French, German or Spanish are the languages currently on offer at The Vale Academy. Students are allocated a language in Year 7 and study the same one throughout KS3. They continue with this language at GCSE, if they follow the English Baccalaureate pathway.
Although only a small department of 2 full time staff and 2 part time members of staff, all 3 languages are very well catered for.
Mrs. Holmes (Curriculum Leader) = French & Spanish
Mrs. Burnham = French, German & Spanish
Ms. Wells = French, German & Spanish
Ms. Cochrane = AS/A2 Spanish
Why study a modern foreign language
Learning a foreign language helps our students develop an understanding of the world we live and work in. Students learn to appreciate different countries, cultures and people which then enables them to make comparisons with their own society. The 4 aspects of language learning (listening, speaking, reading and writing) help students to express themselves and also explore the similarities between English and the language they are learning.
No one can predict the field of work they will go in to or what role a foreign language will play in their career, but having a GCSE in a foreign language can only enhance future career possibilities. Being able to communicate in another language is, quite simply, a lifelong skill, one which can be used throughout the world!
Students are allocated a language upon their arrival at the college and study it for the following 3 years. Language lessons allow the students to work in all 4 skill areas using a variety of engaging activities. Equipped with interactive whiteboards in every specialist classroom, staff use a range of software designed to support and extend language learning. Numerous topics are covered, enabling students to communicate at a personal level as well as being given more creative opportunities. MP3 technology is also being used to help student vocabulary and grammar learning at home.
The new AQA GCSE course places increased emphasis on speaking and writing skills. Students study 4 key areas :
- Home & Environment
- Work & Education
The content of the new GCSE course is much more interesting and relevant for today’s teenagers. Speaking is now teacher assessed and is done as mini speaking assignments as opposed to the daunting final exam. Writing is now assessed by the board but like speaking, is done as a series of written assignments throughout Years 10 & 11. Listening and reading are now the only final exams which, once again, benefit the students as hopefully, there will be less final exam stress and better performance!
New on line resources now allow students to work away from the classroom environment, further developing their skills as independent learners. The ‘Learning Platform’ as it is called, allows every student access to an on line text book, the same as is used in the classroom. This resource allows students to revisit work done that day, prepare for future lessons, learn vocabulary with the aid of native speakers and gain invaluable tips for the speaking and writing assignments. Staff also upload past exam papers onto the ‘Learning Platform’, allowing students to practise both the listening and reading elements of the exam, in the comfort of their own home. It’s quite simply an amazing resource!
September 2011 saw the MFL department introduce AS Spanish for the very first time and it is solely taught at the academy. Following the AQA course, Y12 students develop their foreign language learning in much greater depth but have the luxury of doing so in much smaller groups. Once again, the 4 key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are explored through 4 keys areas :
- Media (TV, Advertising, Communication Technology)
- Popular Culture (Cinema, Music, Fashion)
- Healthy Living (Sport, Health, Holidays)
- Relationships (Family, Friendships, Marriage)
Students also have access to a fantastic online resource called ‘Kerboodle’. Mirroring the text book, this resource allows them to practise listening and reading at home, as well as practising grammar, watching native speaker video clips and doing mini assessments. The ‘Learning Platform’ is also available for KS5 students with plenty of exam papers for them to practise, in preparation for their AS exams!
Following on from AS, A2 Spanish was introduced at the academy in September 2012. A2 explores the topics of :
- The Environment
- The Multicultural Society
- Contemporary Social Issues
In addition, students study 2 cultural aspects, chosen from the list below
- A Spanish speaking region or community
- A period of 20th century history from a Spanish speaking country
- The work of an author from a Spanish speaking country
- The work of a dramatist/poet from a Spanish speaking country
- The work of a director/architect/musician/painter, again from a Spanish speaking country
Through our joint sixth form, it is also possible to study AS/A2 French and German.
www.valeacademy.org (for access to the Learning Platform)
www.kerboodle.com (AS/A2 Spanish)
Potential future jobs using a MFL!
Don’t just think about teaching, translating, being an air hostess or a tour operator, technology has opened up the world! You can be based inLincolnshireyet email offices inBarcelona,Berlinand Marseille! Any job you can do in the UK can be done abroad; your foreign language will simply be your means of communication. So you could be an accountant in Paris, a physiotherapist for Real Madrid, an engineer in Germany, the possibilities are endless!
And finally . . . . . . . . . . . did you know?
94% of the world does not speak English as a 1st language and 75% of the world does not speak English at all!
Many famous people speak one if not more foreign languages!
JK Rowling speaks French, Portuguese and Spanish.
David Beckham speaks Spanish.
Kylie Minogue, Orlando Bloom and Jonny Wilkinson all speak French.
Arsene Wenger speaks French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese!
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” (Nelson Mandela)
H.Holmes (Sept 2012)