Modern Languages

Aims of the Modern Languages

In the Modern Language Department, our commitment is to deliver the best education in the skills of foreign language speaking, listening, reading and writing to our young people. We endeavour to meet the needs of every pupil; therefore our materials are developed for different stages and levels of attainment. We encourage independent learning through teaching the skills of listening, reading and writing and especially in students’ learning of the related foreign language vocabulary. We promote group work skills and class discussion in speaking tasks. We collaborate with other departments within the school to ensure that our students have an integrated, meaningful learning experience in a supportive, positive learning environment.

Staff Names & Roles

Mrs M.Calderhead (CL)

Mrs K.Anthony (PTPC)

Mrs M.Carr (0.8)

Mrs A.Christie (PTPC)

Mrs A.Gaffney (0.8)

Miss C.Maguire

Miss C.McKernan (DHT)

Miss L.Stewart

Broad General Education Course Layout

Pupils in French follow the Broad General Education of Curriculum for Excellence and have the opportunity to develop their skills through a range of Experiences and Outcomes. In meeting these pupils will:

  • gain a deeper understanding of their own language and appreciate the rich and interconnected nature of languages
  • enhance their understanding and acceptance of other cultures and gain insight into other ways of thinking
  • develop skills that they can use and enjoy throughout life in leisure and work

The study of any modern language also plays an important role in developing literacy, numeracy and health & well-being skills. We provide an environment where pupils can communicate, collaborate and build relationships. They will also be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT and to engage in interdisciplinary learning and project work.

S1

Pupils study a range of topics including self & family, dates & numbers, animals & pets, school, sports & hobbies, weather, home & town and holidays. The four key skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing are all covered in both class work and assessments. They are introduced to basic grammar concepts and they work individually, in pairs or, often, in groups. All S1 pupils are given the chance to take part in an ILC in French.

S2

The main topics covered in S2 are TV & cinema, Paris, travel & transport, free-time and friends & food & drink. More emphasis is placed on grammar in S2 than in S1 in order to prepare pupils for the challenges ahead. Again, the four key skills are taught and assessed. Grammar is also formally assessed at this stage. Pupils are introduced to Italian through a “taster-course”, usually lasting around 3 periods.

S3

Courses will provide pupils with the opportunity to make connections with different people and their cultures and to play a fuller part as global citizens. Learning a modern language allows pupils to broaden their cultural awareness and to enhance their understanding of cultural diversity, which includes insights into other ways of thinking and other views of the world. The skills that pupils gain by successfully completing modern languages courses will be valuable for learning, life and work.

Pupils will:

  • read, listen, talk and write in a modern language;
  • understand and use a modern language through access to online topical and relevant resources such as interviews, television news and cultural information;
  • apply their knowledge of a modern language through speaking in a simulated real life context such as ordering food, applying for a job or booking into an hotel;
  • access websites for language learning;
  • develop language learning skills through watching films in a modern language;
  • develop skills in planning and research and presenting knowledge of language skills to their peers;
  • develop literacy skills through reading, listening, talking and writing in a modern language and to reflect on how this relates to English.

National Qualification Course Layout

N4 Modern Languages

In National 4 you will continue to develop the skills needed to understand and use French or Italian in everyday situations. Your work will cover topics like travel, holidays and free time. You will have the chance to plan and research a topic of your choice, using and developing your reading and writing skills. You will be able to prepare and deliver a short presentation about what you have researched.

The course consists of 3 mandatory Units, including the Added Value Unit. Each of the component Units of the Course is designed to provide progression to the corresponding Unit at National 5. All Units are internally assessed against the requirements shown in the Unit Specification. They will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

The assessment of the Units in this Course will be as follows:

Understanding Language

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop reading and listening skills in the Modern Language and to develop their knowledge of straightforward language in the contexts of society, learning, employability, and culture.

Using Language

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop talking and writing skills in the modern language, and to develop their knowledge of straightforward language in the contexts of society, learning, employability, and culture.

Assignment

The purpose of this Added Value Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to apply their language skills to investigate a chosen topic in a familiar context in the Modern Language.

To achieve a National 4 award in Modern Languages pupils must pass all of the required units and the added value unit. There is no final exam and the course is not graded.


National 5 Qualification Course Layout

N5 Modern Languages

In this course you will be able to enhance the language skills you have developed in Talking, Listening, Reading and Writing. You will be able to communicate more confidently in French/Italian. Your work will cover topics like careers, holidays, health and free time.

The course consists of 2 mandatory Units and the Course Assessment. Each of the component Units of the Course is designed to provide progression to the corresponding Unit at Higher.

The assessment of the Units in this Course will be as follows:

Understanding Language

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop reading and listening skills in the modern language and to develop their knowledge of straightforward language in the contexts of society, learning, employability, and culture.

Using Language

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop talking and writing skills in the modern language, and to develop their knowledge of straightforward language in the contexts of society, learning, employability, and culture.

The Course assessment will consist of two Components. Component 1 comprises two question papers, one titled ‘Reading and Writing’, another titled ‘Listening’. Component 2 comprises a performance titled ‘Talking’.

