Modern Foreign Languages
Head of Department: Mr A M Rose
Why choose modern languages?
French, German and Spanish are offered at AS and A Level at Queen Elizabeth’s. The study of a modern foreign language in the Sixth Form has the potential to lead to many, varied, exciting destinations, broadening your horizons and opening the door to the wide world outside. Not only do you enhance your ability to communicate with the millions of people around the globe who speak the language that you are learning, but you also receive insights into their culture, way of life and heritage.
What does the course involve?
The AS course consists of the study of topics such as the media, popular culture, lifestyle and relationships. The A2 course incorporates the study of the environment and multicultural society, as well as cultural topics of interest to students.
How will I study modern languages?
To assist the language learning process a variety of resources is used. The state-of-the-art computerised language laboratory and a dedicated 6th Form study area provide the opportunity for varied and individualised study. The school subscribes to a number of very useful foreign language websites and regularly purchases new, innovative materials to supplement the main teaching resource materials. Students are encouraged to spend some time every week watching news bulletins, as well as a range of other programmes of interest from foreign television or podcasts. The Internet gives instant access to an almost infinite amount of material, including the day’s newspapers from French, German and Spanish speaking countries. It should also be noted that the school library with its well-stocked foreign language section is a mere stone’s throw from the Modern Languages Department and remains an invaluable asset. Each year the department also benefits greatly from having a native-speaker assistante.Students are strongly encouraged to make visits abroad, be it through the school’s visits programmes or under their own steam. They are also given opportunities to watch foreign language films and plays and indulge in background reading, an important part of their development as well-informed linguists.
How will I be assessed?
We use the AQA as our awarding body. Two units are sat at AS Level, which may subsequently be re-sat. One exam consists of a listening, reading and writing test, while the other exam is a speaking exam. The pattern is the same at A2. There is no coursework.
What qualifications do I need?
The recipe for success at AS and A Level consists in a good ear for the language, a clear understanding of how it works and the willingness to communicate in it. Students who have already shown a confident grasp of the language at GCSE will enjoy developing their language skills at a higher level.
With what other subjects do modern languages fit?
Modern linguists are highly sought after and thus the study of a modern language or modern languages combines well with any other subject on the curriculum.
What can I do at university with an A Level in modern languages?
Modern languages serve as a passport to students who have gone on to university to read a wide range of subjects. This may involve continuing with the respective languages studied at A Level, embarking on a new language, such as Arabic or Japanese, or combining the learning of a language with, for example, a degree in Law. Indeed university prospectuses have page upon page of degrees incorporating a foreign language which they offer to prospective students.
We are fortunate to speak a global language but, in a smart and competitive world, exclusive reliance on English leaves the UK vulnerable and dependent on the linguistic competence and the goodwill of others… Speaking English alone will not be enough to ensure a full and productive participation in the 21st century.Sir Trevor McDonald, the Nuffield Languages Enquiry