Our main aim is to help students develop the ability to understand and use French or Spanish effectively in real-life situations. We hope, however, that this will have a number of spinoffs. By learning a particular foreign language, students should also be gaining the skills they need to pick up whatever other languages they find they need later on in life. At the same time, we hope that students will begin to understand what it is like to live in various French or Spanish speaking countries and perhaps think about their own way of life in a new light. We believe that students will find the course to be both enjoyable and stimulating.
Students’ language skills will be developed in four broad topic areas:
- Home and environment
- Work and education.
To help students develop their speaking skills they will have the opportunity to work in small groups with the French or Spanish assistant. However, there is no substitute for visiting the country and we hope that many of the students will be able to participate in one of our study visits or exchanges. They might also consider writing to a French or Spanish penfriend.
Students are already used to having their language skills assessed separately in unit tests. This will carry on at GCSE level.
There are four papers:
- Listening: Students will respond in various ways to material recorded by native speakers of French or Spanish. All the questions will be in English, although the tasks will often only require them to tick boxes, decide whether statements are true or false etc.
- Speaking: There will be two speaking controlled assessments in year 11 .Both will be conducted and marked by the teacher.
- Reading: Students will respond in various ways to authentic written material. Once again, all the questions will be in English.
- Writing: This element will take the form of two controlled assessments. Students will have six hours to prepare their piece of work.