The Modern Foreign Languages Department currently offers the pupils the opportunity to study two languages to GCSE level namely German and French. Both courses continue the work covered in both languages in Key Stage Three and the pupils will sit GCSE examinations set by the WJEC Examination Board. The courses provide a foundation for the further study of languages in the sixth form.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department has a proven track-record of achieving excellent GCSE results with pupils of all abilities.
Aims of the GCSE German and French courses
The department’s main aim is to provide the opportunity for the pupils to develop into well-rounded citizens who are able to communicate confidently with others and who can display wide ranging linguistic skills which will benefit them in future years in their chosen careers. Recent statistics show that a linguistic qualification is advantageous when applying for jobs in a variety of fields such as:
- Banking and finance
- Hotels and restaurants
- Transport and travel
- Public and social services
- International Organisations
Studying German and / or French
to GCSE level will increase the pupils’ awareness of Europe and their skills will enable them to contribute to the world-wide economy.
By following a GCSE course in German / and or French
it is envisaged that:
- the pupils enjoy the positive experience of learning a foreign language
- the development of the pupils’ interpersonal skills will continue as the pupils benefit from the department’s interactive learning and teaching styles
- established contacts between the department and pupils in German and French speaking countries will be further developed
- the pupils will be able to use French and German naturally in practical situations
- an insight will be given into the culture and civilisations of countries where German and French are spoken, by means of classwork and educational visits
- a positive attitude towards learning foreign languages and towards foreign language speakers will be encouraged
- the pupils’ awareness of the nature of language learning and various study skills will be developed
- the pupils’ information technology and communication skills will be developed as use is made during the GCSE courses of the internet, e-mail, web cam, specific software packages, video and satellite television.
Content of the GCSE German and French Courses
The pupils will learn how to discuss various aspects of their daily lives through the medium of German or French. They will be trained to cope in tourist situations and in the world of work abroad. It is also expected that they will learn about world-wide issues. The thematic units of the GCSE courses in German and French are as follows:
- Personal and Social Life – Self, family, friends, home life, shopping, meals, healthy living, illness and accident, free time, fashion, relationships, future plans.
- Local Community – Home town, school, education, local environment, pollution, recycling, local facilities, comparisons with other towns and regions, weather and seasons.
- The world of work – Work experience, part-time jobs, future careers, technology in the workplace.
- The wider world – Travel and holidays, media, social issues (e.g. life of young people today, homelessness, crime, drugs, healthy living, religion, politics), life in France and Germany.
Within the department, a wide range of teaching and learning strategies are implemented in order to nurture the pupils’ enjoyment and confidence in the foreign language.
The four language skills will be examined in German and French. The weighting for each skill is as follows:
- Listening and responding - Foundation or Higher Tier 20%
- Reading and responding – Foundation or Higher Tier 20%
Coursework to be completed in year 10 + 11
- Speaking (1 Structured Conversation and 1 Presentation) 30%
- Writing (2 Writing Tasks) 30%
Pupils sit a reading and responding and listening and responding exam at the end of year 11. Two pieces of written course work and two speaking tasks, (which account for 60% of the course) will be completed under examination conditions in school, at various times during the two years of the course before the final examinations. As the majority of the assessment takes place before the end of the two years, the course requires the pupils who choose to study German and French to work consistently during years 10 and 11 and to practise their language skills regularly at home as well as in class.
Pupil who show promise in Modern Foreign Languages during year 9 should seriously consider studying both German and French
at GCSE. This will enable pupils to continue with language study further and studying two languages should no way be thought of as narrowing options.
Learning a language means acquiring a new skill which will stay with them for life, far beyond their GCSE examination study.