Department of MFL – French
Here at The Crossley Heath School we really value languages and language learning. Students at Key Stage 3 learn both French and German, and it is compulsory for students to continue to learn at least one Modern Foreign Language at Key Stage 4. We also offer both French and German at A-Level. German is spoken by over 130 million speakers and, due to the size and importance of its economy, is one of the most commonly used languages in business. French is one of the most widely spoken language in the world and is an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO and NATO. At a time of considerable political change in Europe and against the back-drop of a national decline in language learners, we give every single Crossley Heath student the chance to learn a foreign language and to recognise the wide-ranging benefits which learning a foreign language brings.
Language learning significantly enhances communication skills. We promote pair and group work and develop in our students the ability to express themselves clearly and listen to others. We aim to build the confidence in our students so that they feel happy to converse with native speakers when on foreign visits or holidays. Students are also encouraged to work independently and use their initiative to solve problems by making connections between French, German and English. Therefore, through learning French and German, students also have an improved understanding of English.
❝You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.❞
Through our study of topics such as Festivals and Traditions, we foster an understanding of different cultures and an appreciation and tolerance of difference. We require students to take risks and to work outside of their comfort zone, for example by talking to our foreign intern students, by taking part in our foreign language talent show or by participating in our highly successful exchange programme.
These skills are valued by universities and employers. Languages are used and can be helpful in lots of different jobs not only translation, interpreting or teaching. In fact, many employers reward people with language skills with extra salary because they know they are essential in today’s international business world. Therefore, we aim to dispel the myth that English is enough.
❝One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.❞
Grammar is taught explicitly from the start of Year 7, as our objective is to ensure that students can use the language accurately but also manipulate it creatively. Lessons are engaging and are taught by highly-skilled and enthusiastic subject specialists who are passionate about languages. Teachers use a range of activities including games, songs and languages websites to suit different abilities and learning styles. Lessons are conducted in French and German and students are expected to communicate with each other and their teachers in the language. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are practised as well as translation skills and, later, the ability to paraphrase and summarise. Students enjoy learning French and German at The Crossley Heath School, succeed highly in their exams and value the opportunities these subjects provide.
“Language learning significantly enhances communication skills. We promote pair and group work and develop in our students the ability to express themselves clearly and listen to others. We aim to build the confidence in our students so that they feel happy to converse with native speakers when on foreign visits or holidays.”
Mrs A Hazelton (Department Leader)