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Modern Foreign Language

Modern Foreign Language

From Charlemagne who said 'To have a different language is to possess a second soul’ to Federico Fellini who saw ‘A different language as a different vision of life’, it is not hard to find quotations from famous people celebrating the learning of languages.

We feel that studying a new language offers variety and challenge, develops skills and facilitates understanding of other cultures and societies.

All our pupils study French from Year 7 to GCSE in Year 11. In Year 9 they all choose a second language, either Spanish or German which they can, if they wish, take up to GCSE. The majority of our girls do so and often continue with their studies to A level and beyond.

Girls are given the opportunity to direct their own learning as they often work in groups or pairs and they are always taught in an atmosphere of mutual respect where they can experience success and enjoyment in their work, irrespective of difference in academic ability.

The girls at Francis Holland School are always extremely enthusiastic and confident and as the same emphasis is placed on the different skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing our examination results are invariably amongst the very best in the school.

Staff

The MFL teachers are a very close team of experienced and dedicated professionals who are generous with their time and passionate about making each girl fulfil her potential. We feel that we achieve an exceptionally positive attitude towards languages. Girls not only gain excellent examination results but also use their language skills abroad with great enthusiasm.

Resources

Most of our classrooms are equipped with the latest computer equipment, including interactive whiteboards, which enhance and support a more traditional approach to teaching and learning and allows us to dispense with a more cumbersome language laboratory.

The library has a well stocked dedicated area and a large selection of magazines, newspapers, novels, reference books as well as DVDs, is available for our pupils to consult or borrow for enjoyment or study. Discovering the wider context in which a language is used is very much part of the syllabus and contributes to the independent study skills that help our students to achieve their linguistic potential.

Beyond the Classroom

We are very keen to provide our students with a wide range of opportunities that will place languages in their more natural context and every year some foreign travel is organised in France, Spain and Germany.

We are keen to give our pupils the opportunity to integrate the study of languages within the wider school curriculum and joint trips are a regular feature of the school calendar. Recently joint trips for girls who study a language as well as Art took place to Paris and Berlin.

In addition to trips abroad we are lucky to have on our doorstep institutions such as the French, Spanish and German institutes which provide our students with an easy access into foreign cultures. 6th form students are also regularly taken to the cinema or the theatre which, in London, regularly show foreign productions. Last year we went to see ‘Huis Clos’ by Jean-Paul Sartre and ‘All about my mother’ by Pedro Almodovar. LowerVI Spanish students even enjoyed an evening in a Spanish restaurant.

We also organise a variety of events at school as these are more practical for younger girls, this year for example we ran a MFL week which involved every member of the school, including the kitchen staff and foreign lunches!  This provided an enriching experience for the whole school community as we were all able to benefit from the unique contributions made by those pupils who speak a second language or a different language at home.

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