Languages

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.

-Frank Smith

Pupils benefit from native speakers and foreign language assistants

Trips to France, Spain and local restaurant and cafes with foreign language speaking staff.

Language Leader programme enabling senior pupils to assist with younger pupils.

Pupils are taught French and Spanish with further options in key Stage 5.

Our philosophy is based on our belief that Modern Languages are an essential, indeed central, part of the school curriculum.

Key Stage 3

The school has a policy of diversification of language provision. Currently, pupils in Years 7-9 study French and Spanish.

The delivery of Modern languages at Key Stage 3 follows National Curriculum guidelines and our philosophy is to make language learning meaningful and fun through a wide variety of teaching and learning styles and stimuli.

At the end of Key Stage 3 in both languages, pupils will have begun to develop sound language learning skills and to become familiar with the grammar underpinning the language. With increasing confidence and competence, in written and spoken forms of the language they will be able to listen and respond to role-play and conversations and to express opinions about a range of topics from their family to holidays or even to environmental concerns! They will also be able to read short texts or stories and respond at some length using at least two tenses. Equal attention is given to all four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

As a department we encourage the use of the target language as much as possible in the classroom and beyond, both by teachers and pupils. This we believe provides a stimulating environment where languages are experienced in a relevant and enjoyable context.

In addition, the Key Stage 3 course provides a very strong foundation for GCSE and post 16-language study. All pupils are required to continue with a Modern Foreign Language to GCSE level.

French

Our own Preparatory School, indeed Pre-Preparatory, as well as many of our feeder schools have French on their curriculum. Therefore after a few weeks we set pupils in Year 7 to fast track those who have successfully learnt French for several years.

Each year group is divided into a number of sets – usually two/three. Setting is regularly reviewed throughout Key Stage 3. They have 3 (30 minutes) lessons a week. Pupils in Year 9/10 are offered the opportunity to participate in a 5/6-days trip to France in the summer term.

Spanish

Spanish is offered from scratch in Year 7. We will assume that pupils have little or no previous knowledge of the language. Each year group is divided into a number of sets. Setting is regularly reviewed throughout Key Stage 3. They have 3 (30 minutes) lessons a week. Pupils in Year 9/10 are offered the opportunity to participate in a 5/6-days trip to Spain in the summer term.

GCSE

Studying a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE is a core component of a KS4 pupil’s curriculum.

Pupils may choose French or Spanish. Students wishing to study both languages will choose French as their core language and Spanish as one of their options. For details of Spanish, please see the Option Subjects.

Course Content: French & Spanish

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based:
Theme 1: Identity and culture.
Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest.
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.

 

Assessment

GCSE Spanish/French has a Foundation Tier (Grades 1 – 5) and a Higher Tier (Grades 4 – 9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

Paper 1 (Listening): Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language
(Written exam, 35 minutes for Foundation Tier, 45 minutes for Higher Tier, 25% of grade)

Paper 2 (Speaking): Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes
(Non-exam assessment, 7-9 minutes for Foundation Tier, 10-12 minutes for Higher Tier, 25% of grade)

Paper 3 (Reading): Understanding and responding to different types of written language
(written exam, 45 minutes for Foundation Tier, 1 hour for Higher Tier, 25% of grade)

Paper 4 (Writing): Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes
(Written exam, 1 hour for Foundation Tier, 1 hour 15 minutes for Higher Tier, 25% of grade)

Computer keyboard

A Level – French

French combines well with any group of subjects at AS and A Level. It enjoys considerable prestige on university applications for the communication and analytical skills the subject demands. It’s interesting! By the end of the course you will be able to discuss a range of controversial subjects such as AIDS, homelessness, freedom of the press…in French!

Course Requirements

Pupils must have a minimum of Grade B at GCSE French.

Course content and methodology

Pupils study a range of topics including social issues and trends, political and artistic culture and grammar using a number of methods.
Pupils access a range of texts on contemporary issues which we use to discuss, debate, argue, summarize, and translate, they also listen to lots of audio material both CDs and live news items to broaden French listening skills. Grammar exercises help pupils to master the rules and all pupils are encouraged to keep track of current events in France.

