Why study languages?
It has recently been estimated that 75% of the world’s population do not speak English, therefore it is important for businesses to employ staff who can speak more than one language. You will be more employable and your salary can go up around 20% if you demonstrate that you have enhanced communication skills. This also makes it much easier to work abroad and also communicate with local people whilst on holiday. During Years 10 and 11, you also find out lots about the countries and cultures where foreign languages are spoken.
What areas would you study?
The course is designed to improve the four key areas of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Whilst developing these skills, you will study a wide range of topics, including family, technology, free-time activities, where you live, health, the environment, education and future plans. Within these topic areas, you will learn how to express and give reasons for your opinions. You will also learn how to talk and write about past events, current situations and future plans.
How do you learn?
Languages at KS4 build on what you have learnt already in Years 7, 8 and 9. Classes are fun and interactive and you cover things at a quicker pace which leads to rapid improvements in your ability. You will make spoken and written presentations using a range of multimedia resources, as well as learning through other methods, such as interactive online activities. You will also analyse real-life material in the foreign language you are studying.
How are you assessed?
You will have a listening, reading, writing and a speaking exam at the end of Year 11. There are two tiers, foundation and higher and each exam is 25% of your overall GCSE grade.
Where will this take me post-16?
Languages at GCSE not only allow, but also prepare, students to follow A-level courses at post-16. Languages can be studied at university to degree level, either on their own or alongside nearly any other subject, allowing you to specialise exactly where your personal interests lie. As well as the more traditional jobs which require you to speak a foreign language, such as interpreting, translating or teaching, there are many other jobs which require people to speak more than one language, such as secretaries working for international businesses or salespeople.