Languages

What will students learn?

Year 7

In the first year of Languages, students will experience learning both French and Spanish. We will build, where possible, on knowledge from primary school. Preparation will take place for the year 7 day trip to Boulogne, Northern France in the summer term. The emphasis will be put on pronunciation skills and productive skills so that the students have a solid foundation ready for Year 8. Literacy skills and thinking skills will be embedded in what they do.

In spring time in year 7, pupils will choose which language they will pursue – from French, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. They will have a taster lesson of Mandarin Chinese.

Year 8

French:

Students in year 8 will move through a range of topics and skills, designed to give a strong foundation for GCSEs. Although the ultimate goal is readiness for exams, we have an exciting and innovative curriculum which has regular references to French-speaking contexts. We also emphasise the use of target language in the classroom at all times.

Mandarin:

Students in year 8 will start by learning to pronounce Mandarin Chinese correctly – using he pinyin system of phonetics. Having developed the key literacy foundation of speaking and listening, they will then encounter a wide range of topics – all relevant to their growing knowledge and also linked frequently to the background culture of the Chinese language and people.

Spanish:

Building on their skills acquired in Spanish in year 7, students will meet a similar range of skills and topics to the other year 8 languages students in French and Mandarin. They will be able to talk about themselves and their family by the end of the year, and will frequently be helped to express their opinions and to evaluate.

Reading skills, thinking skills and intercultural understanding skills are all part of the year 8 curriculum in all three languages.

Year 9

French:

Learn how to talk about their town and describe Paris. They will look into the world of media and entertainment and express their opinions.

Spanish:

Students will be able to express their opinions on the world of entertainment and ay what Spanish people like doing in their free time.

Mandarin:

More extended texts, testing memory of the key written characters and also understanding of the longer, more challenging listening and reading passages.

There is a strong emphasis on GCSE-exam readiness – whilst also maintaining a strong element of engagement and motivation through interactive and culturally-relevant tasks.

How will they be assessed?

Year 7

As well as constant monitoring on the part of their classroom teacher, students will also be assessed in termly end of unit tests in some specific skills.

In order to help us assess their linguistic ability, all out students also take an aptitude test in the autumn term that will inform us better as to what they are capable of doing with a new language.

Year 8

All skills are assessed throughout the year in a formal way. All languages give students the opportunity to be formally tested once every term and they are also regularly monitored by their teacher.

Year 9

Each unit taught is formally assessed so that we have a better picture of were the students are and if changes in the sets are needed. In the summer of year 9 we may re-arrange students into GCSE and non-GCSE classes, following the options process.

Books are regularly marked by teachers and constructive feedback given too.

How can parents support their child?

Allow students to use the websites recommended by the MFL department:

www.linguascope.com

www.memrise.com

www.languagesonline.org.uk

Get students to learn their spellings in the kitchen/lounge, doing look/cover/write/check.

Encourage them to look for cognates in English and French and also patterns in the various languages they might speak at home. Use Chinese websites to engage more widely with Chinese characters – seeing them in wider context.