Assessment

Paper 1: listening, reading and writing
(written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes, 50% of grade)

Assessing:

  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends
  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues
  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
  • Grammar

Paper 2: writing
(written exam, 2 hours, 20% of grade)

Assessing:

  • One text and one film, or two texts, from the list set in the specification
  • Grammar

Paper 3: Speaking
(oral exam, 21-23 minutes – including 5 minutes preparation time, 30% of grade)

Assessing:

  • Individual research project
  • One of four sub-themes ie Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends, Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues, Artistic culture in the French-speaking world, Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

A Level – Spanish

Pupils will develop their ability to communicate in one of the world’s most widely spoken languages.

 

Almost 400 million people speak Spanish as their first language. Spanish is the official language in over 20 countries.Spanish is increasingly a language of global business as well as one of leisure and tourism. You will extend your appreciation of the Spanish language and culture as well as having the opportunity to study a literary text.

Course Requirements

Pupils need a minimum of Grade B at GCSE Spanish.

Course content and methodology

Pupils study a range of topics including social issues and trends, political and artistic culture and grammar using a number of methods.

Pupils access a range of texts on contemporary issues which we use to discuss, debate, argue, summarize, and translate, they also listen to lots of audio material both CDs and live news items to broaden French listening skills. Grammar exercises help pupils to master the rules and all pupils are encouraged to keep track of current events in Spain.

Assessment

Paper 1: listening, reading and writing
(written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes, 50% of grade)

Assessing:

  • Aspects of Hispanic society
  • Artistic culture in the Hispanic world
  • Multiculturalism in Hispanic society
  • Aspects of political life in Hispanic society
  • Grammar

Paper 2: writing
(written exam, 2 hours, 20% of grade)

Assessing:

  • One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the specification
  • Grammar

Paper 3: Speaking
(oral exam, 21-23 minutes – including 5 minutes preparation time, 30% of grade)

Assessing:

  • Individual research project
  • One of four sub-themes ie Aspects of Hispanic society or Artistic culture in the Hispanic world or Multiculturalism in Hispanic society or Aspects of political life in Hispanic society
Harper Building

Supporting Advanced Performance

The Advanced Performance Team, led by our Director of Studies, seeks to advise staff on how we – as a teaching body – can identify, monitor and experientially enhance the educational opportunities of able, gifted and talented pupils at  Lincoln Minster School.

How do we cater for AP students in Languages?

Pupils are taught in ability sets from Year 7 in French and Spanish. The more able linguists (usually in set 1) are encouraged to pursue a second language at GCSE. The top set in French and Spanish are stretched from Year 7 through the use of an academically rigorous text book and supplementary teacher resources. The department also subscribes to a variety of websites such as linguascope and espanol-extra for further practice of the language. We endeavour to train students to apply principles from what they have learned to new situations, transforming phrases and using them in a different context and we also challenge lower-school pupils with GCSE exam questions and resources.

Encouraging Advanced Performance outside of lessons

We pride ourselves in encouraging our most able students to take an early GCSE entry with extra support provided on a one to one basis at lunch time and after school.

We offer language and culture trips to both Spain and France where students have the opportunity to see the language in action, attend language lessons in a local school and practice their skills in situ.

In previous years we have also run an European Languages Day where we have been fortunate to have a Member of the European Parliament speak to our Year 9 students about his experience working abroad and the need for languages.

Beyond Lincoln Minster School

In an increasingly competitive Higher Education market and workplace, universities and employers are not only looking for impressive grades, but also subjects which demonstrate a student’s versatility and a greater breadth of skill and interest.

 

Your knowledge of a foreign language be highly valued by employers, but so too will your cultural awareness and general communication skills. Language skills are in high demand in many different career sectors, especially if you work for a business which operates internationally. Careers range from interpreters and translators to education; jobs such as broadcast journalism, international development, business, tourism and PR all value knowledge of foreign languages.

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