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Modern Foreign Languages

MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages department at Prince Henry’s High school. As languages are compulsory for the vast majority of students at KS3 and KS4, this is a particularly busy and active department comprising 8 full and part time teachers and 2 language assistants.

There are 7 classrooms belonging to the MFL department, all with interactive whiteboards and software dedicated to the learning and teaching of foreign languages.

The languages taught are French, German, Spanish and Italian.

The Importance of Studying Languages

According to the CIA World Fact Book, only 5.6 % of the world’s total population speaks English as a primary language. That number doubles when people who speak English as a second or third language are counted. By conservative estimates, this means that well over four-fifths of the world’s population does not speak English.

It is true that English has become a global language over the past several decades, but the attitude that English alone is enough creates many limitations. To remain monolingual is to stunt your educational development, to restrict your communication and thinking abilities and to deny yourself the ability to fully appreciate and understand the world in which you live. Learning another language opens up new opportunities and gives you perspectives that you might never have encountered otherwise. Personal, professional, social, and economic considerations all point to the advantages of learning foreign languages and employees need to communicate in languages other than their own. Many fields such as the travel industry, communications, advertising, education and engineering have sectors dealing with foreign language study. Having better employment opportunities and greater chances of excelling in business suggest the importance of foreign language study. It is also worth remembering that most of our other European counterparts have to continue with at least one foreign language up to the age of 18.

KEY STAGE 3

Students opt for their language choice in Year 8, before arriving at Prince Henry’s. This means that in Year 9, all pupils at Prince Henry’s embark upon their GCSE language straight away and continue with this language choice for three years. Pupils are assessed throughout the year and sit an exam at the end of Year 9. All assessments are based on the new GCSE numerical grading system.

Students have 5 hours of their language choice per fortnight. Topic areas covered are as follows:

French

Autumn term 1 – Revision of basic skills
Autumn term 2 – Family
Spring term 1 – Home and surrounding area
Spring term 2 – Home and surrounding area, School and Education
Summer term 1 – School and Education
Summer term 2 – Super Curriculum Film Project

Spanish

Autumn term 1 – Introducing yourself; describing classroom items; saying who is in your family
Autumn term 2 – Describing appearance and family members
Spring term 1 – Describing personalities and relationships; saying where you’re from and what languages you speak; saying where you’re going to live in the future
Spring term 2 – Arranging to go out; expressing opinions about your hobbies, TV and film; saying what you did last weekend
Summer term 1 – Talking about your house and neighbourhood; saying what you would like to change about your neighbourhood; explaining the advantages and disadvantages of country living
Summer term 2 – Saying what household chores you do; asking and describing how to get around, Super Curriculum Film Project

German

Autumn term 1 – Basic skills/KS3 Revision
Autumn term 2 – Me, my family and relationships
Spring term 1 – Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Spring term 2 – Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Summer term 1 – My studies
Summer term 2 – Super Curriculum Film Project

KEY STAGE 4

The vast majority of pupils are required to study a language at Key Stage Four, although some exceptions are made for pupils who require additional literacy support. At the end of Key Stage 3, students simply continue with the language option they followed in Year 9. There is also the opportunity at this point to choose a second language for those who wish to do so. We use AQA as the exam board for all languages at GCSE and students are awarded a full GCSE at the end of Year 11.

The GCSE examination is composed of 25% Speaking, 25% Writing, 25% Listening and 25% Reading. All skills will be examined at the end of Year 11 as formal, external exams.

Equipping students with as broad a knowledge base as possible of the culture of the target language country, together with the basics to be able to communicate effectively with natives, is at the heart of our teaching.

Students have 5 hours of their language per fortnight. Topic areas covered are as follows:

French – Year 10

Autumn term 1 – Free time
Autumn term 2 – Holidays and Travel
Spring term 1 – Education post 16
Spring term 2 – Social issues, Festivals
Summer term 1 – Customs and Festivals
Summer term 2 – Marriage and future plans

French – Year 11

Autumn term 1 – Technology
Autumn term 2 – Charity and Voluntary Work
Spring term 1 – Homelessness and Poverty, Environment
Spring term 2 – Career choices and ambitions
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparation

Spanish – Year 10

Autumn term 1 – Talking about customs and festivals in Spanish speaking countries
Autumn term 1 & 2 – Describing school, subjects and daily routine; giving opinions on school rules
Spring term 1 – Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of mobile technology and social media
Spring term 2 – Buying food; eating out; discussing healthy and unhealthy living; talking about how to stay fit
Summer term 1 – Describing ailments; talking about problems facing young people
Summer term 2 – Talking about how to protect the environment; discussion global issues, poverty and homelessness

Spanish – Year 11

Autumn term 1 – Describing where you went on holiday; describing the weather, accommodation and the activities; booking a hotel; making complaints; buying souvenirs, clothing and presents
Autumn term 2 – Describing school, subjects and daily routine; giving opinions on school rules
Spring term 1 – Discussing choices at 18; giving opinions on higher education; discussing future plans and ideal jobs
Spring term 2 – Revision and preparation for exams, starting with Speaking
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparation

German – Year 10

Autumn term 1 – Free-time activities
Autumn term 2 – Customs and traditions
Spring term 1 – Life at school and college
Spring term 2 – Travel and Tourism
Summer term 1 – Education post-16
Summer term 2 – Health issues, Marriage and partnerships

