The Modern Languages department has enthusiastically embraced the revolution that has taken place in Language learning in recent years.
The department aims to develop as fully as possible students’ innate linguistic ability and the teaching is sympathetic, supportive and, as far as possible, tailored to individual needs. A range of techniques and activities are employed to make the learning process as enjoyable and stimulating as possible.
We study the AQA specifications in Spanish. The atmosphere in Sixth Form lessons is relatively relaxed in order to produce a good exchange of ideas between students and teacher. Nevertheless, hard work is needed to achieve a high grade at A and AS level.
The new A-Level syllabus covers a range of topics in its first year such as: media including television, advertising and communication technology; popular culture – cinema, music, fashion and trends; as well as topics such as family and relationships which includes friendships, marriage and partnerships. They also study a Spanish film, such as “ Volver” by Pedro Almodóvar.
The subject content in Year 13 comprise of the following themes: the multicultural society including immigration, integration and racism; and contemporary social issues such as modern day idols, Spanish regional identity including traditions and customs as well as cultural heritage. Additionally, students also make an in-depth study of a Spanish film, such as Laura Esquivel’s “Como agua para chocolate” and undertake an Individual Research Project about a topic related to a Spanish speaking country or community.
The department occupies four purpose-designed teaching rooms, all equipped with modern audio-visual and computing facilities. Up-to-date course books are used and these are linked to current exam specifications. The basic material is supplemented by newspapers, magazines, films, DVDs and, increasingly, the Internet, through which we access many languages resources, including an online language laboratory.
There is no doubt that students who visit the countries whose languages they are studying come back motivated and enthusiastic to improve their language skills further. With that in mind, we organise visits to Spain so that students are able to appreciate the culture, people and language first hand.
In recent years several students have continued Spanish at university or have started a new language, on its own or in conjunction with subjects such as cinema, music, history, economics, education, management, European Studies, international relations, international politics, journalism or linguistics.
Through the Erasmus Scheme, universities are also able to offer undergraduates the opportunity to do part of their degree course abroad – a popular choice for students as it gives them an ability not only to become fluent but also to enjoy the culture of that particular country.