Modern Foreign Languages

Five good reasons to learn another language

Languages...

  • are important in the world of work:

Today more and more businesses need people who can communicate in languages other than English.

  • help you succeed in other subjects:

Learning a new language improves your memory, mental flexibility, literacy and problem solving skills.

  • give you greater opportunities to travel:

Travelling for business or pleasure is both easier and more interesting when you can talk to the locals.

  • give you a sense of achievement:

When you learn a language you demonstrate to yourself and others that you are intelligent, determined, committed and hardworking.

  • are a social skill:

Speaking and listening are very important.

The aim of the Modern Foreign Language Department is to enable all students to get the most out of their language learning for all these reasons. Nobody knows which languages they will need in later life, so we aim to develop students’ skills and confidence to tackle whatever linguistic challenges come their way.

Students develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills across a range of topics relating to daily life in both French and German and we aim to use a variety of activities and approaches to suit all learners. Lessons in both key stages may include games, group activities, paired conversations and role plays and ICT-based activities, with the emphasis being on working towards confidence in communicating in the target language.

All students focus on French in year 7 in order to develop their language learning skills.

In year 8 the majority of students divide their time equally between French and German in order to have the experience of learning a second foreign language and to give an element of choice for languages in Key Stage 4.

In Key Stage 4 students may choose either or both languages to continue to GCSE and may then continue through to A level.

We are actively seeking to improve our links with partner schools in Europe. We offer residential visits to France and Germany in alternate years for year 7 and year 8, as an introduction to using language skills in a real context.  Those students choosing a language in Key Stage 4 have the opportunity to take part in exchange visits to our partner schools in France and Germany.  Our partner school in Germany is the Gymnasium Raabeschule in Braunschweig in North Germany and we are currently developing a new exchange with a school in Brittany, which we hope will take place for the first time in 2017-18.  We also encourage ongoing contact with students in these link schools using video and Skype where possible.

Career pathway

Two former students from Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre who are using their language skills in their chosen careers are:

Tim studied French at GCSE and A Level and then Civil Engineering at Bristol University.  During his degree course he used his language skills to study Civil Engineering at Grenoble University in France.

Gareth opted for German in Year 10 after taking part in the Germany trip. He went on to study German at A level and at university. After working in the international office at York University, he is now Senior International Officer at Sussex University.

Should you like to receive any additional information on this subject please contact:

Ms Rebecca Coleman, Head of MFL
rcoleman@newent.gloucs.sch.uk

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