German – Year 11

Autumn term 1 – Technology in everyday life
Autumn term 2 – Environmental issues
Spring term 1 – Charity and voluntary work / Homelessness and poverty
Spring term 2 – Career Choices and ambitions
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparation

Italian – Year 10

Autumn term 1 – Introductions, free time
Autumn term 2 – Free time, describing where you live
Spring term 1 – Daily routine, school
Spring term 2 – School, future plans
Summer term 1 – Travel and holidays
Summer term 2 – Travel and holidays

Italian – Year 11

Autumn term 1 – Healthy living
Autumn term 2 – Work and work experience, festivities
Spring term 1 – Environment, social problems
Spring term 2 – Social problems, technology
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparation

KEY STAGE 5

The languages available at A level are French, German, Spanish and Italian. In order to study a language at A level, students must have at least a grade 6 at GCSE in that language. The exam board used is Edexcel and all external examinations take place at the end of Year 13. The A level exam is composed of three papers for each language; Speaking, worth 30% of the exam, Listening, Reading and Translation, worth 40% of the exam and Written Response to Works and Translation, worth 30% of the exam. A film and a piece of literature are studied for the latter paper.

These courses enable the students to be able to extend their knowledge of the target language country whilst developing spontaneity and interactivity in their spoken and written language. Small group work with the language assistants is an integral part of the course.

Topic areas covered are as follows:

French – Year 12

Autumn term 1 – Changes in family structure, Music
Autumn term 2 – Festivals and traditions, Media
Spring term 1 – Study of the film, ‘Intouchables’, French education system
Spring term 2 – Study of film, ‘Intouchables’, World of work
Summer term 1 – Immigration, Extreme Right
Summer term 2 – Research Project

French – Year 13

Autumn term 1 – Immigration, Extreme Right
Autumn term 2 – Extreme Right, Immigration, Occupation and Resistance
Spring term 1 – Occupation and Resistance, Study of novel, ‘Un sac de billes’
Spring term 2 – Occupation and Resistance, Study of novel, ‘Un sac de billes’
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparation

Spanish – Year 12

Autumn term 1 – Changing family structure, marriage and relationships; the working world; music – changes, trends and the impact on contemporary culture; television; new technology
Autumn term 2 – Film studies – El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth); political and artistic culture in the Spanish speaking world
Spring term 1 – Film studies – El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth); the impact of tourism on Spanish society
Spring term 2 – Festivals and Traditions; revision and exam preparations; the impact of tourism on Spanish economy
Summer term 1 – Internal exams; festivals and traditions
Summer term 2 – Introduction to Independent Research Project; introduction to literature studies – La Casa de Bernarda Alba

Spanish – Year 13

Autumn term 1 – Immigration – the positive impact and challenges to Spanish society; literature studies – La Casa de Bernarda Alba
Autumn term 2 – Immigration – integration into Spanish society; literature studies – La Casa de Bernarda Alba; the Spanish Civil War
Spring term 1 – Independent Research Project review; Revisit Film studies – El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth); Franco’s dictatorship
Spring term 2 – Transition to democracy; revisit literature studies – La Casa de Bernarda Alba; revision and exam preparation
Summer – End of course exam preparation

German – Year 12

Autumn term 1 – Nature and the Environment, Music
Autumn term 2 – Festivals and Traditions, Media
Spring term 1 – Study of the film, ‘Good Bye Lenin!’, German Education System
Spring term 2 – Study of the film, ‘Good Bye Lenin!’, World of Work
Summer term 1 – Immigration, German multicultural society
Summer term 2 – Research Project

German – Year 13

Autumn term 1 – Immigration, Extreme Right
Autumn term 2 – Life in East Germany before reunification,
Spring term 1 – The Reunification of Germany, Study of novel, ‘Der Vorleser’
Spring term 2 – The Reunification of Germany, Study of novel, ‘Der Vorleser’
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparation

Italian – Year 12

Autumn term 1 – Changes in family structure
Autumn term 2 – Italian education system, World of work
Spring term 1 – Music, Media
Spring term 2 – Festivals and traditions
Summer term 1 – Study of the film ‘La vita è bella’
Summer term 2 – Study of the film ‘La vita è bella’, Research Project

Italian – Year 13

Autumn term 1 – Immigration
Autumn term 2 – Immigration, Fascism to present day
Spring term 1 – Study of novel, ‘Io non ho paura’
Spring term 2 –Study of novel, ‘Io non ho paura’
Summer term 1 – End of course examination preparationSupercurricular OpportunitesMotivated by a desire to expose pupils to study beyond the classroom, the MFL department will be using film at the end of Year 9 to explore some of the most current, thought provoking issues faced in the target language countries.

SUPER CURRICULUM

French
After watching Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont (The African Doctor), pupils will be expressing their own views on the main themes of the film: integration, cultural understanding, friendship and social norms.

Spanish
Students will benefit from the opportunity of studying a Latin American country through the film Voces Inocentes. They will investigate the effects of civil war in El Salvador and learn about the injustices of a military dictatorship.

German
The discussion
will focus on the themes of post-war German society, family relationships, and the rights and responsibilities of young people through the study of the film Das Wunder von Bern.

EXTRA CURRICULUM

TRIPS ABROAD

We offer various trips abroad, aimed at giving pupils the invaluable experience of visiting the country in which the language they study is spoken. Each academic year the department runs an exchange to Millau in the South of France, together with trips to Germany and Spain.

July 2020