Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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Modern Languages

'One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way?' - Frank Smith

The MFL department’s intent is to build and nurture a curiosity and love of foreign languages and to provide an opening to other cultures.

Language is communication. It reflects the culture, history, values and beliefs of people and allows us to explore others and ourselves and to see the inter-relationship between people.  We endeavour to enable all of our pupils to foster, sustain and maintain relationships between people, particularly of different cultures and backgrounds and we hope to broaden all of our pupils’ horizons with experiences to help them grow beyond their immediate surroundings.

French is studied from First Form and can be continued through to GCSE and A level. Spanish is available as a new subject in Third Form as part of the GCSE options and pupils can continue studying Spanish in Sixth Form at A level.  Exam results are excellent year on year and students often leave the school to study languages at university.

      

There are trips to France (Calais and Montpellier as of 2019) available to boys in First to Fourth Form and Sixth Form pupils benefit from theatre trips where possible and relevant and visits to the Institut Français and the Instituto Cervantes. 

                       

 

Teaching Staff

Miss F Cherry (Head of MFL)

Ms C Rayment (Deputy Head of MFL)

Miss N Fernandez (Teacher of French)

Miss K West (Teacher of French)

Mr F Zanrè (Associate Deputy Head, Teacher of Spanish & French)

Mr A Cosgrove (Deputy Headmaster, Head of Lower School, Teacher of French)

Key Stage Three

French is taken by all pupils in the First and Second Forms.  Pupils will choose whether to continue with a foreign language at the end of their second year at the school.

In the First Form we aim to consolidate any knowledge of French acquired in primary schools and seek to develop the boys’ ability to speak, understand spoken and written French and to write accurately. Their areas of experience will include learning the language of the classroom, clothes and colours, family and physical description, free time activities and weather and places in town.  Their learning will be underpinned by the following grammatical structures: the present tense, gender of nouns, definite and indefinite articles, agreement of adjectives, some common irregular verbs, high frequency verbs, possessive adjectives, prepositions, the near future tense, modal verbs.

In the Second Form they will continue to develop their language skills in the following topic areas. Countries, towns and transport, daily routine and time, school subjects, shops and food items and at the café or restaurant.  Once more, grammar is a strong feature of the course, apart from the revision of structures learnt in the First Form, the following will also form a part of the course: more irregular verbs, further work on the near future tense, reflexive verbs in the present and near future tenses, connectives and more high-frequency words, more work on prepositions, learning to give and justify opinions, the perfect tense of regular, irregular and reflexive verbs, using time indicators and using the negative with tenses.

The overarching work of the department at Key Stage 3 is to develop confidence in the boys’ ability to learn a new language by laying solid foundations in language learning. We focus on strategies such as comparing pronunciation in English and French through phonics, similarities in both languages, the gender of nouns and its effect on adjectives and past participles, using qualifiers and learning about cognates. They are also taught to cope with new vocabulary, to use high frequency words, connectives, spelling patterns, work out meanings, to add more detail and to understand the sequence of words in French. 

 

GCSE

 The GCSE course for those starting GCSE French or Spanish in September 2021 is broken down as follows, following the AQA specification (it is the same for both subjects):

Paper 1 - Listening Paper 2 - Speaking
 Understanding and responding to different types of

spoken language.

 

25% of the final grade. One 35/45 minute exam at the

end of the three year GCSE course involving questions

in English to be answered in English or non-verbally

and questions in French/Spanish to be answered in

French/Spanish or non-verbally.

 Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes. 25% of the final grade. Non-exam assessment of between 7 and 12 minutes long involving a role-play, a photo card and general conversation

Paper 3 - Reading Paper 4 - Writing
 Understanding and responding to different types of

written language.

 

25% of the final grade. One 45/60 minute exam at the

end of the three year GCSE course involving questions

in French/Spanish and English and a translation from

French/Spanish into English.

 Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.

 

25% of the final grade. One 60/75 minute exam at the end of the three year GCSE course involving writing a message of four sentences based on a photo stimulus (F paper only), an open-ended writing task (H paper only), a translation from English to French/Spanish and a structured writing task.

