Modern Foreign Languages
Why study a foreign language?
“One language sets you in a corridor of life. Two languages open every door along the way.” (Frank Smith)
Languages are ‘a skill for life’ and the knowledge of an additional language adds to the marketability of our young people and is extremely desirable in the world of work. Therefore, at Park Academy West London (PAWL) we are equipping our students with the necessary means of communication and cultural awareness so that they can compete in a competitive job market. With the world becoming more globalised, we need to make sure we develop our students so that they are able to meet the demands. As well as developing their employability we want to give our students the opportunity to use language in active settings to develop their love of languages. The MFL department fully embraces the ethos of catering for all students: we ensure that all our students use a foreign language to explore different cultures and to open doors, that they did not even know existed.
The MFL department aims to create and develop enthusiastic and independent learners who are inquisitive and curious linguists. We are committed to establishing a learning environment that encourages students to feel confident about taking risks and to believe that they can indeed achieve. We want students to reflect on and enhance their skills, ask questions and enjoy challenge. There will be opportunities to independently extend their skills beyond the classroom and therefore prepare for life beyond Park Academy west London.
In the knowledge society of the 21st century, language competence and intercultural understanding are not optional extras, they are an essential part of being a citizen.”
(Languages for All: Languages for Life-A Strategy for England.)
We also believe that in order to follow the principle of respecting one another, one needs to know them. PAWL students will learn about others’ culture, customs and habits. They will be encouraged to build links and correspond with foreign students living abroad.
“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.” (Nelson Mandela)
Key Stage 3
Over the three years of Key Stage 3, our students cover a range of topics including family life, descriptions, town, leisure activities, shopping, holidays amongst many other themes of study.
Lessons will embed grammar, translation to and from the target language and aim to cover all four skills of reading, listening, writing, and speaking. We would like our lessons to promote an intensive use of Target Language. Grammatically, they can express opinions with reasons across three timeframes. Skill wise, they will have in-depth training in how to express themselves verbally and in written form as well as extensive practice of deciphering written and audio works. To improve their listening and reading skills, students explore French or Spanish culture by examining authentic music, magazines and TV shows from around the French / Spanish speaking world. In Year 8, students are now going to begin to explore modern foreign languages as part of the wider ATL curriculum.
French is the main language taught at Park Academy West London due to its vast influence on the ‘global society’. It is a global language used in business, diplomacy and in the media as a major form of communication, the ability to communicate in this language opens a plethora of pathways in life. Recently, we successfully introduced Spanish into life at Park Academy West London as we recognise the growing influence of Latin American culture on the global stage and we will continue to do so.
Key Stage 4
AQA GCSE French
Reading: Externally assessed exam – 25% (Foundation tier – 45 minutes; higher tier – 1 hour)
Speaking: Externally assessed exam – 25% (Foundation tier – 7-9 minutes plus preparation; higher tier 10-12 minutes plus preparation)
Listening: Externally assessed exam – 25% (Foundation tier – 35 minutes; higher tier – 45 minutes)
Writing: Externally assessed exam – 25% (Foundation tier – 1 hours; higher tier – 1 hour 15 minutes)
Students will sit all their exams at the end of the course and will study 3 distinct themes, which comprise of 12 topics.
Theme 1: Identity and culture
Topic 1: Me, my family and friends
Topic 2: Technology in everyday life
Topic 3: Free-time activities
Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities
Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
Topic 5: Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Topic 6: Social issues
Topic 7: Global issues
Topic 8: Travel and tourism
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
Topic 9: My studies
Topic 10: Life at school/college
Topic 11: Education post-16
Topic 12: Jobs, career choices and ambitions