Welcome to Oakbank's MFL Department
Head of Department
Miss Showell (French)
French and Spanish teacher
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela.
The MFL department at Oakbank strives to ensure that language learning is a positive experience for all students, whatever their ability. The curriculum across the three years of Key Stage 3 has been created to enable students to develop skills and linguistic competence within a range of common topic areas.
KS3 Programmes of Study
Throughout Key Stage 3 all students currently have the opportunity to study French and Spanish (once each per week). Within lessons, students are encouraged to reflect on their understanding of their own language and to then transfer this knowledge to a new foreign language. They are introduced to a range of strategies to help them understand increasingly challenging written and spoken language as well as giving them the confidence to experiment with this language in their own written and spoken texts.
Across the three years of Key Stage 3, students will cover topics such as those listed below which are designed to prepare them for further study at GCSE and A-level, as well as igniting an interest in other cultures and studying a wider variety of languages in the future.
Currently, we only offer French at KS4, however as of September 2019, we will offer both French and Spanish at KS4.
French- Key Stage 4 (year 10 and 11)
Exam Board: EDEXCEL
In Key Stage 4, our current year 11 students are continuing their GCSE curriculum and the year 10 students are beginning their KS4 curriculum. This is a new specification for our year 10 and 11 students. Within this qualification students will cover a range of vocabulary and structures over five different themes:
There are four different units that students will be assessed on over the two years:
Unit 1: Listening and understanding in French (25% of the total GCSE)
Students will be tested on their ability to understand the spoken language. Testing is through a variety of tasks which require a response, written or non-verbal, to demonstrate understanding.
The spoken material heard will include both formal (eg telephone message) and informal speech (eg social interaction).
In both the foundation and the higher listening paper, students are not required to respond in French, however questions will be posed in both French and English.
Timing: Foundation Tier: 35 minutes + 5 minutes reading time
Higher Tier: 45 minutes + 5 minutes reading time
Total number of marks is 50.
Unit 2: Speaking in French (25% of the total GCSE)
The speaking exam is made up of three tasks:
The exam is conducted by the teacher in one sitting. Students are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively through speaking in French for different purposes and in different settings
For the foundation tier, students are expected to speak between 7-9 minutes (including 12 minutes preparation time)
For the higher tier, students are expected to speak between 10-12 minutes (including 12 minutes preparation time)
Total number of marks is 70.
Unit 3: Reading and understanding in French (25% of the total GCSE)
Students are assessed on their understanding of written French across a range of different types of texts, including advertisements, emails, letters, articles and literary texts. Students are required to respond to multiple-response and short-answer questions based on these texts.
There are three sections to the reading exam. Students must answer all questions in each of the three sections:
Section A is set in English. The instructions to students in English.
Section B is set in French. The instructions to students in French.
Section C includes a translation passage from French into English with instructions in English.
Timing: Foundation tier: 45 minutes
Higher Tier: 60 minutes.
Total number of marks is 50.
Unit 4: Writing in French (25% of the total GCSE)
Students are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively through writing in French for different purposes and audiences. Students are required to produce responses of varying lengths and types to express ideas and opinions in French. The instructions to students are in French. Word counts are specified for each question. Students must answer all questions.
At the Foundation Tier, students need to respond to three open response questions and a translation.
At the Higher Tier, students need to respond to two open response questions and a translation.
Timing: Foundation Tier: 70 minutes
Higher Tier: 80 minutes
Total number of marks is 60.
Why Study a Language?
Here are the top 10 reasons according to the ‘Routes into Languages’ website...
1. You don’t just learn the subject; you fall in love with it.
2. English is not enough! The world has become a much smaller place. It's really important that you learn to speak and understand other people no matter where they are from.
3. You can travel all over the world and feel like a true local.
4. Languages are the perfect way to meet new people, immerse yourself in new cultures and make a difference to who you are.
5. Speaking another language really makes you stand out from the crowd and you’ll be able to work anywhere in the world.
6. Learning a foreign language can help you understand your own language.
7. You develop 4 key skills that are vital for any learning; listening, reading, speaking and writing.
8. You have tonnes of fun learning about a wide range of topics from shopping, to sport, to food and entertainment.
9. They’re good for you! Speaking more than one language increases your brain capacity and you have better memory too.
10. It’s an impressive achievement to speak a foreign language but one your friends and family will envy and employers will love!
For more information