Modern Foreign Languages

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Modern Foreign Languages 2016-12-08T14:36:55+00:00

Modern Foreign Languages

“Learning a language makes our minds stronger and more flexible.  Actually using it gives us an entirely new experience of the world.”                                                                                                          John Cleese.

Two Modern Foreign Languages, French and German, are studied at GCSE and A Level.

The MFL Department believes that language learning should be relevant, enjoyable, ‘hands-on’, skills-based and above all fun. We are passionate about fostering a love for languages and culture in our students and every year our pupils use their knowledge when they travel abroad with us on trips and many of our sixth -formers continue their language studies at university. We run a trip to Paris for the younger pupils, a German exchange to our twin town, Blaubeuren, for Years 9-11 and work experience abroad to France and Germany for the sixth form.  The Department run a Language Module for all sixth formers in Year12 as part of their Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification, where the seminars have included French, German, Italian and Japanese.

Computer rooms are regularly booked for pupils’ independent work and interactive or multi-media sessions. Extensive use is made of film and Internet TV to broaden pupils’ cultural knowledge, provide up to date information and increase the motivation to learn. Material is available on the school’s VLE. There is a weekly Languages Club, at times, peer led with a  variety of activities and competitions throughout the year, including the  annual European Day of Languages activities held in September.

Key Stage 3

Pupils who join in Year 7 study French as their first modern foreign language. All pupils have individual booklets and learn through the communicative approach with the aid of PowerPoint and multi-media resources. In Year 8 and 9 all pupils also study German and continue with the two languages until they make their option choices at the end of Year 9. At Key Stage 3 classroom learning is reinforced with regular homework from their homework task lists and access to interactive packages through our Linguascope subscription.

Key Stage 4: GCSE

Pupils choose either French or German or both languages and follow the WJEC examination course, using the latest resources and software. The aim of the course is to equip pupils with the skills needed to take their place in a multi-lingual, global society. Their written and spoken work is assessed through controlled assessments as part of the pupils’ independent study and coursework and the listening and reading skills are examined externally.

 

Key Stage 5: AS and A Level

Students may study one or both of their languages up to AS or A Level. In both French and German the emphasis is on improving linguistic skills and encouraging students to develop their interest and enthusiasm for language learning. Students can choose the direction of study to suit their personal interest by taking the Film, Literature or Tourism options.

 

German: what does it actually involve?

The aim of the course is to derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning and develop skills to allow pupils to take their place in a multilingual, global society. It involves understanding and using language, developing language-learning skills and an awareness of the country and communities where the language is spoken.

What do pupils have to do in a lesson?

Pupils have to use all four skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing in the broad context of these topics:

Personal and Social Life

  • The Local Community
  • The World of Work
  • The Wider World

In addition pupils are expected to do the following:

  • be prepared to work with a partner or in groups on a topic or theme.
  • give presentations and take part in discussions in the language.
  • undertake independent research using your ICT skills.
  • access audio files and download listening and reading material.
  • use notes, dictionaries, online dictionaries, and glossaries to complete
  • develop critical linguistic thinking skills when deciphering meaning and structure of
  • use Moodle to complete homework assignments and interactive activities.
  • bring a ring binder file to each lesson and keep all work neatly in their file.
  • keep your work in the following sections: Topic  Work; Vocabulary; Grammar  Notes; Exam  practice/Tests; Assessment  Record Sheets.

How are pupils assessed?

Assessment is tiered and students can take components at Higher or Foundation tier or any combination. Grades available at Higher are A*- D and for all Foundation papers they are C-G. 40% of the assessment must be taken at the end of the course but it may be appropriate to take some papers early and this can be decided during the course. A student may retake a Unit/Paper only once but they may take the whole qualification more than once.

Summary of Assessment

Unit 1 Listening 20% (External Examination) Written Paper

35 mins Foundation/45 mins Higher. No dictionary allowed.

Passages played on CD with tick    box, multi-choice and written responses.

 

Unit 2 Speaking 30% (Controlled Assessment) 10 – 12 mins in total for    Foundation and Higher2 Tasks  a) Structured conversation         b) Presentation

Preparation in class and   assessment with the teacher. Students allowed to be assessed more than once and submit best mark.

 

Unit 3 Reading 20% (External Examination) Written Paper

35 mins Foundation/45 mins Higher. No dictionary allowed.

Students respond to passages such as e-mails, messages, signs and magazine articles.

 

Unit 4 Writing 30% (Controlled Assessment)

2 written pieces prepared in class with access to notes, dictionary etc.

200 – 250 words in total for Foundation

400 – 600 words in total for Higher.

 

French: what does it actually involve?

The aim of the course is to derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning and develop skills to allow pupils to take their place in a multilingual, global society. It involves understanding and using language, developing language-learning skills and an awareness of the country and communities where the language is spoken.

What do pupils have to do in a lesson?

Pupils have to use all four skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing in  the broad context of these topics:

  • Personal and Social Life
  • The Local Community
  • The World of Work
  • The Wider World

In addition pupils are expected to do the following:

  • be prepared to work with a partner or in groups on a topic or theme.
  • give presentations and take part in discussions in the language.
  • undertake independent research using your ICT skills.
  • access audio files and download listening and reading material.
  • use notes, dictionaries, online dictionaries, and glossaries to complete assignments.
  • develop critical linguistic thinking skills when deciphering meaning and structure of language.
  • use Moodle to complete homework assignments and interactive activities. Bring a ring binder file to each lesson and keep all work neatly in their file.
  • Keep your work in the following sections: Topic Work; Vocabulary; Grammar  Notes; Exam  practice/Tests; Assessment Record Sheets

How are pupils assessed?

Assessment is tiered and students can take components at Higher or Foundation tier or any combination. Grades available at Higher are A*-D and for all Foundation papers they are C-G. 40% of the assessment must be taken at the end of the course but it may be appropriate to  take some papers early and this can be decided during the course. A student may retake a Unit/Paper only once but they may take the whole qualification more than once.

Summary of Assessment

Unit 1 Listening 20% (External Examination) Written Paper

35 mins Foundation/45 mins Higher.  No dictionary allowed.

Passages played on CD with tick box, multi-choice and written responses.

 

Unit 2 Speaking 30% (Controlled Assessment) 10 – 12 mins in total for    Foundation and Higher

Two tasks:  a) Structured conversation b) Presentation

Preparation in class and assessment with the teacher. Students allowed to be assessed more than once and submit best mark.

 

Unit 3 Reading 20% (External Examination) Written Paper

35 mins Foundation/45 mins Higher. No dictionary allowed.

Students respond to passages such as e-mails, messages, signs and magazine articles.

 

Unit 4 Writing 30% (Controlled Assessment)

Two written pieces prepared in class with access to notes, dictionary etc.

200 – 250 words in total for Foundation

400 – 600 words in total for Higher.

 

French

Course Aims and Content

Language AS and A Level courses naturally enhance European awareness and the work is designed to encourage students to develop an interest and enthusiasm for language leaning and an understanding of the contemporary society and culture of France and French-speaking countries. The language skills of students are developed by exploring and understanding topics within the contemporary society of France and French-speaking countries.

Topics covered are:

AS

  • Leisure and Lifestyles, including travel and tourism, sport, hobbies, entertainment, customs, traditions, healthy-living – health and nutrition, diet and exercise; unhealthy living – drugs, aids, smoking, alcohol, etc.
  • The Individual and Society, including relationships and responsibilities, gender issues, youth culture  (values, peer groups, fashions and trends etc), education, vocational training  and future careers.

A Level

  • Environmental Issues, including technology pollution, global warming, transport, energy, nuclear energy, renewable energies, conservation, recycling, and sustainability.
  • Social and Political Issues, including the role of the media, racism, immigration, social exclusion and integration, terrorism, world of work (employment, commerce, globalisation, )

At A level the additional Guided Studies Option allows the student to study one or two choices from a prescribed list of either The World of Cinema or The World of Literature or The Regions of France. This develops the student’s personal interest and independent study skills. The Guided Study choices are examined in the oral exposé and the essay at A Level.

Nature of the Work

Language learning is active, practical and involving as well as being an academic challenge to our students.  We expect students to speak in the target language as much as possible during lessons and to listen to and respond to authentic material from a variety of media. Written work takes the form of discursive essay writing on topical issues. Students are expected to purchase language magazines and CD material and a good dictionary and to keep an organised file of work. Students may need to download material or use the school’s ‘Moodle’ site, an interactive learning resource, and e-mail assignments to their teacher. Video-conferencing with other A Level students at home or abroad is an exciting development for language learning and is used for regular contact. The Faculty run work experience abroad and encourage all students to take part.

