Why study a language?
Did you know that there are roughly 6,900 living languages in the world? Europe alone has 234 languages spoken on a daily basis. It is a multilingual world – not everyone speaks English. 94% of the world does NOT speak English as their first language and 75% of the world does not speak English at all.
- When you learn another language, you are able to get a real cultural insight and understanding
- In today’s global economy, knowing another language really gives you a competitive edge when applying for a job
- Educational research shows that results in English and Maths are higher for students who study a foreign language.
Most pupils will have the opportunity to study both French and German in their first two years at Tabor, allowing them to then choose which of the two they would like to study in Year 9 and then take forward to GCSE. By the end of their third year pupils will have become proficient in speaking, writing, reading and listening in their chosen language, will be competent in three tenses and a broad range of topics and vocabulary, giving them a firm foundation for embarking on the GCSE course. In accordance with the new KS3 languages curriculum, pupils will enjoy regular dictation and translation tasks, as well as exposure to authentic French and German materials and selected examples of literature.
Pupils will take forward their chosen language into Year 10, where, over a two year course, they will further develop and sharpen their skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing within topics such as sport, free time and entertainment, media and youth culture as well as knowing about everyday activities, routines, holidays, hobbies, health and fitness. The department is committed to ensuring that every languages student achieves their potential and understands how their languages qualification can work for them in their future career.
How will I be assessed?
For those currently in Year 11, the speaking and writing components make up 60% of the final grade, and are assessed as and when topics are completed throughout the two year GCSE study period. The listening and reading components are assessed with examination papers at the end of the course, and make up 40%. For those students in Year 10 and below we will be teaching to the new GCSE course for the first examination in 2018. There is no coursework in the new exam and to prepare students for this we have incorporated some of the new style GCSE questions and activities into the topics they have completed already in Years 7 to 9.
What can help me in language learning?
The key to being a successful language learner is regular speaking and listening practice and the best way to do this is to use technology. We encourage students to listen to music from the target language country, watch their favourite films in the target language (if they know the film well then they won’t even need subtitles) and speak what they hear over and over so that they can perfect a really good accent and intonation. Other tips include using the links below to practise vocabulary and grammar. There is so much out there to help; whether your child is interested in dance, computers games, horses, cars, football or fishing there will be a Youtube video in French or German about.
We have always had a history at Tabor of supporting students to take a GCSE in a language, other than English, which is spoken at home and this year we have been able to offer a record number of GCSEs in community languages with seven students taking Polish, three taking Portuguese, two taking Turkish, one taking Italian and one taking Spanish. Miss Zelazo, Mr Mahy and Mr Pennington in the MFL department have been working with these students to fully prepare them for the exams. If you have any questions about community languages please direct these to your child’s language teacher or a member of the MFL team.