"Monolingualism can be cured."
At Kirkham Grammar School we aim to encourage our pupils to understand and communicate at an appropriate level in French, German and Spanish, countering the all-too popular notion that the British cannot speak other languages. All pupils are also encouraged to gain an understanding of and an insight into contemporary France, Germany and Spain.
Appropriate ICT tasks are offered at all levels on a regular basis to practice and extend material taught.
We offer modern language teaching which is both rigorous and enjoyable to foster good learning and promote a European perspective.
French and German topics covered include self, family and friends, school, house and home, travel, shopping, leisure, lifestyle and health. Grammar covered includes the present, imperfect, perfect and future tenses, adjectives and pronouns.
Spanish topics include greetings, numbers, family, food and drink, describing people, hobbies and school. Grammar covered includes present, past and future tenses, negatives, questions and instructions.
French, German and Spanish
The syllabus covers topics within three broad themes:
- Identity and culture;
- Local, national, international and global areas of interest; and
- Current and future study and employment.
Grammar topics covered in the Lower School are revisited, along with additional tenses and, where appropriate, the more complex grammar concepts required for the highest grades at GCSE.
French, German and Spanish
The syllabus explores a range of topics within the wider themes of social issues and trends, political and artistic culture, and literary texts and films.
Grammar covered at GCSE is revisited and extended, to include more advanced language concepts such as the passive, subjunctive and modality.
Linguistic and cultural activities and events to complement curriculum themes.
European Trips to France, Germany and Spain.
French, German and Spanish are offered at A Level.
Why consider a foreign language at A Level?
A recent report from the Department of Trade and Industry states that: "UK exports are adversely affected by barriers in language or cultural ignorance. Over 20% of employers reported a sharp increase in the need for language skills in their workforces. There is already a serious shortage of English mother-tongue interpreters, translators and language specialists in industry and commerce. A thorough knowledge of one or more languages is now a life skill in multi-cultural Britain and a globalised economy".
The United Kingdom is the only country in the EU where the study of a foreign language post-16 is not commonplace, and so British pupils who have a post-16 qualification in a foreign language are at a distinct advantage in the jobs market.
The study of one or more foreign languages at A Level is an enjoyable, challenging and intellectually stimulating activity in itself and is also a valuable additional skill when studied alongside any combination of other subjects.
The A Level qualification has value as an additional skill in any portfolio of subjects, but is also the passport to a great variety of university courses involving language study, ranging from the traditional specialist language and literature courses through to combinations involving management, law, business, other arts subjects and even sciences. Language graduates are among the highest performers in terms of employability after graduation.
The Sixth Form course in these languages at A Level ensures a smooth transition from GCSE to A Level, revising and extending the topic areas and skills mastered at GCSE, before moving onto the more complex and intellectually demanding work.
The Department currently follows the AQA specification. Full details of the content, sample papers and mark schemes can be obtained online at www.aqa.co.uk.
The French, German and Spanish courses follow the AQA specification.
The topics covered are:
1. Social issues and trends
2. Political and artistic culture
4. Literary texts and films
The assessments are:
Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing. 50% of A Level.
Paper 2: Writing. 20% of A Level
Paper 3: Speaking. 30% of A Level
Using your languages at work does not mean being just a teacher, translator or interpreter although these jobs make for an extremely interesting career. It can mean working in one of many industries, in which your languages, combined with expertise in another field, can really help you to progress. It is a multilingual world and British companies are increasingly aware of the advantages of recruiting people with language skills. It is true that a lot of people speak English, but most of the world does not – there are over 300 other languages spoken in London alone.