Why learn a language?
It’s a fact that young people will be in greater competition for jobs with workforce from other countries, both in this country and abroad. They will be competing in lots of different sectors – for example in finance, business, law, engineering and tourism. Learning a language is a life-long skill that is recognised by many universities as well as being one of the most useful skills to learn for the future of our community.
The vast majority of students acknowledge the importance of language learning for employability, development of key skills, travel, cultural understanding, communication, language awareness and for the UK’s relationship with other countries. Language learning is recognised to be highly academic and demanding.
Being successful at another language demonstrates good communication skills and show employers you are willing to learn new skills and welcome a challenge. In today’s world companies undertake a lot of business with foreign companies and they need to be able to communicate effectively.
At Prenton High School we believe that it’s really important to promote languages as it allows students to be better equipped for the future. By learning a language students develop, apart from the language itself, lots of different skills that are invaluable in the world of work. They learn how to use their communication skills such as to ask and answer questions, to start and develop a conversation and to exchange ideas and opinions. Students also develop thinking skills -they solve problems, develop analytical skills, take risks, think quickly and make decisions on the spot. Furthermore, they learn how to develop social skills – they present their ideas orally and therefore develop their confidence, they work in teams, they are more open to others and interact positively and they learn to take responsibility.
As a team, we believe, that it’s very important to prepare students to enter a wider and richer world, so it’s with great pleasure that every year we organise a trip to France or Spain. Trips abroad represent a fantastic experience for our students and help broaden their horizons. Our next trip will be next October 2014 when we are going to go to Alicante in Spain.
We are a very enthusiastic department, passionate about the study of languages and keen to share our passion about about language with all our students.
Madame C Rochet | Subject Leader
Miss S Eastwood | Assistant Headteacher and Teacher of MFL
Miss M Serrano | Teacher
MFL is taught in in three recently refurbished rooms, each with a computer and interactive white board. We make use of a range of technology to enhance students’ learning, including digital video cameras and digital voice recorders to develop speaking and listening skills. We also make effective use of our VLE (Moodle) where students can find a wide variety of useful resources and links to help them complete home learning and practise their language skills. And finally we subscribe to different language websites – for example Linguascope and Vocab Express where students can develop their language skills in an enjoyable way.
Curriculum Provision for Years 7, 8, 9
All students are taught one language (French or Spanish) up to year 9. Students have 3 lessons per week in French or Spanish in Year 7 and from September 2014 2 lessons per week in year 8 and 9. The textbooks we use are Mira in Spanish and Studio in French, both with interactive resources on Moodle. This means that students can access the book online when they are at home. Home learning is set weeklyand is in two parts: a learning task and a reading, listening or writing task.
The GCSE Curriculum
Students who carry on with the E-Bacc will take one language at GCSE and will have 3 lessons per week. We currently follow the AQA examination board;
Qualification: 1 GCSE A*-G
Students must perform:
– 2 writing Controlled Assessments (30%) and 2 speaking Controlled Assessments (30%) which are taken in school (In general, 2 in Year 10 followed by 2 in Year 11). The writing assessment is externally assessed while the speaking assessment is marked by us and submitted for moderation.
– 1 reading assessment (foundation or higher) – 20%
– 1 listening assessment (foundation or higher) – 20%
Both are assessed at the end of Year 11.
We are currently using expo 4 vert et rouge in French and Mira 4 for Spanish linked with active teach on Moodle.
We are very pleased with our examination results which are consistently above national averages.
Unit1 – Lifestyle: Relationships & Choices/self, family & friends – Relationships with family and friends – What I like doing or not, in general and last weekend. Healthy and unhealthy lifestyle, illness and accidents, future plans regarding marriage and partnerships social issues and equality
Unit 2 – Home and Environment: Description of house, bedroom, town, neighbourhood and region, where it is and what it is like. Special occasions celebrated at home and abroad. Environment and current problem facing the planet – being environmentally friendly.
Unit 3 – Leisure: Freetime and the media – shopping, money fashion and trends, arranging to go out – Advantages and disadvantages of new technology. Holidays past and future, what to see and getting around.
Unit 4 – Work and Education: School,college and future plans -What school / college is like. Opinions -Pressures and problems. Looking for and getting a job. Advantages and disadvantages of jobs.
Students are invited to go to the MFL support club where they can find support for their home learning or where they can ask us questions related to their work. They can also use resources such as class books, dictionaries or computers
Our support club is twice a week at lunchtime for Years 7,8 and 9 and once a week at lunchtime for GCSE students.
Every half term the MFL department is also organising inter-form competition or year group competition on a specific MFL topic that engages pupils to find out more about the culture of other countries, but also promotes language learning.