MFL

MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: MRS C STRANGE 

Head of French, Ms C Parkin; Head of German, Ms C Savova; and Head of Spanish, Miss B Vazquez

Year 7

When entering Year 7, girls will all study French, with either German or Spanish for their second language.  French will be taught for 9 x 50 minutes a fortnight up to October half term, then they will study their second language alongside French.  They will then be taught 4X50 mns of French and 5X50 mns of German or Spanish a fortnight.  Girls are setted in the Autumn Term according to how much French they have already studied.   They are taught in mixed ability groups in Spanish or German as these languages are usually ab initio. 

The department is well stocked with audio-visual and ICT equipment.  A sound understanding of the structure of each foreign language provides a basis for using it with confidence and, through a variety of lively activities, girls are encouraged to speak, write and understand the written and spoken language.

Girls will hear conversations between native speakers, enact short role-plays in pairs, for example greeting one another or discussing siblings, read authentic materials in the Target language and learn the phonetics of the language to enable them to write accurately.

The main text book for Year 7 French is Expo 1, for German Stimmt! and ¡Listos! Book One for Spanish.  All schemes include a wide variety of materials such as CDs,, flashcards and DVDs as well as a wide range of computer software.

Topics covered include: Greetings, alphabet, pets, description of house and rooms, places in town,exchanging information about one's family, likes and dislikes, food and drink,  telling the time and counting,, favourite things, descriptions of a person's appearance and personality.

Grammar topics covered include:

  • Definite and indefinite articles
  • Personal pronouns
  • Imperatives
  • Present Tense
  • Personal Pronouns
  • Interrogatives
  • Separable and Inseparable Verbs
  • Cases
  • Plurals
  • Impersonal Verbs
  • Prepositions
  • Adjectives

Homework

There will be written homework and learning of new vocabulary and grammar.  The pupils may also be required to prepare an account or to read.

Assessment

Homework, classroom assignments and tests are normally marked out of 10.  A mark of 5 or above is considered acceptable. Girls may be asked to repeat work which falls below the required standard.  Examinations are set in the Summer Term, testing all four skills, speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Differentiation

The text books are designed for a wide range of ability with fully-integrated, differentiated activities including support and extension material.  Full use is made of these where necessary.  Bi-lingual children are treated as individual cases after some assessment has been made of their particular strengths and weaknesses and extension support work is designed accordingly.  Extension activities are an integral part of the Schemes of Work.

Girls are encouraged to correspond on line via the language blog with schools abroad.  Girls also work on fully networked computers on a variety of language software.

Year 8

All girls will continue to study the same two foreign languages for an equal number of periods, 4 x 50 minutes per fortnight.  The aim this year is to continue the development of communication (written and spoken) and comprehension (reading and listening) skills, within the prescribed topic and language areas of the GCSE syllabus.

Girls will be taught in ability groups for French but remain in their mixed ability groups for Spanish and German.  Each individual's progress within her group will of course be closely monitored.

Wide use is made of authentic listening and reading materials, computer software and DVDs such as "Hallo aus Berlin".   Pupils are encouraged to develop ICT skills within the context of Modern Languages and may be required to produce homework or other assignments in this form.  The presentation of surveys lends itself particularly to this and develops a wide range of language skills in the process.

In French, girls will continue to use Expo 1 moving on to Expo 2 in the Spring Term.  Topics will include:  talking about daily routine, school, jobs people do, where people live, the weather, going out, accepting and refusing invitations holidays and leisure activities. 

Grammar topics covered are: present tense of all regular verbs and some irregular verbs, modal verbs, using “depuis”, “quand”, “si”, immediate future, perfect tense with “avoir” and “être”, comparison, expressions of quantity.

In German, girls continue to use Klasse! neu 1, moving on to Klasse!  neu 2 in the Summer Term.

Topics for this year include: food and drink, likes and dislikes,sports, instuments,hobbies, arranging to go out, the weather, week-end plans, family and friends, household chores, sport.

Grammar Topics covered are: Dative case, impersonal phrases, word order, modal verbs, prepositions with accusative case, com

In Spanish, girls continue with ¡Listos! Book 1, moving on to Book 2 when ready.

Topics and grammar covered are similar to those in French and German.

Assessment

In Year 8, work is usually marked out of 10 in accordance with school policy.  A mark of 5 or above is generally considered acceptable; girls may be asked to repeat work graded below this level. 

