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Townley Modern Foreign Languages Teaching & Learning Curriculum Modern Foreign Languages

The Department believes in ensuring that every student enjoys full access to the language curriculum, has the opportunity to study French, German and/or Spanish and enjoys the highest standards of attainment of which they are capable.

We wish to encourage positive attitudes to language learning and to speakers of foreign languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisation.

We aim to develop students’ ability to use French, German, Spanish effectively for purposes of practical communication and to form a sound base of the skills, language and attitude required for further study, work and leisure. The Department encourages students to develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning. We believe in the importance of motivating students to take responsibility for their own learning and to develop greater independence and we promote skills of a more general application. We wish the student, through language learning, to experience enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.

Course Progression

Key Stage 3 Modern Foreign Languages

Year 7

In Year 7 pupils study either French, Spanish or German alongside Latin. This is dependent on the form they are placed in upon arrival to Townley. Pupils will be given the opportunity to experience another of the Modern Foreign Languages offered, as they progress through KS3.

Year 8

All students in Year 8 continue to learn French and either start a second modern language (German or Spanish) or continue with Latin which they start studying in Year 7 (please see the Classic Civilisation page for more detail on Latin). Students have two lessons per language in French, German and Spanish. In Year 8, students are taught in small class sizes of no more than twenty students to enable them to consolidate the foundations needed to start their GCSE in Year 9.

Key Stage 4 Modern Foreign Languages (GCSE)

A GCSE course in Modern Languages allows students to develop their ability to understand the spoken and written language and express themselves both orally and in writing. The topics studied include: Identity and culture; Local, national, international and global areas of interest; Current and future studies and employment.

Students’ skills are developed through a variety of activities, including giving presentations, group work, independent research, pair work, and the use of ICT. Students need to be prepared to develop their active and passive vocabularies and their knowledge, understanding and application of grammar.

Although students decide to continue with one or two modern languages at the end of Year 9.

In Year 9, student have two lessons per week and three lessons per week in Year 10 and Year 11.

Assessment Structure for French, German and Spanish

  • Paper 1: Listening Exam – Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language (25%). Questions are answered in both English and the Target Language.
  • Paper 2: Speaking Exam – Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes (25%)
  • Paper 3: Reading Exam – Understanding and responded to different types of written language (25%). Questions are answered in both English and the Target Language.
  • Paper 4: Writing Exam – Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes (25%)

It is Departmental policy to enter all pupils for the GCSE language examination. The Department follows the AQA syllabus for French, German and Spanish.

It is school policy to enable bi-lingual students to take the GCSE in their mother tongue. It is not always possible to cater for the speaking tests on the school site and in some cases a different Examination Board is used.


Key Stage 5 Modern Foreign Languages (A Level)

French, German and Spanish - AQA Exam Board

Course requirements

Students are expected to have achieved at least a Grade 6 at GCSE in their chosen language. They must also have some knowledge and understanding of the culture and way of life in that country. They need to be interested in developing this understanding and in exploring in much more depth the topic areas which they have covered at GCSE.

What do students learn on this course?

This course helps student develop their general study skills, but most of all, they learn to communicate at a higher level in the language which they have chosen. They also learn much more about a wide range of aspects of the society or societies in which the language is spoken.

What kind of student is this course suitable for?

This course is suitable for students who are interested in languages and communication, and enjoy learning about other cultures and ways of life. Similarly, students who are interested in the business world, in travel or tourism, in literature, or in journalism and the media are also likely to find the course appropriate. Whether students want to use their language for work, for further studies, training or for leisure, this course equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge.

The core content is as follows:

  • Aspects of French/German/Spanish society: current trends and current issues
  • Political and Artistic culture in the French/German/Spanish-speaking world
  • Grammar
  • Works: Literary texts and films

There are three exams:

  • Paper 1 – Listening, Reading and Translations 50%
  • Paper 2 – Writing 20%
  • Paper 3 – Speaking 30%

Related Careers

Translating, interpreting, finance, law, sales and marketing, engineering, tourism, leisure, public sector, the United Nations and the European Union, media, teaching (primary and secondary), linguistics, plus knowledge of a foreign language can allow you to pursue any career at an international level.

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