AT SHIRELAND WE STRONGLY BELIEVE IN LANGUAGES AS A SKILL FOR LIFE AND WANT GERMAN AND FRENCH TO BE SUBJECTS THAT YOU REALLY ENJOY AND FIND REWARDING. OUR OBJECTIVE IS TO ENABLE YOU TO DEVELOP YOUR LANGUAGE SKILLS TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL, GIVING YOU THE KNOWLEDGE TO COMMUNICATE WITH CONFIDENCE IN GERMAN AND/OR FRENCH.
Learning Languages opens so many opportunities that you may never have even thought about, not just in business but in the fields of medicine, law, engineering, architecture, art, science and of course travel and tourism.
From 2021, Languages forms one of the core subjects. The last year has been an exciting time for the department where we’ve introduced a new language, French to our Key Stage 3 students.
Students get to experience both French and German so that they can choose which one to pursue at KS4. We celebrate the diverse cultures and backgrounds our students are from and so they can choose instead, to study a community language. It is our belief that students will ultimately benefit from studying a language as it makes them more employable and diversifies their communication skill set.
WHAT IS COVERED IN
In Year 7 students are divided between French and German and every student has two hours of Language learning a week to ensure key concepts and grammar are firmly embedded by the time they start a second language in Year 8. Students will study 3 units of work covering the basics of the Language. At the start of Year 7 French and German, we complete a unit of work on ourselves and our families before moving on to look at school, free-time and food and drink.
In Year 8 students split their time equally between French and German. They have one hour of each language which enables them to pick up the language they did not start with in Year 7 – all students therefore have the opportunity to study two languages. Through the topics of my area and holidays we continue to reinforce phonics, key structures and grammar, giving students every opportunity to reuse, re-visit and build upon the many skills they acquired in Year 7.
After making their choices, French students will complete a unit on Holidays and German students will complete a unit on Festivals and Traditions before both languages look at a unit on music, poetry and film from French or German-speaking countries to increase cultural awareness.
In Years 10 and 11 we follow the AQA German or French course using the AQA textbooks with their interactive course ‘Kerboodle’ to enhance the students learning experience.
The aims of the course are to enable students to develop an understanding of German or French in a variety of contexts. It also allows you to increase your knowledge of key vocabulary and structures, to transfer language learning skills and to communicate effectively. Finally, the course aims at helping students to understand counties and communities where German or French are spoken.
Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based:
Theme 1: Identity and culture
Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
Each of these broad themes is broken down further into sub-topics which we cover over the 2-year course. Many of the topics will have been covered briefly in Years 7-9, allowing us to study and analyse a topic in much more depth over the GCSE.
A major feature of the GCSE is the emphasis placed on cultural awareness. You will be learning about the customs and traditions of German or French speaking countries alongside the more traditional language structures, vocabulary and grammar.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
Scheme of Assessment (AQA German/French)
There are two tiers of entry: Foundation (Grades 1-5) or Higher (Grades 4-9)
Paper 1 – Listening (F 35 Minutes / H 45 Minutes)
(25% of GCSE)
Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.
Paper 2 – Speaking (F 7-9 Minutes / H 10-12 Minutes)
(25% of GCSE)
Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of different purposes.
There are 3 parts to the speaking exam:
- Describing a photo card
- Talking about 2 topics from the above Themes. (You get to choose one of them!)
Paper 3 – Reading (F 45 Minutes / H 1 Hour)
(25% of GCSE)
Understanding and responding to different types of written language.
There will be a selection of questions to answer in English and German/French and also a translation from German/French into English.
Paper 4 – Writing (F 1 Hour / H 1 Hour 15 Minutes)
(25% of GCSE)
F – Describe a photo in 4 sentences, 40-word question, 90-word question, 5 sentences to translate from English – German/French
H – 90-word question, 150-word question and a short paragraph to translate from English to German/French.
WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
The qualification requires students to:
- Develop the ability to listen to and understand spoken language in a range of contexts and variety of style
- Communicate in speech for a variety of purposes
- Read and respond to different types of written language
- Communicate in writing for a variety of purposes
- Understand and apply a range of vocabulary and structures
- Develop language learning and communication skills which can be applied broadly
WHAT CAN THE SUBJECT LEAD TO?
Not only is Germany one of the UK’s most important trading partners but German itself is spoken by 120 million people as a first language and by many millions as a second and third language. German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world and many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.
Studying German can also lead to careers in translation – for business and communities – and education – Primary, Secondary and Higher. We are not just thinking about the global arena either: BMW manufactures engines on the outskirts of Birmingham so there are opportunities here in our own region for students with German.
French is truly a global language with French speakers found on almost every continent. More than 220 million people in the world speak French, either as their first or their second language. It is the second most widely learned language and the sixth most widely spoken language.
Studying French broadens your horizons and opens up new opportunities for communicating effectively, gives you the chance to explore different cultures and people and connect with different communities world-wide.
Studied German at Aston University, including a year spent abroad in the Südpfalz, followed by a PGCE in German and French at Westminster College, Oxford. Began teaching at Shireland in 2002 and after a short break to bring up 2 children, returned in 2016 to lead the Languages Department.