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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.

Overview of Key Stage 5 Curriculum

In the sixth form, girls develop the skills necessary to communicate confidently and learn to understand more complex and varied written and spoken language. This is accomplished through using a variety of sources, including books, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, DVDs and the internet. Girls are encouraged to watch films and read more widely as an opportunity to discover the literature of their chosen language at A2 level.

The courses also aim to develop girls’ knowledge of the country and its culture. Girls attend weekly conversation classes to develop fluency and pronunciation skills. Some pupils take a language to AS Level and most take their language choices to A2 Level.

At AS level, topics covered include: TV, advertising and communication technology; sport, exercise, health and well-being, holidays; cinema, music and fashion trends; relationships within the family, friendships and marriage.

At A2 level, girls will continue their indepth learning with topics including: pollution, energy and protecting the planet; wealth and poverty, law and order and the impact of scientific and technological progress; immigration, integration and racism; study of a region or study of 20th century period of history or study of a novelist, dramatist, poet or director

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 choose a link