Modern Foreign Languages
About the Department
We are a dynamic, forward thinking department, having a shared common vision and as a team we aim to:
- Achieve outstanding results.
- Ensure that each and every student enters a suitable environment, which is conducive to learning.
- Construct a unique experience, which allows students to communicate with the wider world
- Share good practice to support an articulate approach to teaching and learning.
- Give students an insight into different cultures and lifestyles.
- Deliver lessons using Smartboard technologies and the use of ICT.
- Spark a curiosity for extending language learning.
- Make strong links with subjects across the National Curriculum.
The MFL department is situated in rooms 28, 29 and 44. Each room has its own interactive Plasma TV with wireless internet connection. The classrooms available are of a good size and allow for flexible use of space in order to facilitate group work and cooperative learning. There are a set of textbooks (Mira Express for Spanish and the Expo series for French) in each of the rooms along with dictionaries and workbooks for supplementary studies. In the MFL office (between rooms 28 and 29) there is an extensive collection of French and Spanish novels, grammar books and revision guides along with vocabulary lists and interactive DVDs, which can be borrowed to further promote individual MFL study.
Languages offered at St Thomas More Catholic Academy.
Both French and Spanish are offered at the college. This ranges from KS3 through to KS5. The courses are innovative, intense and fast-paced, thus progress is effective and paramount. A GCSE in a modern foreign language is one of the most useful qualifications you can achieve and it is also one of the five subjects which make up the Ebacc.
Why study a modern foreign language at St Thomas More Catholic Academy?
There are a variety of good reasons why MFL is an important subject to study:
1. Languages teach you adaptability and communications skills.
Learning how to interact with speakers of other languages means you are less likely to be stuck in one mode of thinking. It can help you to see things from a range of perspectives - making you more adaptable, creative, and insightful. The ability to operate cross-culturally is very much valued by employers.
2. Cultural Understanding.
Speaking a new language helps you to get to know another people and culture, as language and culture go hand in hand.
3. Languages give you the edge on your competitors.
Today there is a global market for jobs. Speaking more than one language is a skill which will increase your marketability. Schools, Universities and employers tend to prefer candidates who speak one or more foreign languages. Further study in a language can also lead to many, varied careers from working with MI5 to working in Marketing for an international company, from flying high as a member of cabin crew to event management at the NEC, from a high-powered job in recruitment to volunteering at the 2012 Olympics – the possibilities are endless.
4. Language Enhancement
Learning another language can help you to understand grammatical and linguistic aspects of your own. You will develop your English grammar for example as having a good basis of your mother tongue will help you to make direct links with the target language that you are aiming to perfect.
The topic areas for GCSE French and Spanish are as follows:
1) Lifestyle – Health and relationship/ choices.
2) Leisure – Free time, the media and holidays.
3) Home and Environment – Local area and environmental issues.
4) Work and education – School/ college and future plans/ Future careers.
Assessment and Examination for GCSE MFL
Listening – Examination (20%)
Reading – Examination (20%)
Writing – Controlled assessment (30%)
Speaking – Controlled assessment (30%)
We currently offer an MFL club on Monday lunchtimes for Y7&8 and we are now introducing extra revision session and spotlight groups for the GCSE classes on a Monday night.
In the forthcoming years, as a department we hope to introduce more trips abroad to France and possibly Spain. Also the idea of having a French exchange is something which the department is looking into.
As a department, we work hard to ensure that the language learning experience for all our students is enjoyable, challenging and motivating both in and out of the classroom. The experience of learning languages at St Thomas More Catholic Academy acts as a springboard to studying languages at university or in leisure time later in life.