The Languages Department currently consists of 5 specialist language staff , two of whom are part time, teaching French, German and Spanish throughout KS3 and KS4. In addition we have a GTP student from France
for the academic year 2012 - 13 who will be working in the department.
In Y7 we use the i-languages course which has the strap line “teaching the same things in a different way” to help us to accommodate students who have studied French at primary school alongside those who are starting the language from scratch. Staff have reported positive feedback from students and this was backed up by parental comments on the first Parents’ Day 2011.
Students are put into ability sets at the end of Y7.
In Y8 and Y9 we use the i-languages schemes of work. Among other things we are covering theme parks, the origins and taste of chocolate and, how to use French in an office during Year 8, and extreme sports and how to review a French film in Y9. A second language – Spanish or German in alternate years – is introduced to the most able students in Y8 and continued into Y9. We use the modern ¡Mira! And Echo! courses.
Students have the option of studying French and / or Spanish or German to GCSE. We are investing heavily in new course materials for GCSE courses, using Expo for French, ¡Mira! For Spanish and Echo! for German. Students are entered for the Higher or Foundation sections of the AQA GCSE, with both speaking tests and controlled written assessment done internally. Numbers hold up well compared to the national position, and we expect further expansion with the advent of the E-Bac, which includes a GCSE in a modern foreign language.
Last year students studying languages at The William Allitt achieved
approximately 2 grades better than the national average.
Approximately 100 students have opted to study a language to GCSE in Y10 from September
We run a visit annually to Northern France for Y7 students during activities week, and the department contributes to the running of the Derbyshire Japanese Exchange in which students participate during Y10. The department’s Japanese expert provides tuition and translation services for both staff and students!
Images from last years France trip are available
to view on
William Allitt Picture Wall.
The internet is a fantastic language learning tool which can be used to read or listen to foreign language materials, or practice grammar. We use
Online [www.languagesonline.org.uk] and
[www.linguascope.com – your son / daughter will have access to the school password] to practise both grammar and vocabulary.
We also recommend www.universal.co.uk, run by Routes into Languages, for both grammar and vocabulary practice.
Linguascope offers access to French, German and Spanish broadcasters. Other possibilities for language learning are through the BBC and Channel4 websites.
There are various translation engines available on the internet, but, whilst they can successfully translate individual words, they struggle with sentences and complex structures.
Please advise your son / daughter against using translation engines! For example, look at this translation of Little Bo-Peep.
More positively, students can use Vokis,
[www.voki.com]. If they type in French, German or Spanish correctly, using accents as needed, this website will help them with pronunciation.