Students set high standards in new Modern Foreign Languages subject
Students are setting the standards high in Modern Foreign Languages, a brand new subject introduced by Katie Seazell in September for students in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Katie told us that taking Modern Foreign Languages is different and fun and said: “It’s all about giving students the opportunity to learn a new language and culture in a completely different way.
“Languages can help us to understand grammar more fully and our own language even better, as well as making us more culturally aware.
“Knowing another language can also widen the opportunities for students after they leave school to go on to university, college or directly into the workplace.
“The process of learning a new language can help our organisational skills and long-term memory skills, developing a part of our brain we don’t often use, as well as helping us to communicate more effectively.
“It’s also great to have a Modern Foreign Language on your CV because it shows you are resilient, can stick at things that are not easy to learn, and there are many transferable skills employers look for that you can develop by learning another language.”
All the students currently taking the Modern Foreign Languages course will have the potential to take a GCSE option in French. Year 7 students on the course are supporting the whole school literacy initiative by tackling French with a literacy scheme of work. They have been translating verbs and writing full sentences in French, dissecting the literacy content within them.
Year 8 and 9 students are studying a module called ‘All About Me’, and are being encouraged to talk about themselves and other people, and to read authentic French texts, picking out the key words within them.
Alongside this, students are being set homework on Duolingo, a website that businesses often use to teach their employees another language. Katie explained: “Students are encouraged to race against the clock to get the right answers and earn points. The point is, Duolingo is competitive and students enjoy seeing who is top of the leader board each month which is motivating them to learn. I am also encouraging them to come along to my French Club on a Wednesday evening where they have been doing their homework or translating French books into English.
“Successful language students tend to be able to spot patterns in different languages, can easily see links between the new language and their mother tongue, can adapt different concepts into their work, and show an interest in, and empathy for, foreign countries.
“My advice to anyone considering taking a foreign language is to work hard and keep going when things seem tough. Don’t give up. I’ve found all the students I have met are welcoming, hard-working, fun to be around, and want to do well.”