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INSIGHT for parents

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Modern Foreign Languages

We are proud that Gosforth Academy offers students the chance to learn no fewer than five modern languages, demonstrating the importance of language learning in the school’s curriculum.  We believe strongly in the value of learning languages as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, as it promotes the acquisition of important subject-specific knowledge and skills, encourages students to be open and receptive to other cultures, and enhances their future opportunities.


What we view as essential is the constant, cumulative acquisition and expansion of both vocabulary and range of grammatical structures, allowing students to communicate independently and confidently; this is at the heart of our approach to learning.  This means that we provide students with the opportunities to put their knowledge into practice across the four skills of speaking, reading, listening and writing.  Our aim in this is to provide for students an intellectual challenge and therefore an enjoyable and satisfying experience.  We also see the learning of a language as a valuable part in the curriculum of the development of students’ skills in the area of memory and recall, and believe that another benefit is the enhancement of students’ overall linguistic awareness.


We see learning languages as making a significant contribution to deepening students’ understanding of other cultures.  With the international community being so diverse and fascinating, we want to help students move beyond any insular attitudes they may have and be able to appreciate and feel empathy for people who look, sound and act differently to them.  We want to foster a sense of curiosity in our students about the wider international world, and learning a language is a gateway to an enhanced appreciation of it.


We believe strongly that learning a language prepares students for their future; we must think of the valuable range of possibilities opened up for our students by acquiring competence in a foreign language.  In a globalised world, for those with the right language skills there are greatly enhanced opportunities to live, work or study abroad, bringing potentially greater career satisfaction and interest. Even for the majority who will build their family and working lives here in the UK, there is the increased enjoyment in travel to countries where communicating with the inhabitants in their own language adds another dimension to the experience.  However, learning a language at school is not just about learning that particular tongue – it provides the foundation for learning whichever new languages you want, a gift for life-long learning.