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INSIGHT for parents

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What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

  • I enjoy communicating in the foreign language
  • I am open minded and keen to experience the life and culture of other countries, for example through reading foreign literature, watching foreign films and travelling.
  • I am sociable and enjoy meeting people of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • I take a keen interest in the world around me, in particular current events and global issues which affect young people in society.
  • I am interested in language and in how language works so that I can use it creatively and independently to express myself.
  • I want to develop independent study skills so that I will have the necessary attributes to be  a successful student at university.
  • I want to learn more about Spanish society and culture.
  • I ENJOY Spanish.

What will I learn about?

The first year of the course will focus on how Spanish- speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. You will develop your language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the study of a range of contemporary topics such as modern and traditional values, cyberspace, equal rights, modern day idols, Spanish regional identity and cultural heritage. You will also study a Spanish film. 

In the second year of the course further aspects of the social background of Spanish-speaking countries are covered as well as studying aspects of the political landscape. You will study the topics of immigration, racism, integration, political engagement of young people, monarchies, republics and dictatorships and popular movements. You will also continue to study a Spanish film as well as a literary text in Spanish. Activities will include listening to a range of spoken texts and reading a wide variety of texts, in-depth study of grammar with translation to and from Spanish and pair and class discussion. You will also write critical and analytical essays on the film and the text that you have studied as well as preparing an individual research project for the final oral exam.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the first year of the course there will be several assessments and the Mock exam in May will consist of three papers testing listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Your final exams will consist of three units.

Paper One will assess listening, reading and writing. For the listening component you will have individual control of the recording. The reading section will comprise of texts written for different purposes with comprehension questions that will target main points, gist  and detail. You will also have to translate a passage into Spanish and passage into English.

Paper Two will assess your writing skills and you will be expected to write two critical, analytical essays on the text and the film that you have studied.

Paper Three will assess speaking. There will be a discussion of a sub-theme that you have studied with the discussion based on a stimulus card. You will also present and discuss your individual research project.

What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?

Grade 5 in Spanish

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including whole- class teaching, group and pair work activities and small group/individual presentations. Your teachers will be using the target language for most of the lesson. You will be expected to do the same. We also arrange visits to university study days and other events. This year, Year 12 and 13 students have been given the opportunity to participate in an exchange with a school in Zaragoza, where they will be attending lessons, visiting areas of local interest, as well as practising the language and skills they have acquired.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

You can take a traditional language course at university or a combined course with any one of a range of subjects including Business or Law. Often such courses include a year spent studying overseas. Competence in Spanish is a real asset in the workplace. As well as export links, many British firms have partnerships with Spanish companies.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions please contact Ms McKenna in the Modern Foreign Languages Department.