Languages

“A man who knows two languages is worth two men”

The world has become a much smaller place, thanks to technology and ease of travel. It is, therefore, crucial that we are able to speak to one another and appreciate different cultures.

Aims of the Modern Foreign Languages department at Weavers Academy:

  • For students to develop a passion for language learning
  • For students to have a strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language they are learning is spoken
  • For students to develop independence in their language learning

At Weavers, students study either French or Spanish at Key Stage 3 for three lessons a week, unless they follow the extra literacy programme. They build knowledge of vocabulary over a range of topics and they put different grammar rules into practice to develop their independence when learning a language. Their progress in all four skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) is regularly reviewed with a view to them being entered early for GCSE at the end of Year 9.

Key Stage 3
At Key stage 3 students work on a range of topics in French or Spanish in order to be able to:

  • Develop memory and vocabulary learning skills
  • Develop accurate pronunciation and knowledge of phonics (the sounds of a language)
  • Develop an understanding of grammar (noun, genders, articles, then verb tenses)
  • Develop their ability to adapt and manipulate the language they acquire

At Key stage 3 the following textbooks are used:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
French: Expo 1 Expo 2 Expo 3
Spanish: Mira Express 1 Mira Express 1 & 2 Mira Express 2

The internet offers a wide range of useful websites for students to practice their language skills. Here are two recommendations:

Key Stage 4
In an increasingly competitive employment market, a GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language can make a big difference to your future employment and mobility prospects, whatever your career plans may be. It also develops your self-confidence, your communication skills and your awareness of language in general.

The GCSE course builds on the knowledge and skills covered in Key Stage 3 and introduces you to a wider range of structures and topic areas, including:

  • Lifestyle (health and relationships)
  • Leisure (free time, media and holidays)
  • Environment (home and away)
  • Work (school, future plans and careers)

There is the potential to use a range of audio and visual resources and the use of ICT for independent study is encouraged.

Students will be informally assessed regularly, and asked to target specific areas for improvement.

Summative assessment takes the following form:

  • 20% listening exam
  • 20% reading exam
  • 30% speaking – 2 controlled tasks assessed by teacher
  • 30% writing – 2 tasks controlled conditions

A GCSE in a modern foreign language ensures an essential basis for progression to further study at AS/A level, and is a stepping-stone to the learning of other languages, not to mention plenty of interesting career and social opportunities.

You live a new life for every new language you speak.” ( Czech proverb)

At Key stage 4 the following textbooks are used:

  • French: Edexcel French
  • Spanish: Edexcel Spanish

The internet offers a wide range of useful websites for students to practice their language skills. Particularly recommended are:

Key Stage 5  French
The A-level French course focuses on developing and testing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. You will start by covering topics studied at GCSE in more depth before moving on to new topics looking at the wider society at A2

AS Level – ‘Society and me’
Listening/reading and writing paper – 35% of A2 marks
Speaking test= 15% of A2 marks

  • Media – Television, advertising, communication technology
  • Popular culture – Cinema, music, fashion/trends
  • Healthy living/lifestyle – Sport/exercise, health and well-being, holidays
  • Family/relationships – Relationships within the family, friendships, marriage/partnerships

A Level – The Wider Society
Listening/reading and writing paper= 35% of A2 marks
Speaking test= 15% of A2 marks

  • Environment – Pollution, energy, protecting the planet
  • The multicultural society – Immigration, integration, racism
  • Contemporary social issues – Wealth and poverty, law and order, impact of technical and scientific progress
  • Cultural topics which can be either the study of a film director, a playwright, an artist or a region of France

At Key Stage 5 we use Elan OCR as our French textbook.

The internet offers a wide range of useful websites for students to practice their language skills. Here are two sites we would recommend: