Foreign Language

Foreign Language

Key Stage 3

All students will study either French or Spanish four times per fortnight and in lessons they can expect to learn to communicate information about:

  • Themselves
  • Family
  • Interests
  • Sports
  • Preferences
  • School life

The curriculum for Year 7 has been modified to take into account the topics and learning which students have encountered at their primary school, whilst simultaneously supporting those students who have had less exposure to languages during their primary education. We aim for students to be provided with opportunities to use their language skills in a variety of cross-curricular and real-life situations.

We naturally understand that students will arrive at PACA with a range of experience in languages and they will be challenged and supported in equal measure. Students will be assessed regularly in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, with a continual emphasis on establishing a deep understanding of grammar and the learning of core vocabulary in order to prepare them for the reformed, more rigorous GCSE.

Homework is set once each week – this may be a written or learning task. It is our intention that all students will be provided with an experience of languages of the absolute highest quality. They will be encouraged to think and develop independent learning strategies. They will be challenged and motivated by cutting edge teaching, materials and resources.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students will learn how to express themselves with greater accuracy and using a wider range of language and structures. They will be expected to communicate both formally and informally. Similarly, they will be exposed to texts and extracts from a variety of sources. Lessons promise to be challenging and stimulating, and will seek to increase the learner’s independence when handling the language. The new courses for GCSE French and Spanish have no controlled assessment. Students sit an exam in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) at the end of Year 11. Exams in the fours skills are equally weighted at 25% each. There is a greater emphasis on translation both into and from the target language, spontaneous speaking and being able to answer written questions in the target language.

Beyond the Classroom

The MFL department has organised and run residential trips abroad. The most recent destination was Normandy where students visited key WWII sites, famous landmarks, theme parks, sampled regional specialities and experienced the culture first hand.

Parental Support

Students will receive one piece of homework per language studied per week. It is hoped that parents will be able to discuss each piece of homework with students, and support their children in completing work to the best of their ability. Use of internet translators to complete homework should be discouraged, as the aim of tasks is to apply knowledge and skills acquired during lessons, but parents are very welcome to encourage good dictionary skills by supplying a pocket bilingual dictionary or directing students to dictionary websites, such as wordreference.com.