Modern Languages

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Modern Languages Department:

Français? Deutsch? Español? Russki? Head of Department: Mrs L Parsons

All boys study at least one Modern Language at GCSE. The department has a computer suite where all students have a weekly lesson. As well as eight teachers, the has three foreign language assistants from France, Spain and Germany. French is studied in the first three years and Spanish and German become available as options in Form III. There is also the opportunity to join an accelerated starter set in Spanish in Form IV. French, Spanish and Russian are available as Sixth Form subjects, while those who wish to continue with German will study at our sister school HMSG.

There is a flourishing study visit programme to France, Spain and Germany, as well as cinema and theatre trips and other events. A trip to Russia also takes place every two years.

The Department invites Form III-VI2 pupils and their parents to a yearly Languages and Career event, where eminent speakers share their experience of foreign languages in their careers and organisations.

Teaching groups are small and MFL classrooms are equipped with interactive and audio-visual technology.

KS3

  • Form I (Year 7) and II (Year 8) : French
  • Form III (Year 9): French, Spanish and German. Pupils study two of these modern foreign languages or one with Latin.

The language content is of a practical nature which will enable pupils to begin to cope with everyday situations in France, Spain and Germany. The programme of study introduces and consolidates the following topics – Family, Home, Local Region, Sports and Leisure, School, Holidays, Food and Shopping.

The department possesses an impressive film collection for students to borrow from.

GCSE

Unless there are special circumstances, all pupils study at least one Modern Foreign Language to GCSE level. The languages available are French, Spanish and German.

Those who did not study Spanish in Form III (Year 9) have the opportunity to begin the language in Form IV (Year 10). Those who wish to study French or German must have studied the language previously.

Unless there are special circumstances, all pupils study at least one Modern Foreign Language to GCSE level. The languages available are French, Spanish and German.

Those who did not study Spanish in Form III (Year 9) have the opportunity to begin the language in Form IV (Year 10). Those who wish to study French or German must have studied the language previously.

French
Section Co-ordinator, Mrs L Parsons Board: WJEC

Spanish
Section Co-ordinator: Mrs J Gunn

German
Section Co-ordinator, Miss S Williams Board: WJEC

Those who choose to continue with French will be divided into small mixed-ability groups. Spanish and German will also be taught in mixed-ability groups. For all languages boys are allocated to groups on the basis of their option choices. Students have additional speaking practice with the Language Assistants on a weekly basis.

GCSE syllabus for French, Spanish and German (Current Form V):

Listening: One test of 45 minutes

Reading: One test of 45 minutes

Speaking: One conversation and one presentation done under controlled conditions during the course

(Dictionaries will not be allowed for any of the above tests)

Writing: Two written tasks done under controlled condition during the course (Dictionaries allowed)

The topic areas studied in all four skills will be:

Personal and Social Life, The Local Community, The World of Work and The Wider World.

The department possesses an impressive film collection for students to borrow from.

New Syllabus details (Currently being taught to Form IV for Examination in 2017):

Board: AQA

French- 8658 Co-ordinator: Mrs L Parsons

Spanish- 8698 Co-ordinator: Mrs J Gunn

German- 8668 Co-ordinator: Miss S Williams

Themes covered:

  1. Identity and culture (family, friends, technology, free-time, customs)
  2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest (town, region, social issues, global issues, travel and tourism)
  3. Current and future study and employment (school, education post-16, jobs, careers and ambitions)

Four exams (no more controlled assessment):

  1. Listening (25%)
  2. Reading (25%)
  3. Writing (25%)
  4. Speaking (25%)

AS/A Level

French
Section Co-ordinator, Mrs L Parsons – Board: WJEC

Spanish
Section Co-ordinator: Mrs J Gunn – Board: WJEC

German
Section Coordinator: Miss Sophie Williams – taught in HMSG – Board: WJEC

Russian
Co-ordinator Mrs J Johnston – Board: EDEXCEL

In the Sixth Form, the groups are kept very small and taught in mixed groups of boys and girls. Across the four languages, about thirty students study a language or more in Lower Sixth, and about twenty in Upper Sixth. The support offered in Upper Sixth with one-to-one weekly sessions with the FLA and additional lessons, means that the results at A Level are consistently good.