The structure of this Course assessment is as follows:

Component 1

Question paper 1: reading and writing worth 50 marks (30 marks & 20 marks)

Question paper 2: listening worth 20 marks

Component 2

Performance: talking worth 30 marks

Pupils will deliver a presentation in the Modern Language and will take part in a natural conversation with the teacher in the Modern Language. 10 marks will be awarded for the presentation. The presentation and conversation will be from one of the following contexts: society, learning, employability, and culture. 15 marks will be awarded for the conversation and 5 marks for the ability to sustain a natural conversation.

To achieve a National 5 Award in Modern Languages pupils must pass all of the required units as well as the course assessment. The added value unit and the exam will be externally assessed.


Higher Qualification Course Layout

A one year course for students who wish to continue their studies of French or Italian beyond National 5 Level. The main purpose of the course is to further develop your skills in Talking, Listening, Reading and Writing in order to communicate more fluently in French/Italian. The study of a Modern Language has a unique contribution to make to the development of cultural awareness. It provides learners with a means of communicating directly with people from different cultures, enhancing their understanding and enjoyment of other cultures and of their own. They gain insights into other ways of thinking and other views of the world, and therefore develop a much richer understanding of active citizenship.

Entry Level

Pass at National 5, preferably B or above. In this Course, and its component Units, there will be an emphasis on skills development and the application of those skills.

Course structure

This Course is made up of two mandatory Units. The Course provides learners with the opportunity to develop their reading, listening, talking and writing skills, in order to understand and use a Modern Language. The two Units, taken together, include the four language skills of reading, listening, talking and writing.

The structure of the Units enables learners to focus on the skills required to understand and use a Modern Language, and to integrate reading, listening, talking and writing skills across the Units. Each Unit also offers opportunities for learners to focus on particular skills.

Understanding Language

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop and extend reading and listening skills in the Modern Language, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of detailed and complex language in the contexts of society, learning, employability, and culture.

Using Language

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop and extend talking and writing skills in the Modern Language, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of detailed and complex language in the contexts of society, learning, employability, and culture.

Conditions of Award

To gain the award of the Course, the learner must pass all of the Units as well as the Course assessment. Course assessment will provide the basis for grading attainment in the Course award.

Course Assessment Structure

Component 1: Question Paper 1: Reading and Directed Writing 40 marks

Question paper 2: Listening and Writing

30 marks

Component 2:

Performance: Talking

30 marks


Advanced Higher Qualification Course Layout

Understanding Language

This is about your ability to READ AND LISTEN to written and spoken French.

Using Language

This is about your ability to TALK and WRITE in French.

Specialist Study

This is about your ability to plan and research an independent specialist study, based on literature or language in work by:

1.1 Identifying an appropriate focus and creating a study plan

1.2 Selecting and analysing evidence

You will be required to provide evidence of your planning, research and analytical skills by:

• planning and researching their specialist study

• presenting their initial findings

All of the assessments for these Units will be carried out and marked by your teacher and may also be checked by someone from outside the school. Your teacher will build up a bank of EVIDENCE to show that you have passed the units.

Course Assessment Structure

Component 1: Question Paper 1: Reading and Translation

This question paper will have 50 marks (25% of the total mark).

This question paper has 2 Sections.

Section one, titled ‘Reading’, will have 30 marks.

You will read a text in French. You will respond to questions in English by using English (30 marks).

Section two, titled ‘Translation’, will have 20 marks. You will do a translation of an underlined section (20 marks). You may use a dictionary and glossary (if appropriate).

Component 2: Question Paper 2: Listening & Writing

This question paper will have 70 marks (35% of the total mark).

This question paper has two Sections.

Section one, titled ‘Listening’, will have 30 marks.

You will listen to one monologue (10 marks) and one conversation (20 marks) in French. You will answer questions in English and respond in English.

Section two, titled ‘Discursive Writing’, will have 40 marks.

You will be given a choice of 4 statements. You will produce one discursive essay in response to one of the statements. You may use a dictionary.

Write around 250-300 words.

Component 3: Performance: Talking

The performance will have 50 marks (25% of the total mark).

You will have a discussion in French. You will take part in a natural, spontaneous conversation with a Visiting Assessor in French. The discussion will be related to at least one of the following contexts: society, learning, employability, and culture and your specialist study of literature, media or language in work.

  • You will provide details of the themes and topics studied and the focus of your specialist study in advance.
  • You will be allowed brief notes (bullet points/prompt words)
  • The main aspects of the performance should be: content, accuracy, language resource, interaction
  • The discussion will last around 20 minutes.

Component 4: Portfolio

The portfolio will have 30 marks (15% of the total mark).

Candidates will write one text in English of 1300-1500 words in length on either of the following:

• literary and/or media texts in French

or

• work-related written or media texts in French

Your portfolio must show evidence of analytic reading, wide research, and should be a critical appraisal of the texts that you have chosen. Your portfolio is NOT a piece of descriptive writing, so please take care not to treat it as an extended book review. We will work on skills to complete the portfolio that will form a good foundation for university study. Please note that class time will not be dedicated to the portfolio per se. This is an independent piece of research.

So what can you do to help yourself in this course, in addition to doing the work set by your teacher?

  • Scholar – an online resource run by Heriot-Watt University to support your learning. There are Reading, Listening, Writing and Grammar exercises available for all contexts.
  • Learn vocabulary related to the themes and topics on a regular basis
  • Use online resources and activities – eg www.languagesonline.org.uk, BBC Languages, BBC Classclips, youtube
  • Read as much in the foreign language as you can
  • Persuade your parents to take a trip abroad!
  • Go to a library (research)