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Modern Foreign Languages

Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry or savour their songs

Nelson Mandela

In the MFL department at Ernulf Academy we are commited to ensuring our students gain an appreciation of other cultures and to improving their linguistic competence through fostering an enthusiasm for language learning.  The world has become a much smaller place, thanks to technology and ease of travel and we therefore aim to develop understanding of how the learning of languages relates to the wider world and future employment.  In an increasingly competitive workplace, it is crucial that our students learn other languages.  Studies show that learning another language also helps us to understand English better and be a more effective communicator.

Languages are taught across Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 and the programmes of study aim to build confidence across a range of topics which are introduced, then revisited in more depth across Key Stage 3 and 4.  At Key Stage 5 students explore French literature and current affairs in more depth.  We use a range of teaching methods which all have the common aim of enabling our students to become competent at communicating in another language.  We expect students to be well behaved and to be proactive in their learning.

About the MFL department

The MFL department at Ernulf is well resourced, with all classrooms equipped with interactive whiteboards and audio speakers.  The team is dedicated to supporting students’ learning at all levels. Small group intervention and extra-curricular opportunities such as a lunchtime German club aim to support and motivate students to continue with Languages in the future.

Key Stage 3

At Ernulf Academy students study French in year 7 and year 8 for three lessons a week, using the Studio series of textbooks.  In year 9, those students who show an aptitude for language learning have the opportunity to take a second language, currently German.  These students will have two lessons a week of French and one lesson a week of their German. Year 7 students are taught in mixed ability groups and then set by ability from year 8 following assessments.  Setting is reviewed annually.

The Key Stage 3 programme of study builds knowledge of vocabulary and grammar over a range of topics with the aim of developing independence when learning a language.  Progress in all four skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) is regularly reviewed.

Key Stage 4

The Key Stage 4 curriculum builds on the foundations laid in Key Stage 3 by revisiting many of the topics covered and exploring them in more detail, using the Expo GCSE textbook along with other resources.  The new GCSE tests the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing as well as placing greater emphasis on the study of authentic texts and on developing the practical skill of translation.

Key Stage 5 (Through the SNLP)

The new A Level course is attracting the interest of more students.  It places greater emphasis on the study of literature and film in the chosen language, which we feel will give students a more rounded insight into the culture and heritage of the language they choose to study.

Special Events

There are a number of events and opportunities for MFL students at Ernulf:

  • Year 7: At the end of the year students have the opportunity to visit France on a day-trip to St Omer.
  • Year 8: Some students have the opportunity to work together with other schools to write French poems linked to a national competition ‘Mother Tongue Other Tongue’.
  • Year 9: Students take part in a ‘Routes into Languages’ project called ‘Adopt a Class’ where a Cambridge University student of Languages feeds back to a class on their experiences in Paris during their year abroad.

Years 9, 10 and 11 also have an opportunity to visit the Lille Christmas market.

  • Key Stage 4: There is a University Immersion Day in Year 10 and again in Year 11 for GCSE students as well as revision sessions during the Easter holidays.