“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
At Langley all pupils start their language studies with either French or German in Year 7. The year group is split equally between the two languages and pupils learn with their form groups for their first year. In Year 8 pupils then have the opportunity to learn a second language, French or German and they continue with their first language. Those students who display particular interest in Modern Languages have the opportunity to attend the Spanish club run after school to further develop their cultural understanding and linguistic knowledge.
At both KS3 and KS4 pupils have the opportunity to participate in conversation and culture classes with our French language assistant. Due to Covid disruption our German assistants from Köln University have not been able to join us as in previous years, but we are hopeful that we will be able to offer pupils in German the same opportunities to practise their conversation skills in the future.
Our courses aim to develop practical communication skills in the situations which students may encounter in both their young and their adult lives. The knowledge of a language greatly enhances visits to the country concerned and personal contacts with its people. We have started to reintroduce the opportunity to take part in language study trips abroad and hope that these will soon become an established part of the school calendar.
Not only is knowledge of a language perceived by employers and higher education establishments to be a highly desirable skill, but it is also great fun and affords an insight into our own language and culture. In Key Stage 4, students follow topic-based courses at the level appropriate to their developing competence, and can take GCSE examinations in Year 11 in French, German and Italian. Native speakers of these languages may be entered earlier if their competencies in all four skills allow.
We presently use the AQA exam board. As the majority of pupils learn two languages at KS3, we also encourage them to continue, not just with one language but with two at KS4 as their language learning skills naturally complement and support each other in the two languages. This is an area of development that we hope to see grow over coming years with dual linguists becoming a greater proportion of each cohort at GCSE. Presently the numbers of those continuing with their language learning to GCSE is well above the national average, something we are very proud of as it reflects the enthusiasm, curious minds and high engagement levels of our pupils.
In previous years MFL study trips have run to both France and Germany. Our most recent trip to Germany was to Cologne where we spent four days visiting the Christmas market, museums and other sites in Cologne and Aachen and visiting our partner school in Cologne city centre.
Covid restrictions have obviously led to a hiatus in trips abroad but the MFL department intends to offer a number of exciting trips next year for both KS3 and KS4 pupils that we hope will be very popular with pupils wishing to further their understanding of the country and linguistic knowledge. Further details to come!
Useful websites for German: