The Department aims to help students develop their communicative competence and proficiency, as well as a cross-cultural awareness and a long-lasting love for language learning. Competence in another language is increasingly recognized as a valuable asset, and success in this area of the curriculum will allow pupils to enhance their future career opportunities.
Learning in the Modern Languages Department should be enjoyable and stimulating and will always offer achievable goals. These are based on a structured and varied range of language activities, using material which takes into account the range of ability and skills within the class. As far as the specification (syllabus) allows, it will be relevant to the pupil’s needs and interests. We always try to encourage a positive learning experience. Success in the early stages of language learning will promote a sense of self-image and build confidence for the more rigorous and challenging experiences ahead.
Throughout the course of study, emphasis will be placed on the foreign language as a means of communication with others. Classroom activities within the learning context will be purposeful and meaningful and structured to move the pupils towards confident, creative and independent use of the new material.
Communicative activities – pair-work, group-work, as well as teacher-pupil interaction will be emphasized and this should lead to increasing personal self-confidence in speaking the foreign language and also promote social and presentation skills.
Year 9 Course Description (French)
French, Spanish and Kiswahili are all on offer to Year 9 students. German is on offer also but only to those who already have some knowledge of the subject. It is not possible to provide a summary for each subject, but the following course description for French will give some idea of the key topics covered.
The course begins with revision of the present tense, use of adjectives, asking questions and using reflexive verbs, and moves on to introduce the perfect tense, adverbs of frequency, and the comparative and superlative. The imperfect and future tenses are introduced, and the use of the pronoun y.
Year 10 Course Description (French)
The course begins with revision of adjectives, and the use of emphatic pronouns. There is a focus on correct use of the present, perfect, future and imperfect tenses. The use of prepositions and en + present participle are dealt with. Practice of past papers is started to improve examination technique and preparation for the IGCSE oral examination is begun.
Year 11 Course Description (French)
The course begins with a focus on the correct use of future, present and past tenses. Use of pronouns, prepositions, negatives and adjectival agreement are revised. There is a major focus on preparation for the oral examination, and on practice of past papers to improve examination technique.
Homework Years 9-11
The following list is not prescriptive or exhaustive but illustrates appropriate homework tasks, which can be set to reinforce work carried out in the language class. It is a guide to the wide variety of tasks available to extend knowledge of vocabulary, practise key structures and encourage good study habits:
Communication is the primary purpose of foreign language learning and this has implications for methodology. If communication is to be achieved, then the methodology in the classroom must be communicative in line with the content. This approach is based on the principle that language is only acquired by exposure to it and by independent use of it, in situations where there is a genuine reason or purpose for communication.
This principle provides a general communicative strategy for language teaching and the framework for all classroom practice. Three key stages can be identified in this strategy:
The primary aim of the department is to ensure that each pupil is given the opportunity to reach his/ her full potential in all areas of linguistic competence in the foreign language(s) studied. Candidates should be able to demonstrate:
The following is not an exhaustive list, but will give some idea as to the contexts for learning studied for IGCSE:
Area A - Everyday activities e.g. home life and school routine, food, health and fitness.
Area B - Personal and social life e.g. self, family and personal relationships, holidays.
Area C - The world around us e.g. home town and local area, natural and made environment, people, places and customs.
Area D - The world of work e.g. continuing education, careers and employment.
Area E - The international world e.g. tourism at home and abroad, life in other countries and communities.
Completion of the IGCSE French course leads on to the study of A level French.
At AS level, students need to be reasonably fluent in general conversation topics and to be able to produce accurate written work. They need to be able to present their ideas in a logical manner and to know how to conduct an argument.
At A2 level pupils need, in addition to the above, to have an interest in classic and modern French Literature and to be able to analyse characters and plots in French.