Between 50 and 60 students study a language at A Level, with a small number of dual linguists. We offer German, French, Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek as A Level options.
Additionally, native speakers of Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Italian can be entered for the examination. A Level preparation helps students develop confident, effective communication skills and a thorough understanding of the culture of countries and communities where the language is spoken. It develops an interest and enthusiasm for language learning and encourages students to consider their study of the language in a broader context. The course requires students to develop their ability to write and speak in a foreign language with accurate grammar and syntax for a range of purposes, and to understand written or spoken speech in a variety of contexts and genres.
All students have iPads and are encouraged to practise their language skills through a variety of apps. The use of iPads in the classroom has become an indispensable part of language acquisition. They are excellent tools in developing a variety of language skills as well as enhancing students’ engagement and participation.
Mr Sergei Drozdov
Head of MFL
About the Curriculum
In the Sixth Form, students have eight periods per language each week. There are native speaker language assistants for each subject, assisting pupils in developing their spoken fluency and also in practicing for the oral assessments. It is expected that every pupil attends a conversation class with the assistant each week, either in the evening or during normal timetabled lessons. We use AQA textbooks for German, French and Spanish as well as numerous authentic resources. A detailed study of a film and a book is an indispensable part of the A Level curriculum. Thus, students learn about Das Leben der Anderen and Der Vorleser in German; L’Étranger and Au Revoir les Enfants in French; Como Agua Para Chocolate and Ocho Apellidos Vascos in Spanish.
The Department pursues a teaching methodology based on the four pillars of language learning:
- A modern language is a practical, communicative subject. This is reflected in a participative approach where pupils are encouraged to use the language in a real-life setting through pair work and group work. Courses chosen reflect the modern, communicative nature of the subject
- Languages offer intellectual rigour at all levels. The learning of vocabulary, insistence on written accuracy and the importance of grammatical structure all play a central role in language learning at Lancing. The Department welcomes the return to the traditional role of grammar/translation
- Languages offer a cultural insight into the country. Courses reflect this, and are supplemented by audio-visual materials which bring the country, its people, customs and cultural achievements into the classroom. Exchanges enhance the classroom experience. Students gain a European perspective through their language learning and are able to recognise their role as European citizens. Literature, art, poetry, music, cinema all feature in the cultural aspect of language learning at a higher level
- Languages are creative. The Department encourages students to adapt languages to their own needs and to develop all the four language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Pupils are encouraged to produce imaginative work using their languages. The use of iPads and language learning apps is a common practice.
The Department organises trips to countries where the target language is spoken, either in the form of exchanges or regular trips. Language trips offer a personal, social and cultural experience for pupils, which stimulates interest and enthusiasm for language learning. A trip to Berlin for the Sixth Form takes place every year; an email tandem programme with a school in Oviedo is run annually by the Spanish Department, followed by a physical exchange visit.
German is the main language not only of Germany but also of Austria and much of Switzerland. There are far more native speakers of German in Europe than any other European language, including English. It is also widely spoken in Central and Eastern Europe, where it can be as important as English. Jobs with German language skills have currently the highest demand in the UK employment market, with Germany being the UK’s number one trading partner.
The study of Spanish possesses a further dimension in giving access to the majority of Latin American countries, whilst also being the second most spoken language in the United States. There are over 450 million Spanish speakers worldwide and the number is increasing rapidly.
French is both a working and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg, where the EU institutions are headquartered.
A steady number of Lancing students continue to read languages at universities each year.