In the increasingly global environment in which we live, the ability to communicate with people in other parts of the world is an extremely valuable skill, especially in the world of work. The study of modern languages is vital in order to feel part of Europe in the 21st century.
The Department’s remit is to teach French, German and Spanish to classes in Years 7 to 13. Its aims are to develop and to maintain lasting pupil interest, achievement and curiosity in these subjects and to enable them to learn any other foreign language they may need or want in the future. The MFL team, with native speakers to cover all languages taught, is very successful and aims to provide enjoyment, to broaden the students’ education, to foster independence of learning and develop a better understanding of the wider world.
All students in Years 7 to 9 study French together with a second modern language. The teaching is dynamic and lively. Staff use a variety of activities and approaches to best teach the four skills required in a language classroom: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The Department is well-equipped and uses a variety of innovative and technology-aided language learning techniques to incite a lifelong love of learning languages. We are committed to providing varied and meaningful opportunities for students to apply and further develop their language skills in real contexts.
All boys at Halliford study at least one language at GCSE level but may continue with two if they wish. Differentiated learning is accommodated by setting from Year 10 onwards. Extra support and monitoring are provided by members of the department and the language assistants. At GCSE, the Edexcel Examination Board specification is followed.
At a Level, the AQA course is followed, and the Department follows the Hodder material. In Sixth Form, students receive 7 periods of teaching per week. The class sizes are usually small to ensure students receive the right level of individual attention. All students benefit from timetabled conversation practice with the language assistants.
The MFL Department does not look at the study of any language in a purely academic way but fosters immersion in the cultures behind these through exchange programmes. Exchange visits for all three languages are organised; an annual visit to Neumünster in Northern Germany and bi-annual exchange trips to Bayonne in South-West France and San Fernando near Cádiz in the South of Spain. A Year 7 trip to Northern France is a regular feature in the school calendar, and further day trips to museums, cinemas, lectures and theatres are organised throughout the year.