The Department's aim in assessment is to give positive encouragement and guidance to the girls, through regular marking of class and homework and giving individual targets.  Oral work, learning of vocabulary and comprehension are assessed as well as grammatical accuracy.

Differentiation

The textbooks used are designed for a wide range of ability with fully integrated, differentiated activities including support and extension material.  Full use is made of these where necessary.  Bi-lingual children are treated as individual cases after some assessment has been made of their particular strengths and weaknesses and extension support activities are designed accordingly.

Extension activities are an integral part of the Scheme of Work.

Girls are encouraged to correspond on line via the language blog with schools abroad.  Girls also work on fully networked computers on a variety of language software.  In addition girls will be asked to word-process some pieces of work, especially for display.

Year 9

All girls continue to study their two languages for 4 x 50 minutes a fortnight.  The aim this year is to continue the development of communication (written and spoken) and comprehension (listening and reading) skills within the prescribed topic and language areas of the GCSE specification.

In French girls will remain in their setted groups following on from Year 8.  The sets are reviewed regularly.  Girls in Spanish and German will be setted in 2/3 groups according to ability and numbers.

The main textbook for French will be Expo 2; girls will move on to Expo 3 as soon as they are ready.  Numerous French DVDs are also used in order to develop the girls’ listening skills.

In German, pupils work with Klasse! neu 2, which we aim to finish by the end of the year.  Wide use is made of authentic listening and reading materials and DVDs.  The girls have the opportunity to take part in the long established German exchange with St Ursula Gymanasium in Brühl.

In Spanish, girls will continue to use ¡Listos! Book 2.

Pupils are encouraged to develop ICT skills within the context of Modern Languages and may be required to produce homework or other assignments in this form.  The presentation of surveys, for example, lends itself particularly to this and develops a wide range of language skills in the process.

Topics covered in French include future plans, parts of the body, food and drink, holidays.

Grammar topics covered are: modal verbs, reflexive verbs, “il faut” + infinitive, some direct object pronouns, comparisons and the simple future and imperfect.

Topics covered in German include describing your town and home, pocket money, buying food and presents, camping, transport, TV and lost property, future and past trips. Many areas from earlier years are re-visited.  Grammar topics covered are: irregular present tense, adjective endings, word order (simple and in clauses), prepositions with accusative and dative, modal verbs, perfect tense (regular and irregular). 

Topics covered in Spanish include food, shopping, tourism, interests and health.

Homework        

Written homework may take the form of an exercise to reinforce a specific language point, an account, a letter or a dialogue.  Learning homework concentrates on vocabulary and grammar points or oral question responses and role-plays.

Assessment       

In Year 9, work is usually marked out of 10 in accordance with school policy.  A mark of 5 or above is generally considered acceptable.  Girls may be asked to repeat work graded below this level.  The department's aim in assessment is to give positive encouragement and guidance to girls through regular marking of class and homework, with individual comments made where necessary.  Oral work, learning of vocabulary and comprehension are assessed as well as grammatical accuracy. Girls will sit a Foundation Level GCSE paper at the end of the year in Reading, Listening and Writing, plus a short Oral.

Differentiation      

The textbooks used are designed for a wide range of ability with fully integrated, differentiated activities including support and extension material.  Full use is made of these whenever necessary.  Bi-lingual children are treated as individual cases after their particular strengths and weaknesses have been assessed and support strategies developed accordingly.  Extension activities are an integral part of the Schemes of Work.

Exchanges       

Girls in this year and above are encouraged to take part in the French, Spanish and German trips offered by the Department.

The seven-day German exchange to Brühl near Cologne usually involves a visit of one week by the German girls when one or two group outings will be organised - destinations vary but have recently included Hever, Canterbury or the London Dungeon. The English girls then return to Germany for a week.  Dates vary according to German school holidays.  Whilst in Cologne, group visits are arranged, for example a visit to the local chocolate factory, the zoo and Phantasialand. 

The French department organises a homestay visit or exchange visit for girls in Year 9 to develop their language skills and have a taste of French culture.

The Spanish department organises a five-day trip to Santander for girls who choose to study the language to GCSE level.  The visits are of great benefit to pupils, both for their language work and also as a confidence boost.

Options       

Year 9 pupils will be choosing their GCSE options during the second half of the year.  The department aims to give advice and support to pupils, emphasising the equal worth of all languages, yet the need to consider individual aptitude and preference.  Career avenues will be discussed to ensure pupils make the best possible long-term choices.