Internal Assessment and Recording

Students have regular grammar and vocabulary tests throughout the course and two full assessments during the course of each year. All marks and assessment grades are recorded on the student’s own personal record sheet and progress in each skill and topic is evaluated at the end of each term.

 

Final Assessment

The AS qualification is reported on a five-grade scale of A, B, C, D, E. The A Level will be reported on a six-grade scale of A*, A, B, C, D, E. The A* will provide recognition of additional demands presented by the A2 units.

 

This specification is divided into a total of 4 units, 2 AS units and 2 A2 units. Weighting noted below are expressed in terms of full A Level qualification.

Students are able to re-sit FN2 in the January of the A Level year and FN 1 and 2 in the June of the final year.

AS (2 units)

FN1   20%            12-15 minutes oral

Examiner-led discussion of topics and general conversation

 

FN2    30%           2½ hours Listening, Reading and Writing

  • Listening and responding
  • Reading and responding
  • Grammar tasks
  • Translation Target Language – English
  • Essay

 

A Level (the above plus a further 2 units)

 

FN3     20%          15-20 minutes oral

Structured Discussion and Exposé

 

FN4      30%         3 hours Listening, Reading and Writing

  • Listening and Responding
  • Reading and Responding
  • Translation English – target language
  • Guided Studies Essay

 

German

Course Aims and Content

Language AS and A Level courses naturally enhance European awareness and the work is designed to encourage students to develop an interest and enthusiasm for language leaning and an understanding of the contemporary society and culture of Germany and German-speaking  countries. The language skills of students are developed by exploring and understanding topics within the contemporary society of Germany and German-speaking countries.

Topics covered are:

AS

  • Leisure and Lifestyles, including travel and tourism, sport, hobbies, entertainment, customs, traditions, healthy-living – health and nutrition, diet and exercise; unhealthy living – drugs, aids, smoking, alcohol, etc.
  • The Individual and Society, including relationships and responsibilities, gender issues, youth culture  (values, peer groups, fashions and trends, etc.), education, vocational training  and future careers.

A Level

  • Environmental Issues, including technology pollution, global warming, transport, energy, nuclear energy, renewable energies, conservation, recycling, and sustainability.
  • Social and Political Issues, including the role of the media, racism, immigration, social exclusion and integration, terrorism, world of work (employment, commerce, globalisation, etc.)

At A level the additional Guided Studies Option allows the student to study one or two choices from a prescribed list of either The World of Cinema or The World of Literature or The Regions of Germany. This develops the student’s personal interest and independent study skills. The Guided Study choices are examined in the oral exposé and the essay at A Level.

Nature of the Work

Language learning is active, practical and involving as well as being an academic challenge to our students.  We expect students to speak in the target language as much as possible during lessons and to listen to and respond to authentic material from a variety of media. Written work takes the form of discursive essay writing on topical issues. Students are expected to purchase language magazines and CD material and a good dictionary and to keep an organised file of work. Students may need to download material or use ‘Moodle’ site, an interactive learning resource, and e-mail assignments to their teacher. Video-conferencing with other A Level students at home or abroad is an exciting development for language learning and is used for regular contact. The Faculty run work experience abroad and encourage all students to take part.

Internal Assessment and Recording

The students will have regular grammar and vocabulary tests throughout the course and two full assessments during the course of each year. All marks and assessment grades are recorded on the student’s own personal record sheet and progress in each skill and topic is evaluated at the end of each term.

 

Final Assessment

The AS qualification is reported on  a five-grade scale of A, B, C, D, E. The A Level will be reported on a six-grade scale of A*, A, B, C, D, E. The A* will provide recognition of additional demands presented by the A2 units. This specification is divided into a total of 4 units, 2 AS units and 2 A2 units. Weighting noted below are expressed in terms of full A Level qualification.

Students are able to re-sit GN2 in the January of the A Level year and GN 1 and 2 in the June of the final year.

  AS (2 units)

GN1   20%   12-15 minutes oral

Examiner-led discussion of topics and general conversation

 

GN2    30%           2½ hours Listening, Reading and Writing

  • Listening and responding
  • Reading and responding
  • Grammar tasks
  • Translation Target Language – English
  • Essay

A Level (the above plus a further 2 units)

GN3     20%       15-20 minutes oral

Structured Discussion and Eposé

 

GN4      30%         3 hours Listening    Reading and Writing

  • Listening and Responding
  • Reading and Responding
  • Translation English – target language
  • Guided Studies Essay