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Modern Foreign Languages

 

By studying French, German and/or Spanish, Sixth Formers develop the ability to communicate and comprehend language to a high level, together with an awareness of the society, history and culture of the corresponding countries.  Beside opportunities to spend time abroad, we aim to foster an enthusiasm for language learning that goes beyond the classroom. 

Girls studying French will be offered the opportunity to take part on 3 day trip to Paris to explore some of the cultural topics covered in the French syllabus. Girls taking Spanish may have the chance to take part in a cultural visit to either Seville or Valencia at the end of the Spring Term.  The German department offers the chance to participate in an exchange programme with a school in Stuttgart as well as visits to the Goethe Institute and the German Embassy. The faculty encourages students to see plays and films in their chosen language(s) and we regularly attend the cinema A-level Days offered every year at the British Film Institute in all three languages.

During the two-year course, Sixth-Formers study topics based around the society and culture of the relevant countries.  They include, for example, the role of the media and the politics and economics surrounding issues such as migration and integration.  In addition, Sixth Formers will study a historical or political topic, a literary text and a film:

French:

  • The French political system and current political trends
  • Literary text: Un secret by Philippe Grimbert
  • Film : Au revoir les enfants, by Louis Malle

German:

  • The history, culture, and life in the city of Berlin, as well as Germany after reunification
  • Literary text: Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink
  • Film: Das Leben der Anderen by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarc

Spanish:

  • Franco’s dictatorship and the transition to democracy and current political popular movements in Spain and Latin-America.
  • Literary text: Like water to chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • Film: Volver by Pedro Almodóvar

Assessment:

Two externally-examined papers will assess listening, reading and writing.  Your teachers will conduct a speaking assessment which is externally assessed by the examination board.

Career Opportunities

In an increasing global employment market, it is a major advantage to speak a foreign language. Europe is the UK’s largest export market and UK employers in areas such as law, banking, management consultancy, the Diplomatic Service, tourism and the arts are looking for employees who can offer a foreign language in addition to their specialist skills.  Universities also look favourably on applicants with foreign language skills and value their capacity to argue a case and their eye for detail.

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