Modern Foreign Languages
Head of Subject: Miss Angela Pook
At Redruth School we passionately believe that the ability to communicate in a foreign language is a vital life skill and one which will open doors in the future. It is also proven that people who speak more than one language have better memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills as well as enhanced concentration, the ability to multitask, and improved listening skills. Through learning a foreign language, students also learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. Our aim is to enable our students to be good global citizens who embrace diversity.
The MFL team consists of five teachers, three of whom are native speakers, and two foreign language assistants. Our vision is to provide an engaging, challenging and supportive environment in which students learn to communicate confidently and effectively in a foreign language.
Cultural context and awareness is an integral and essential part of the language. Therefore, we are introducing a Key Stage 3 France trip with the aim of also offering a trip to Spain in the future.
Key Stage 3
When students arrive in Year 7 they are divided into French and Spanish tutor groups. Students are initially taught in mixed ability tutor groups. In the first few weeks, all Year 7 students complete a language aptitude test. Following this, we set students by language ability. The aim of setting by language ability is to ensure that all students are able to maximise their progress in languages through differentiated lessons.
Across Key Stage 3 we use sentence builders to teach students chunks of language, rather than individual words. In Year 7 students learn to introduce themselves and talk about their family and pets. In Year 8, students build on that knowledge by learning to give opinions about food and drink as well as talking about their free time activities and future plans. Finally, Year 9 focuses on combining tenses to talk about holidays, school and cultural events.
Key Stage 4
We follow the AQA GCSE French and Spanish course. The three themes taught are:
- Identity and culture (including technology and free time activities)
- Local, national and global areas of interest (including social and environmental issues)
- Current and future study and employment
The course culminates in exams in all four skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing. Each skill is worth 25% of the total marks. Throughout Key Stage 4, students have regular small group sessions with the foreign language assistant in order to build confidence in speaking and prepare effectively for the speaking exam.
Students can go on to study languages at A level or International Baccalaureate level. In addition, as well as traditional language degrees, many universities also offer a language course alongside another degree course. Our students have progressed into jobs in a range of sectors, including social media, translation, interpreting, financial services, tourism, teaching, catering, technology and creative arts amongst others.
How can I help my son/daughter?
The best way to learn a foreign language is little and often. Encourage your child to watch short YouTube clips or TV shows on Netflix etc. in the target language. Listening to music in the target language will also help to improve comprehension and confidence. There are also a number of websites which students can access at home, both for homework and independent study in between lessons:
Your son/daughter will be issued with a login for this when they arrive in Year 7. Teachers will set specific homework tasks on Language Gym but it can also be used for independent study.
Your son/daughter will sign up to Quizlet in Year 7. All the vocabulary we teach in Key Stage 3 and 4 is uploaded for students to practise. Teachers will set specific homework tasks on Quizlet but it can also be used for independent study.
Students in Year 9 and above will have a login for sentencebuilders.com. Teachers will set specific homework tasks on the sentence builders website but it can also be used for independent study.
GCSE students can choose to do additional vocabulary practise using Seneca. They should search for the AQA course in French/Spanish and can then choose the topic they wish to practise.
This is a great resource for GCSE students wishing to practise their reading and listening skills. They should search for the AQA course in French/Spanish and can then choose the topic they want to practise.
In addition, GCSE French/Spanish Revision Guides are available to purchase via Parent Pay at a price of £3.99. We would strongly recommend that all GCSE students have a copy.