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Aims & Philosophy of the Modern European Languages Department

The Modern European Languages department at QM is devoted to not only ensuring girls achieve the best possible exam results, but also in helping each to acquire skills which prepare them for further education and the working world, and enabling them to participate positively as future citizens.

The department seeks to promote the enjoyment of language learning at all levels and to inspire girls to broaden their knowledge of and interest in the cultures of the languages they are learning. The department encourages girls to develop their communication skills in a friendly, supportive and welcoming environment. One of its main goals is to provide all pupils with a sense of achievement and to promote a range of learning styles.

Winner of the ‘Best Performance by Girls Taking French at an English Independent School’ (Good Schools Guide Awards 2016).

Overview of Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Years I and II, all girls study French, Latin and either Mandarin or Spanish. In Year III, German and Classics are also offered as options.

During these years, girls are encouraged to develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing along with the introduction of grammar. The department emphasises enjoyment of learning and communicating, and girls are taught pronunciation rules to help develop their oral confidence through regularly recorded speaking sessions in the language.

Some of the topics covered in Years I-III include personal identity, family, pets, school, hobbies, hometowns, the weather, daily routines, food and drink, health, clothes, holidays and pocket money.

What makes the department unique from those at other schools?

Within the MEL department, a communicative and interactive approach to teaching is adopted at all levels, and the language is spoken as much as possible. Whether learning German, Spanish, French or in some cases multiple languages, girls develop their listening, reading, writing and speaking skills at all levels, and grammar is taught progressively in order to lay a foundation for future study.

Computers are used as an integral tool to learning at all levels, including teaching vocabulary and grammar; additionally, the internet is frequently used to access materials. Independent oral and audio projects are incorporated into schemes of work to motivate and inspire creativity.

Every term girls who study languages in the Sixth Form and Year V attend cinema clubs in French, Spanish and German and many spend time abroad on language courses or doing work experience. The aim of the department is to organise a trip to France, Spain or Germany per academic year and an exchange is currently being set up with St. Margaret’s School in Chile. Every year, the department presents the Most Improved Young Linguist of the Year award to a girl in Years 9 or 10 and also the Excellent Effort in Modern Languages in the Sixth Form prize to motivate and inspire girls to work to their full potential in languages.

To learn about the Modern European Languages
Department curriculum in other Key Stages please
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