Modern Foreign Languages

Key Stage 3

  • Attempt all extension activities for homework and classwork. Aim high – don’t settle to achieve your target level, but to exceed it.
  • Extra-Curricular Activies, such as ‘Culture Club’ on Tuesdays at 12:45pm in L10
  • Extension tasks that push your learning into GCSE or even A Level standard
  • Correspondence with French pen pals in Year 9.
  • Taking part in Year 7 Study Visits to France, Year 8 and 9 Paris visit and German Exchange for Year 9 students.
  • Independent tasks such as working out a specific grammar rule and explaining it your peers. Write your own rule and produce an exercise for the rest of the class and even your teacher!
  • Make use of Language Perfect even in a language you haven’t studied (yet!)
  • The promotion of studying 2 languages at GCSE.
  • In a listening exercise, write down what you hear, transpose what you hear into another tense.
  • Ask your teacher to mark a speaking or written piece as a GCSE grade in Year 9.
  • Find a podcast to support your pronunciation and your general understanding
  • Take an interest in festivals or the culture of the language that you are learning, such as Venetian masks in Italian
  • Change the language of your phone or other device to understand simple instructions.
  • Teach a relative something that you have previously learnt.

Key Stage 4

  • Use ‘tickables’ and ‘Power phrases’ in speaking and written controlled assessments.
  • Make sure you know the success criteria for speaking and controlled assessments. Ask for a copy of a blank mark sheet and ask your teacher to explain how this is marked.
  • Include more tenses. Find out about the subjunctive, pluperfect, past conditional and make sure that you include them in your speaking and writing!
  • Ask to visit our KS5 satellite room, which is just for A-Level lingists.
  • Attend a trial AS lesson in the Spring Term of Year 11.
  • Make use of Language Perfect even in a language you haven’t studied (yet!)
  • Speak to former students who are now studying languages at university.
  • The promotion of studying 1 or 2 languages at A Level and even Degree Level. Universities often give out lower offers to language students. You are in demand!
  • A Level questions for Reading and Listening exercises.
  • Be prepared to speak more spontaneously and fluently.
  • Understand language from a range of contexts. The language and grammar that you learn are not confined to just 1 topic!
  • Take up the offer of mentoring from our Year 12 and 13 students.
  • Listening and Reading exercises – note down new vocabulary and learn it independently. Use this in the next speaking or written homework.
  • In a listening exercise, write down what you hear, transpose what you hear into more than 1 tense.
  • Ask your teacher in advance of the lesson for the vocabulary you will hear and learn it in ADVANCE of the lesson.
  • Read for pleasure, do a review of a film or find out about a cultural or linguistic feature that particularly interests you.
  • Listen to music in another language from you tube. Can you find examples in English and the TL from YouTube?

Key Stage 5

This stage of your education is preparing you for the world of work or further education. With this in mind the way that you approach the course should be different.

  • Independent Work – you should be taking ownership of your own learning, reading around the subject and doing extra work at home making sure you fully understand concepts
  • Further Reading and Research – In Year 13 watch films by Jean Pierre Jeunet and analyse common themes. Find out about key characters in World War 2. Describe your life if you had been a 17 year old in France during WW2.
  • Become a Sixth Form Mentor – help out in KS3 lessons. Ask the teacher if there is anything that you can do in advance which you could teach to pupils. Support Year 11 students with their speaking and written assessments during Thursday mentoring and at lunchtimes as well as immersion sessions.
  • Learn a new language. Russian is taught during lunchtimes. This looks very impressive to a potential university and employer.
  • Foreign film festivals – at Warwick and Birmingham Arts Centres.
  • Take part in the Year 7 study visits and use your French with the animateurs. Start to prepare for the Year 13 Cultural topics and gather evidence.
  • Work Experience in France, Spain, Italy and Germany through Halsbury Tours. Work in a shop/school/medical centre/business etc and immerse yourself in the foreign culture.

Also of interest:

Adventures on the Bookshelf

Adventures on the Bookshelf is a collaborative blog run by the staff and students of the sub-faculty of French.

It is aimed at pupils and teachers of French in Years 11 to 13, and anyone with an interest in French language and culture who may be considering applying to study them at Oxford. The blog combines lively posts about French language, literature and culture, insights into student life, and reviews and recommendations for French books, films, apps and websites. It also gives information for prospective applicants about how the Oxford admissions process works from UCAS form to interview, and what you can do to prepare for it. Read the blog at