Area of study:

AS

(a) Leisure and Lifestyles, including travel and tourism, sport, hobbies, entertainment, customs, traditions, healthy living – health and nutrition, diet and exercise; unhealthy living – drugs, aids, smoking, alcohol, etc.

(b) The Individual and Society, including relationships and responsibilities, gender issues, youth culture (values, peer groups, fashions and trends etc.), education, vocational training and future careers.

Advanced (A2)

(c) Environmental Issues, including technology, pollution, global warming, transport, energy, nuclear energy, renewable energies, conservation, recycling, sustainability.

(d) Social and Political Issues, including the role of the media, racism, immigration social exclusion and integration, terrorism, world of work (employment, commerce, globalization, etc.),

You will work from textbooks, newspapers, magazines, TV and radio broadcasts, various websites, DVDs and literary texts and extracts, studying both language and culture.

 

New Syllabus details (Currently being taught to 6.1 for AS examination in 2016 or A-Level Examination in 2017):

Board: AQA

French- AS: 7651;   AL: 7652 Co-ordinator: Mrs L Parsons

Spanish- AS: 7691; AL: 7692 Co-ordinator: Mrs J Gunn

German- AS: 7661; AL: 7662 Co-ordinator: Miss S Williams

Students can decide to study a language for one year and take the stand-alone AS exam at the end of 6.1 or they can decide to study the language to A Level and they take the A Level exam at the end of 6.2.

Themes covered the first year:

  1. Aspects of the society of the countries where the language studied is spoken- current trends (including family trends, the cyber-society and voluntary work)
  2. Artistic culture in the countries where the language studied is spoken (including cultural heritage, music and cinema)

PLUS one film

Themes covered the second year:

  1. Aspects of the society of the countries where the language studied is spoken- current issues (including diverse society, exclusion and criminality)
  2. Political life in in the countries where the language studied is spoken (including the right of vote for teenagers, demonstrations and strikes and politics and immigration)

PLUS one book

Exams:

AS

Paper 1: Summary questions and listening and reading questions ( 1h45, 90 marks, 45%)

Paper 2: Writing (1h30, 50 marks, 25%)

Paper 3: Speaking (12-14 minutes, 60 marks, 30%)

AL

Paper 1: Summary questions and listening and reading questions (2h30), 100 marks, 50%)

Paper 2: Writing (2 hrs, 80 marks, 20%)

Paper 3: Speaking, including a discussion on an Individual research project  (21-23 minutes, 60 marks, 30%)

Extra-curricular Activities

Study visits or work experience abroad are organised in France, Spain, Germany and Russia, and these are often arranged in conjunction with HMSG:

Form I and II:

  • Normandy (4 days, Michaelmas H/T)

Form III:

  • Paris (4 days, Christmas)

Form IV-V:

  • Language study trip to France (1 week, Lent H/T)
  • Barcelona trip (4 days, Michaelmas H/T)
  • Nuremberg exchange (1 week, Michaelmas H/T, and Lent H/T)
  • Berlin (4 days, Christmas holiday)

Form VI1-VI2:

  • Work experience in France (1 week, Lent H/T)
  • Salamanca language study trip (1 week, Easter holiday)
  • Russia (1 week every two years)

There are also trips to the cinema, to the theatre, to lectures and study.

Russian

Russian is started from scratch in the Sixth Form. The GCSE exam is taken at the end of the first year, and the A level course (AS and A2) covered in one year in the second year.  The general aim of the subject is to introduce pupils to a knowledge of the Russian language, literature, history and society and developments in present-day Russia. In the A level exam, as in the GCSE, the four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are tested.  The A level examination includes a literature paper and answers are required in the target language. Students who take up Russian seem to enjoy the challenge and often become quite hooked on it; many students continue with their studies at university level. There is the opportunity to visit Russia with the school and many pupils find this to be an exciting and rewarding experience.

Beyond Monmouth School

A growing proportion of boys take a language at university, particularly combined with another subject (Law, Politics etc.).

One of our most notable alumni is Eddie Butler. Former rugby international, now historian and commentator for the BBC, he read French and Spanish in Cambridge.