Head of Department
Miss S Plumley
It may seem that everyone speaks English, but in fact 75% of the world’s populations don’t. If you enjoy being with people and chatting and joking with them, you’ll enjoy doing this in another language too. Languages are fun to learn – you listen to songs, watch video clips, play language games, research online and read comics all in a different language.
At Cwmbran High School, all pupils study a modern foreign language – French or Spanish.
Useful websites for learning languages:
Click on link below…
Modern Foreign Language Lessons
All pupils in years 7 and 9 are currently studying French, whilst year 8 is studying Spanish. Modern Foreign Languages lessons are interactive, fun and full of surprises. There are lots of activities to help your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills and for once your teacher can’t tell you off for talking! One lesson you may be learning a song to help remember some grammar, the next you could be pretending to interview a famous foreign celebrity; watching a soap opera, or writing your horoscope in another language. Your progress is really noticeable, soon you’ll start talking more, picking up more information in the listening exercises and understanding what you read and all this in another language. You’ll feel a sense of personal satisfaction learning a language and the interactive classes will really boost your confidence. There isn’t anything nerdy or difficult about learning a language; it’s really just a lot of fun.
In year 7 pupils learn how to give personal information and ask others about themselves. This begins with basic information – name, age, birthday etc. and builds up to giving opinions and talking about future plans.
In year 8 pupils learn to give information and ask others about their hobbies, where they live and holidays, as well as beginning to understand in more detail why languages could be important for their future career choices.
In year 9 pupils learn to give information and ask others about school life, routine, healthy lifestyles and French culture, as well as continuing to give pupils the information they need when considering whether to continue with their language learning at KS4, through more ‘career focused’ lessons.
At GCSE level a wide range of topics are covered in your MFL lessons, so as well as learning a language you also learn all about the culture and lifestyle of foreign countries; school life, food, travel, sports, famous people, traditions and customs and the list goes on! The four key areas of language learning are: speaking, listening, reading and writing, so your classes will include activities that improve these skills. You might make posters about your favorite foreign celebrities, sport or pop stars, and then practice what you might say if you ever met them. By learning how to give directions you can point someone in the right direction or get yourself back on track if you ever get lost!
You could listen to music typical of the country and try to work out what the lyrics mean-you’ll probably find you already know some of them! There are lots of cool songs to learn to help you remember dates, months, days of the week and even grammar. There are also some great films and TV shows to watch, all while practicing your listening of course!
There’s no better way to improve or perfect your language learning than practising it with native speakers. Trips are also a great way to immerge yourself in a different culture and try out new things. There are annual trips run by the Languages department, see your teachers for further details.