MFL - Français, Deutsch, Español, 中文
We are a team of well-qualified and committed linguists. We presently offer French, German, Spanish and Mandarin.
The languages team
Simon Floyd Head of Faculty for Modern Foreign Languages. Teacher of German, Spanish and Mandarin.
Ceri Jones Teacher of German and French.
Rachel Dutton Teacher of Spanish and German.
Ben Pennington Teacher of Spanish and German.
Alison Court Teacher of Spanish and French.
Stephanie Reid Teacher of French and Spanish.
Zonghui Gan Teacher of Mandarin.
Why study languages?
English is not enough; in fact most people in the world do not speak English! We are lucky to speak English, but in a smart and competitive world, exclusive reliance on English leaves the UK lagging behind other countries in some sectors. As opportunities to travel and work abroad continue to grow, the world is becoming a smaller place – you will find learning another language more and more useful, whatever you decide to do.
We seek to equip our students with the world passport they require to venture out into the world of work and explore the possibilities that commerce and travel have to offer. We aim to give our students the skills to understand and hold a conversation, to read and write a language, as well as learning about the country, its culture and way of life.
Languages are also important to help us to understand and empathise with the culture and lives of those from other countries. There are many French-, Spanish- and German-speaking countries all around the world. Mandarin Chinese is the mother tongue of over 873 million people, making it the most widely spoken first language in the world.
Some key facts to consider!
Over 60% of British trade is with non-English speaking countries.
You are more likely to be able to sell or work with foreign companies in their language.
Other European countries are aiming for skills in 3 languages.
On average, people who use languages in their jobs earn 8% more than their colleagues.
94% of the world’s population do not speak English as their mother tongue.
Our Curriculum Model
Year 7: ‘Taster’ sessions in 4 languages until Christmas (10 lessons of each). After Christmas, top band students will continue to study 2 of the languages that they have sampled. Lower band students will continue with one language to get a firm foundation in that area.
Year 8: Students will continue to study the language or languages that they studied in year 7. At the end of Year 8, students will opt to continue with one language into Year 9. Lower band students will continue with one language to get a firm foundation in that area.
Year 9: All students will continue with one of the languages that they have been studying in Year 8. We expect most students to opt for their chosen language as a GCSE option. There will also be provision for students who wish to continue studying two languages.
At GCSE level, students have the opportunity to continue their French, German, Spanish or Mandarin studies as long as they have already studied the language(s) at Key Stage 3.
We offer visits abroad to aid students in their language studies.
In years 9 and 10, students of German and Spanish are offered the opportunity to participate in an exchange with our partner schools. We have well-established links with a school in Barcelona and with a school in Immenstadt, Bavaria. This allows students to live in a German or Spanish family and immerse themselves fully in the different language and culture. These trips have proved very popular and are invaluable for GCSE success, particularly in speaking.
In 2016 we ran our first ever trip to China. Students visited Beijing, Shanghai, Mogan Mountain and Hangzhou, participating in a huge range of different activities. This proved to be an incredible success with students experiencing a completely different culture and gaining valuable experience of speaking Mandarin in ‘real life’. The next trip to China will be in May 2018.
In December 2017, 35 students visited Cologne in order to shop at the Christmas markets, visit the impressive Cologne Cathedral (including climbing to the top!), enjoy a cruise on the River Rhine, visit the chocolate museum and speak lots of German. Another trip to the German Christmas markets is planned in 2019.
We run regular lunchtime support in all languages. Key Stage 4 students are supported extensively during lunchtimes and after school with exam preparation and speaking practice offered in all languages.
Throughout the school year there are various language activities available to different year groups to promote a wider understanding of both language and culture, including celebration of the European Day of Languages on 28th September. As a school we take part in national and international foreign languages events such as the HSBC National Mandarin Speaking Competition, the Routes into Languages National Foreign Language Spelling Bee, MFL speaking competitions at the Royal High School in Bath, and the International Language Perfect World Championships.
The House Languages competition gives students the opportunity to extend their linguistic skills beyond the classroom and combine them with music and drama. Each house must create some form of entertainment in any language, under the guidance of the Year 10 and 11 Languages prefects, meaning that native languages may also be used and celebrated. This proves to be an ideal opportunity for our EAL students (those with English as an Additional Language) to share their knowledge, language skills and expertise.
GCSE French, German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese
As part of your GCSE course, you will study topics within these 5 broad themes:
You will spend time on activities which enable you to listen, speak, read and write in the foreign language, with a partner, in small groups with teachers or with outside help.
You will be assessed in the four main language skills:
25% LISTENING 25% READING 25% SPEAKING 25% WRITING.
All exams will take place at the end of Year 11.
LISTENING - 25% of final grade
This will incorporate a variety of comprehension exercises, including gap-fills, multiple-choice questions and answering in both English and the Target Language.
SPEAKING - 25% of final grade
For this exam, you will be able to prepare a presentation on one topic. You will then take part in a role-play and also answer some general conversation questions.
You will not have to perform in front of a class - just you, your teacher-examiner and a microphone so that your exam can be recorded and sent to the exam board for marking.
READING - 25% of final grade
There will be a range of different questions about different texts; multiple-choice exercises, gap-fills and longer answers in both English and the MFL. There will also be a question for translating into English on this paper.
WRITING - 25% of final grade
This exam will include translation into the MFL and short essays in that language. You will not be able to use a dictionary so there will be lots of practice of exam-writing techniques in your lessons.
Careers - where next?
A qualification in a language can be useful in a wide range of jobs:
· Charity work
· Hotels and catering
· Trade and commerce
· Transport and distribution and many more.
Remember that although a foreign language may not be essential for the career you choose, it is an important skill and well-recognised by employers and universities. Linguists are excellent communicators and employers will see you as an asset!