Modern Foreign Languages are essential in society; not only for the international benefits they offer, but also because they equip students with vital communicative skills. The MFL department at Accrington Academy is a passionate and lively area of the school, with five teachers who share a love of languages. The department offers students the choice of Spanish or French study and these can be studied up to GCSE, with both languages also being offered in the Sixth Form.
The MFL department takes an active interest in bringing languages to life in as many ways as possible. At Christmas time, we have given students the opportunity to participate in educational visits, for example to Belgium, Paris and Normandy. We hope to plan a visit to Spain in the future as well. Enrichment clubs are on offer and this year range from Salsa classes to Italian lessons. We also take great pride in celebrating the European Day of Languages and at Open Evening; we run a languages café, which you are most welcome to visit.
In class, interactive resources are frequently used to enhance students’ listening ability at all levels. Spanish and French culture feature in lessons and music can often be heard on our corridor. Academy students have access to the on-line learning platforms to help them with their quest to expand their linguistic knowledge, including Studio and Viva ADLS, Kerboodle, Quizlet and Memrise.
Your Child’s Journey in Modern Foreign Languages
You can download this document to view a term by term, year by year breakdown for the journey your child will have when they choose Modern Foreign Languages.
We believe that it is important for students to experience both Spanish and French before they make their decision of which language to pursue. Year 7 students therefore participate in a languages carousel, spending two full terms studying French and Spanish before deciding in their final term which to pursue.
In Year 8, students build on the basic language they have acquired in Year 7. Creativity is encouraged in KS3 as students apply their language to real life scenarios, for example, they may create a menu for a restaurant, using all the food vocabulary they have learnt. iPads enable the students to access sites such as Linguascope and Vocab Express independently so that they can continue their learning beyond the classroom. We aim to ensure that students experience as much target language as possible, developing their communication skills whilst also increasing their grammatical awareness.
Languages are an increasingly popular option in Years 9, 10 and 11, which is of benefit to our students as universities have been proven to value a languages qualification. Students build on the foundation that they have developed in their early years at the school and, by starting students on their GCSE journey in Year 9, they become familiar with the exam syllabus.
We use currently AQA as our exam board and as such, students complete controlled assessments in writing and speaking which contribute to 60% of their final examination. The topics covered cover issues that students can relate to, such as Education and Future Plans, or Leisure Activities. Teachers strive to make these topics as realistic as possible, for example, last year; a video exchange took place with a Spanish school to learn about the differences.
With the changes in GCSE specifications, we have chosen to continue with AQA. Students will complete examinations in listening, reading, speaking and writing (each worth 25%) at the end of Year 11, with the first examinations in 2018.
The study of a language in the Sixth Form allows for an even deeper understanding of how the language works. There is also the opportunity to study both film and literature. In recent years pupils have studied works such as Laberinto del Fauno, Volver and Bodas de Sangre. At this stage, the aim is to reach a level of fluency in all skills, which is achieved by reading a variety of literature, from magazine articles to a Sender novel. Real resources are used to challenge students, for example BBC Mundo and Spanish documentaries.
Students enjoy the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and are encouraged to find an area that they are particularly interested in, with many following Spanish sites through Twitter in their own time. Our students combine the study of a language with many other subjects, from science and maths, to history and English, as they all realise that A Level French or Spanish can enhance their future opportunities, regardless of the career path that they wish to follow.
Mrs S. Broom
Subject Leader MFL
MA Education (Cumbria), PGCE MFL (St Martin’s), BA Accounting & Spanish (Lancaster)I am a passionate believer that speaking another language opens many doors, and my own love of language learning stems from a childhood of visiting other countries, in particular Spain. I have lived and worked in Bilbao, in the north of Spain, and I still spend summers in the south of the country. I began my teaching career with teaching English as a foreign language abroad, and this led me to train as an MFL teacher. I am an enthusiastic user of technology in the classroom and I am rarely seen without my iPad!
Ms C. Garnett
Teacher Of MFL
I love being able to speak another language; it’s given me the opportunity to travel to and teach in France and Colombia, make friends there, and read French and Hispanic literature. My favourite part of learning a foreign language is the insight into a different culture which can change our own perspective on the world. For me, an engaging lesson incorporates this cultural element into language learning.
Mrs J Leighton
Teacher of MFL
23 years in local government and I decided it was time for a change.
I've always loved languages and love to deal with children, so teaching seemed like the obvious answer for my career change. Having graduated from the Open University in December 2015 after what seemed like an eternity of part time study, I was accepted on the Schools Direct teacher training programme with United Learning.
I'm looking forward to developing as a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages at Accrington Academy,
obtaining my PGCE, and lobbying to bring German lessons back to the school
- Year 9 Course – 100% exam (listening, reading, writing and speaking) 100%
- Year 10 & 11 Course – 40% exam (listening and reading) 40%
- Year 10 & 11 Course – 60% controlled assessment (speaking and writing) 60%
“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. “