Modern Foreign Languages
Head of Department: Mr B Dyer
Why study a Modern Foreign Language?
Thanks to new technology and improved travel and communications, the world has become a much smaller place. It is crucial, therefore, that we learn to speak and understand each other. This can only be done effectively by learning other languages and appreciating different cultures. A GCSE in another language rewards practical communication skills and adds a European and/or international dimension to your studies. Learning another language can enhance your employment and mobility prospects whether you want a career in business, engineering, fashion or world class football! This is a multi-skills GCSE (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
Examination Board: Edexcel
What will I study?
You will enjoy this course if you want to study a subject that offers: a range of skills and a variety of activities with topics that include media and culture; sport and leisure; travel and tourism; business, work and employment. The Edexcel GCSE lets you make key choices. In consultation with your teacher, you choose the picture and the topic that will be used for part of the speaking exam and the written component contains a choice of topics. There is potential for linking work to ICT – ‘surfing the net’; sending emails; using multi-media facilities and other practical ICT applications will be actively encouraged. It will appeal to all types of students including those interested in travel, culture and people from different countries, as well as those who really enjoy communicating!
How does it follow on from what I learned before?
You will have already developed important language skills and knowledge at Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9). The GCSE course will build on this and introduce you to a wider range of language structures and vocabulary. You will learn to recognise these and apply your new knowledge to different contexts.
What about exams?
In the listening paper you will listen to messages, dialogues, announcements, discussions, narratives, etc. in the foreign language on a CD that has a pauses to give you time to write your answers. The reading paper will contain a variety of tasks covering the subjects studied during Years 10 and 11. Both papers have two tiers. The listening exam is worth 20% of the total exam and the reading exam is worth the same.
The speaking and writing controlled assessments are worth 30% each and are sat at the end of Year 11.
Examination Board: OCR
What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?
You will need to show competence in the foreign language skills of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You must have a reasonably sound knowledge of grammar and above all the desire to develop your linguistic skills.
What will I learn on this A level course?
The course will help you to develop your general study skills, but most of all you will learn to communicate at a higher level in the language that you have chosen. You will also learn much more about a wide range of aspects of the society or societies in which the language is spoken.
You will learn all the appropriate grammar, words and phrases that will help you to:
- present information in the target language
- organise your arguments
- provide opinions
- analyse your ideas
For what kind of student is this course suitable?
If you are interested in languages and communication, and you enjoy learning about other cultures and ways of life, then the Modern Foreign Languages course could be suitable for you. Whether you want to use language for work, for further study, training, or for leisure, this course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge.
How will I be learning?
You will study in small friendly classes using a wealth of material including textbooks, the Internet and a state of the art language lab. A French assistant(e) will also be in some of your lessons to help you develop your speaking skills. You will have a vast amount interactive listening and reading material at your disposal for class and self-study.
Year 12 AS Course
What exams do I have to take?
You will take two modules at the end of Year 12:
Unit 1: Speaking
Section A: Role Play (5 minutes)
The role-play is set within a business or domestic context, and may take place in Britain or the foreign country. Situations are of a kind requiring you to give practical information and advice, for example to a visitor.
Section B: Presentation and discussion of topic (10 minutes)
You are allowed to choose the topic you wish to discuss, but it must relate to aspects of the society or culture of a country or community where the language studied is spoken. You are also able to talk about a book instead of choosing a topic if you wish.
Unit 2: Listening, Reading and Writing (2 hours 30 minutes)
Section A: Listening and writing:
You listen to three recorded texts (up to 5 minutes in total). You can play these as often as you like. Some tasks require non-verbal (matching, box-ticking etc.) responses and some require answers in English. There is also some translation from English into French, German or Spanish related to the third text.
Section B: Reading and writing:
You will need to read three texts and respond to a variety of tasks:
- Text 1 – non-verbal responses
- Text 2 – short responses in French, German or Spanish
- Text 3 – summary answer and extended writing task in French, German or Spanish
Year 13 A2 Course
A level -The full A level qualification is made up of the AS units plus two more units which are studied at a higher level.
Unit 1: Speaking and Reading (15 minutes)
Section A: Discussion (5 - 6 minutes)
You will have 20 minutes before the examination to read and prepare responses to a short written stimulus in the foreign language. The stimulus may be taken from a newspaper or a periodical. You will then engage in discussion with the examiner and answer questions on the prepared text.
Section B: General Conversation (10 - 12 minutes)
You choose two different topics to talk about but will only talk about the second one if you are unable to sustain the discussion on your first topic. Your chosen topics should relate to aspects of the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of one or more of the countries or communities whose language is being studied.
Unit 2: Reading, Listening and Writing (2 hours 45 minutes)
Section A: Listening and writing
One or two extended listening texts are set (not exceeding 6 minutes). Questions are set in the target language and your responses are also in the target language.
Section B: Reading and writing
Two extended reading texts are set. Some exercises may involve a non-verbal response or English language questions, as well as a translation. There are also a set of questions requiring answers in the foreign language or other tasks such as finishing sentences, definitions etc.
Section C: Writing in the foreign Language and transfer from English
You will need to write an essay of 250 - 400 words on a prescribed topic.