Modern Foreign Languages

University Academy, Kidsgrove Photographer: Anthony McArdle - 07884 334 834.

The Modern Foreign Languages department is committed to promoting the learning of foreign languages and developing the inter-cultural understanding of all students from Year 7 and beyond. The department consists of enthusiastic and experienced linguists who work hard to make language learning accessible to all and fun! Languages help to develop skills in communication, literacy, numeracy and memorisation.

In Year 10, students can choose French and/or Spanish as a GCSE subject. At GCSE level, students continue to build their communication skills and their confidence in their language learning. They develop their understanding of grammar and are able to listen and read longer and more authentic texts.

Topics covered at this level include:

  • TV and film
  • Free time activities
  • Talking about a past holiday
  • Culture
  • Relationships and personality
  • Clothes and fashion
  • Festivals

At GCSE level, students are assessed in all four skills. They are required to complete two controlled writing assessments, two controlled speaking assessments during normal lesson time throughout the course and a listening and a reading exam at the end of Year 11.

Class time is spent studying texts specific to the above topics.  Students practise listening to French and Spanish and preparing their own speaking and writing performances.  Film is used to introduce students to various aspects of these different cultures, and to give extra exposure to the language.  Students also embed vocabulary through participating in a range of consolidation activities and games.

The department boasts a wide range of resources in their classrooms to be used as an aid to students’ learning including CDs, text books, dictionaries and DVDs, as well as subscriptions to websites which students can access from home.

How are Modern Foreign Languages useful beyond school?

There are many opportunities for people who have the ability to communicate in one or more foreign language in the world of work.

Companies are not looking for perfect linguists.  They are, however, looking for people who have the ability to communicate and to empathise with people in other parts of the world.  When you learn a language, you also learn about other cultures, which can prove really valuable in the world of work and a qualification in a Modern Foreign Language will always stand out on CV or job application.

The ability to speak a Modern Foreign Language can open the world to you, not only socially, but also for your future and your work.

French is the mother tongue of 75 million people.

With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world’s No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. It is slightly ahead of English (328 million).

Only one third of UK graduates are confident enough to go abroad to work, compared to the two thirds of their counterparts in other European countries. This means UK graduates are not gaining the international experience to bring back to employers in the UK and enrich their skills base.

Only 6% of the world’s population are native English speakers.  75% speak no English at all.

Graduates in languages have lower rates of unemployment than those in many other disciplines. This is evidence of the wide range of skills and attributes developed through language learning which are valued by employers.