 

 

 Sixth Form French

 FRENCH (AQA)

 You may have an interest in language itself; you may have a love of France, its culture and its beautiful language; you may wish to pursue a career involving the use of French or travel in France and other Francophone countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and many African countries – whatever the interest, proficiency in French is increasingly important and valuable in Europe, particularly post-Brexit.  If you want to be successful in an increasingly globalised world, you will need to be able to communicate in another language.  With a decline in those taking languages past GCSE level, set yourself apart from the rest and study French!

Core content:

  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends (the changing nature of family, the ‘cyber-society’, the place of voluntary work);
  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world (A culture proud of its heritage, contemporary francophone music, cinema: the 7th art form);
  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues (positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated);
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world (teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment, demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power? Politics and immigration);
  • Grammar;
  • Works: literary texts and films (for example: Molière – Le Tartuffe, La Haine – Mathieu Kassovitz, Candide, Voltaire).

 

Paper 1:  Listening, reading & writing
Written exam:  2hrs 30 mins
90 marks
50% of A-level


Listening & reading & responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts & sources covering different registers.
Own control of listening content in exam.
Translation into English; a passage of minimum 100 words.
Translation into French; a passage of minimum 100 words.

Paper 2:  Writing
Written exam:  2hrs
80 marks
20% of A-level


One question in French on a set text from a choice of two questions and one question on a set film from a choice of two questions (300 words approx. per essay).  All questions require a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the works and a critical and analytical response to other features such as form and the technique of the presentation.

Paper 3:  Speaking
Oral exam:  21 - 23 mins
60 marks
30% of A-level


Discussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus card (5-6 mins).  This card is studied for 5 mins at the start of the exam.
Presentation (2 mins) and discussion (9-10 mins) of individual research project.

 

A commitment to reading around the topics studied and doing extra work outside of the classroom is compulsory in this subject.

 

 Sixth Form Spanish

 

Spanish is a world language. It is the world’s second most spoken language after Chinese and English. The inhabitants of nearly all of the Central and Latin American countries, as well as those of mainland Spain, speak Spanish. Recent reports of the language needs of British industry reveal the pressing need for personnel with foreign language skills, Spanish being a major focus.  Thus, as well as offering a substantial advantage for a career in business or pleasure, Spanish will provide the Sixth Former with an insight into the richness of the cultures of Spain and Latin America.  If you want to be successful in an increasingly globalised world, you will need to be able to communicate in another language.  With a decline in those taking languages past GCSE level, set yourself apart from the rest and study Spanish!

Core content:

  • Aspects of Hispanic society: Social issues and trends in Hispanic society (modern & traditional values, cyberspace, equal rights);
  • Artistic culture in the Hispanic world (modern day idols, Spanish regional identity, cultural heritage);
  • Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world (today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens, monarchies and dictatorships, popular movements);
  • Multiculturalism in Hispanic society (immigration, racism, integration);
  • Grammar;
  • Works: literary texts and films (for example: La casa de Bernarda Alba, Federico García Lorca , El laberinto del fauno, Guillermo del Toro).

 

Paper 1:  Listening, reading & writing
Written exam:  2hrs 30 mins
90 marks
50% of A-level


Listening & reading & responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts & sources covering different registers.
Own control of listening content in exam.
Translation into English; a passage of minimum 100 words.
Translation into Spanish; a passage of minimum 100 words.

Paper 2:  Writing
Written exam:  2hrs
80 marks
20% of A-level


One question in Spanish on a set text from a choice of two questions and one question on a set film from a choice of two questions (300 words approx. per essay).  All questions require a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the works and a critical and analytical response to other features such as form and the technique of the presentation.

Paper 3:  Speaking
Oral exam:  21 - 23 mins
60 marks
30% of A-level


Discussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus card (5-6 mins).  This card is studied for 5 mins at the start of the exam.
Presentation (2 mins) and discussion (9-10 mins) of individual research project.

                                                       

A commitment to reading around the topics studied and doing extra work outside of the classroom is compulsory in this subject.