Modern Languages

September 18th, 2017

Welcome to Modern Languages

Nelson-MandelaIt has never been easier to travel, study and work abroad and consequently there has been an increasing demand from employers for people who have a knowledge of one or more foreign languages.Learning a language is fun! It helps people understand how their own language works. Britain is a global market and employers consider the ability to communicate in and understand another language a real asset. According to recent research, people who have a language qualification earn 10-12% more each year than people who don’t! Languages are definitely worthwhile!

We hope to foster a love of language, an eagerness to communicate and openness to other cultures. Our members of staff are keen to pass on their expertise and enthusiasm. Every classroom is equipped with a Smartboard, we have easy access to an IT room and a lot of support is available around our department with posters, word walls and word mats.

Video Prospectus – Modern Languages Department

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum incorporates opportunities for students to learn about the history and culture of the country they are studying as well as develop linguistic competence over the five years at Harrow Way Community School. The principal objective of the language course is to develop each student’s ability to use the French or Spanish language effectively for practical communication: preparing for everyday situations, problem solving, offering opinions, and understanding information from letters and the internet, comparing your lifestyle to that of a French or Spanish teenager. Students develop four key skills: listening; reading; speaking and writing. There is also a focus on grammar and translation skills.

We also believe that cross curricular activities are great to broaden the learning and make languages even more relevant to our students. We are pleased to say that a trip to France or Spain is offered to KS4 students every year and that we celebrate languages in our school as a community with Language Day (26th of September) and Bastille Day (14th of July).

Year 7 French
We aim to develop a range of language learning skills throughout the year consolidating the skills learned at primary school. Students are introduced to a wide variety of texts and activities, following an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Teachers use a range of working styles, from small groups to paired and individual activities. By the end of the year, students will have a range of vocabulary and, with some support, be able to use simple spoken and written language to communicate with each other. By the time they begin their GCSE course, we wish students to be able to work independently so in Year 7 we will begin to teach key skills and strategies (such as phonics) to support them. There will be opportunities for them to read independently in the foreign language.

The topics include the basics: personal information, likes / dislikes before studying hobbies, sports, school, places in a town, simple directions and describing holiday plans.

Grammar includes knowledge of cognates, gender, pronouns, agreements, quantifiers, time markers, present tense and a brief introduction to the past tense.

Many different resources are used and we make our Studio 1 textbook available on VLE. We use a range of websites such as www.linguascope.com and YouTube as well as props and authentic resources such as the story “Le Petit Nicolas”.

Year 7 Spanish
In Harrow Way we are now very excited to offer Spanish from Year 7! We aim to develop a range of language learning skills and students are introduced to a wide variety of texts and activities, following an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Teachers use a range of working styles, from small groups to paired and individual activities. By the end of the year, students will have a range of vocabulary and, with some support, be able to use simple spoken and written language to communicate with each other. By the time they begin their GCSE course, we wish students to be able to work independently so in Year 7 we will begin to teach key skills and strategies (such as phonics) to support them. There will be opportunities for them to read independently in the foreign language.

The topics include the basics: personal information, likes / dislikes before studying hobbies, sports, family and friends, school, and places in a town.

Year 8 French
With the aim of advancing their language learning skills, students are encouraged to build on the skills acquired in Year 7. Students will explore more complex texts and activities following an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. By the end of the year, students will have an established vocabulary and be able to use spoken and written language to communicate with each other. They will be able to see links in language and should begin to decipher unfamiliar vocabulary for themselves. There will be further opportunities for them to read independently in the foreign language. The topics covered include leisure activities such as the cinema, the internet, music; describing clothes, planning a visit to Paris and describing our home environment.

Grammar includes more present tense, negatives, more agreements, comparisons, prepositions, past and near future tense.

Many different resources are used and we make our Studio 2 textbook available on VLE. We also study the film “Les Choristes” with a booklet that reinforces the key language aspects we study during the year.

Key Stage 4

GCSE French

Year 9 French
Students develop more specific skills and deepen their knowledge of the language by continuing an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing but they will also have the opportunity to work more independently from the teacher. Studying more complex texts, students will have an excellent grounding in grammar and be able to produce more sophisticated pieces of work. By the end of the year, students will have an established vocabulary and be able to use spoken and written language to communicate with each other with confidence. Greater detail is expected in their listening and reading comprehension as well as their writing and speaking performance.

Students start working with the foundation GCSE textbook and study the topics of personal information, relationships, leisure activities, interests, technologies, places as well as the home environment more in-depth.

Grammar includes present tense, past tense, possessive adjectives and reinforcement of the near future, comparatives, and negatives.

More authentic resources are available and we make our EDEXCEL GCSE textbook available on VLE. We widen our use of linguascope.com, vocabexpress.com and authentic resources on YouTube as well as the film “La Famille Bélier”.

Year 9 French
The syllabus in y9 Spanish is specifically designed for an express course for beginners. In Year 9, the students will cover all the basics, give personal information about themselves, study the school topic as well as the topic of town which covers some useful phrases such as ordering food and booking tickets, which can be handy for the few who might not choose to pursue the language at GCSE level. Grammar includes giving opinions, negatives, adjectives, present tense, near future and an introduction to the past tense.

We will use the Viva beginner textbook as well as the Foundation GCSE Edexcel book.
By the end of the year, students will have a reasonable range of vocabulary and be able to use spoken and written language to communicate with each other with some confidence.

We will also use more and more authentic material to broaden the student’s knowledge of Spanish culture. Linguascope will also be available for all the students to reinforce their vocabulary.

Year 10 & 11 French and Spanish
Students start preparing for the GCSE exam in earnest. In lessons, students are encouraged to speak the target language at every opportunity and there are weekly learning home-works to improve their vocabulary. Students are also taught about the culture of France, Germany or Spain and are encouraged to take an interest in European current affairs. They sharpen their listening and reading comprehension and work to make their writing and speaking performances more elaborate. The key aims of the GCSE are to enable students to develop:

  • an understanding of French/Spanish in a variety of contexts
  • transferable language learning skills
  • the ability to communicate effectively in French/Spanish
  • awareness and understanding of countries and communities where French/Spanish is spoken

The Edexcel Language GCSE qualification requires students to:

  • listen and respond to different types of spoken language
  • communicate in speech for a variety of purposes
  • read and respond to different types of written language
  • communicate in writing for a variety of purposes
  • use and understand a range of vocabulary and structures
  • understand and apply the grammar of the language, as detailed in the syllabus.

The topics covered are Sport & Leisure; Media & Culture, Travel and Tourism and Business, Work and Employment. Grammar includes the proper future tense, imperfect, conditional and complex structures.

In Year 11, students will have the access to examination practice papers during Spring and Summer terms.

In addition to the EDEXCEL GCSE textbook available on VLE, we continue to use linguascope.com, vocabexpress.com, duolingo and Voki as well as authentic resources on YouTube. We study the films “Intouchables” and “Amélie”.

The Edexcel GCSE French and the Edexcel Spanish exam is split into four categories, which are assessed individually. It is a terminal examination taken at the end of Year 11. Here is a breakdown of each category:

Listening: to understand specific details and to extract information from announcements, instructions as well as elicit implied meaning in more complex texts.
Speaking: to respond to questions and to elicit information. To be able to describe a photograph and participate in a role play. To give a range of opinions and hold short conversations.
Reading: to understand instructions, signs and notices, and to extract information from brochures, letters, etc. There is a translation element from French/ Spanish to English.
Writing: to convey and to elicit relevant information. There is usually a short answer question (30 words); a long answer question (50 words) and an essay (100-150 words). There is also a short prose task from English into French / Spanish.

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