language and culture.
Curriculum & Qualifications
KS3 (Years 7 - 9)
Throughout KS3 pupils study 9 modules, three per year, covering the following topics:
|More about me
|My family and friends
|Home and away
Lessons focus on ensuring that pupils are given time to process new language through listening and reading, before speaking or writing, allowing them to develop confidence in their ability to understand and communicate in the language that they are learning.
A strong emphasis is placed on linking the language to the culture of the countries from which it comes and in developing the skills needed to cope in familiar real life situations with native speakers.
To support their learning in class all pupils have access to The Language Gym, a learning platform which provides reinforcement through a wide variety of activities and games. Homework is set fortnightly in the form of assignments found within the ‘my class’ section of this platform. Additionally, pupils have access to the ‘game room’ which allows them to supplement their learning and follow their own interests.
KS4 (Year 10 - 11)
GCSE (AQA) French and Spanish build on the skills and knowledge learnt in KS3. Pupils develop linguistic knowledge so that they are able to communicate with native speakers in a wide range of situations, understand complex texts and dialogues and, express opinions, explain ideas and narrate events in a number of different tenses.
The course also expands their knowledge of the culture and history of French and Spanish speaking countries. The course covers a wide variety of topics across three themes: Identity and culture; Local, national, international and global areas of interest; Current and future study and employment. These themes are further subdivided into 8 modules:
|Who am I?
|The time for leisure
|My life at school
|Normal days, party days
|From town to country
|Interests and Influences
|An eye on the world
|Towards a better future
Pupils will take four exams at the end of year 11:
Each exam contributes 25% of the overall mark. Pupils can take either foundation tier (grades 1-5) or higher tier (grades 4-9), but must enter at the same tier for all four skills, with the decision usually being made after the Year 11 Mock Exams.
Paper 1: Listening
Foundation Tier 40 marks; 35 minutes (including 5 minutes' reading time)
Higher Tier 50 marks; 45 minutes (including 5 minutes' reading time)
Foundation Tier and Higher Tier - In Section A, understanding of spoken language will be tested by a range of question types in English, requiring responses in English. In Section B, comprehension will be tested by a range of question types in French/Spanish, requiring responses in French/Spanish.
Higher Tier only - In addition to the above, at Higher Tier pupils will hear more extended spoken text where they will recognise and respond to key information.
Paper 2: Speaking
Foundation Tier: pupils will attend one session of 7–9 minutes (plus preparation time of approximately 10–12 minutes) with their class teacher at a pre-arranged date normally in late April or early May.
Higher Tier: pupils will attend one session of 10–12 minutes (plus preparation time of approximately 10–12 minutes) with their class teacher at a pre-arranged date normally in late April or early May.
The format of the test will be the same for each tier and will consist of three parts:
Role-play - Based on a stimulus card, to be prepared by the pupil immediately before the test during their preparation time. The Role-play card will allow pupils to answer questions and convey information, using and adapting language for new purposes.
Photo card - Based on a stimulus card, to be prepared by the pupil immediately before the test in the supervised preparation time. Pupils will discuss one Photo card (approximately two minutes at Foundation Tier and three minutes at Higher Tier).
General conversation - The teacher will conduct a conversation based on two themes (between three and five minutes at Foundation Tier and five and seven at Higher Tier. The Pupil will choose the first theme; the second theme is the remaining theme which has not been covered in the Photo card.
Paper 3: Reading
Foundation Tier; 45 minutes
Higher Tier; 1 hour
Foundation Tier and Higher Tier - In Section A, understanding of written language will be tested by a range of question types in English, requiring responses in English. In Section B, comprehension will be tested by a range of question types in French/Spanish, requiring responses in French/Spanish. There will also be a translation from French/Spanish into English (a minimum of 35 words at Foundation Tier and 50 words at Higher Tier).
Higher Tier only - Higher Tier pupils will be presented with longer texts where they will be required to recognise and respond to key information, themes, and ideas.
Paper 4: Writing
Foundation Tier - 50 marks; 1 hour. Pupils are required to write in French/Spanish.
Question 1- Based on a photocard stimulus which demonstrates pupils’ ability to write short sentences using familiar language in a familiar context.
Question 2 - A short passage which demonstrates pupils’ ability to write a short text, using simple sentences and familiar language accurately, to convey meaning and exchange information.
Question 3 - A translation from English into French/Spanish, requiring a minimum of 35 words. This demonstrates pupils’ ability to convey key messages accurately and to apply grammatical knowledge of language and structures.
Question 4 - A structured writing task which demonstrates pupils’ ability to produce clear and coherent text of extended length, to present facts and express ideas and opinions. Pupils are expected to write approximately 90 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important.
Higher Tier - 60 marks; 1 hour 15 minutes. Pupils are required to write in French/Spanish.
Question 1 - A structured writing task which demonstrates pupils’ ability to produce clear and coherent text of extended length, to present facts and express ideas and opinions. Pupils are expected to write approximately 90 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important.
Question 2 - An open-ended writing task which demonstrates their ability to make independent, creative and more complex use of the language, as appropriate. Pupils are expected to write approximately 150 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important.
Question 3 - A translation from English into French/Spanish, requiring a minimum of 50 words. This demonstrates pupils’ ability to convey key messages accurately and to apply grammatical knowledge of language and structures.
Revision and further study
All pupils have access to ‘This is Language’ a learning platform that provides a wealth of engaging activities and access to thousands of videos of native speakers. Homework is set weekly in the form of assignments and pupils are strongly encouraged to supplement their learning further in a way that allows them to follow their own interests whilst expanding their linguistic and cultural knowledge. There are also a number of books available to purchase to aid revision. Teachers are able to offer advice as to which would be the most suitable for individual pupils. Revision classes run throughout the school year and are open to both year 10 and 11 pupils.
The MFL department is a team made up of people from all over the world that have had the opportunity to travel, study, work and live in a number of different countries. Our intention is to provide pupils with as many opportunities as possible to deepen their knowledge and curiosity of languages and culture and inspire them to seek further opportunities to continue this once they leave GTS.
Within school, we are lucky to have a Foreign Languages Assistant, Mrs. Savage. She helps pupils to build confidence speaking by working with them one to one and in small groups. She also organises competitions and staffs extracurricular activities at lunch and after school including:
- MFL specific homework help
- GCSE revision sessions
- Informal conversation practice
- MFL Ambassadors club
- MFL Film club
- The European Christmas market competition
E&I offers further opportunities, within the school day, for pupils to learn other languages and the culture relating to these languages. Not only form teachers within the MFL team but also from others with the relevant expertise. Mandarin and Latin are two currently on offer.
Despite the challenges, as a team we are committed to running trips that allow pupils to experience the culture of other countries and practice their language skills in the real world with native speakers. We work hard to run two trips a year, one to Paris and one to Barcelona. The Paris Trip features a trip to Euro Disney, The Eiffel Tower and a Christmas market and always sells out within days. The Barcelona Trip offers pupils an experience of a city break and includes trips to Camp Nou, Park Guell, Poble Espanyol and Montjuic. Pupils enjoy it so much that many want to go again!
Finally, if pupils speak another ‘home’ language, we are able to facilitate them gaining an extra qualification in it where they exist.