Modern Foreign Languages
At Key Stage 3 students are introduced to French or Spanish language and culture and develop skills in the four skills of language acquisition - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Lessons are interactive and employ a variety of approaches to develop students' communicative competence and personal, learning and thinking skills. In the new curriculum, there is an emphasis on grammar, translation from and into the target language, and use of authentic resources, including literary texts. Students are encouraged to study independently and learn vocabulary for weekly tests to prepare them for linear examinations in the future.
Each term there are ‘seasonal’ activities and inter-cultural understanding lessons involving reading and listening for gist and manipulating language. Students compare their own culture with that of France or Spain and other countries where the language is spoken. They also learn about the lives of young people in these countries through sessions with the language assistants.
In year 7, students cover the following topics at a basic level: greetings, numbers, days and months, classroom instructions, opinions, hobbies, home, family and pets, food and the weather. In the last term, they learn to give information about themselves and others in more detail, including describing their favourite celebrity.
In year 8, progress is accelerated as students ‘recycle’ core language within a variety of topics: school life, technology and hobbies, the town, holidays and plans for the future. In the last term, students learn about different subjects through the medium of French or Spanish – animals, art and food.