The study of a foreign language not only enables us to communicate in that language but also offers us the opportunity to discover another country and its culture, to explore our differences as well as what connects us and allows us to better appreciate the global community we are a part of.
It also provides us with a unique perspective on our own native language through comparison of grammar and vocabulary.
As a department, our own teachers have used their studies of languages to enable them to travel and experience the world and the living languages themselves and we are committed to developing that passion and curiosity in our own pupils.
The main objectives of the various courses of study open to our pupils are to promote the wider use and understanding of the target language and their role in developing a better appreciation of other cultures as well as giving pupils the tools to learn other languages in the future and help them understand their own language. Of course, they will also develop the four skills of reading, literacy, talking and writing in the target language.
Our pupils are exposed to French from a very early age with it being featured as a part of the curriculum from Junior 1, taught by one of our Primary teachers. As such they are well prepared to embark on their language studies in S1 where Spanish is also introduced alongside French.
Pupils have the option of studying French and/or Spanish at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
French / Spanish - National 5
In both French and Spanish, the course offers pupils the opportunity to develop detailed language skills in the meaningful real-life contexts of society, learning, employability and culture. It also provides pupils with the opportunity to use creative and critical thinking to synthesise ideas and arguments; to enhance their enjoyment and their understanding of their own and other cultures; to explore the interconnected nature of languages; and to develop independent learning.
Both courses are made up of two mandatory units. The course provides pupils with the opportunity to develop their reading, listening, speaking 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, speaking and writing.
Unit 1—Understanding Language
The purpose of this unit is to provide pupils with the opportunity to develop reading and listening skills in the modern language, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of detailed language in the contexts of society, learning, employability and culture (see table).
Unit 2—Using Language
The purpose of this unit is to provide pupils with the opportunity to develop speaking (over two contexts) and writing skills in the modern language, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of detailed language in the contexts of society, learning, employability and culture.
Topics can include: Family and friends, lifestyle, media, global languages, citizenship, learning in context, education, jobs, work and CVs, planning a trip, other countries, celebrating a special event, literature and TV of another country.
French / Spanish - Advanced Higher
The main purpose of the course is to further develop the skills of listening and talking, reading and writing, in order to understand and use French or Spanish.
This course offers learners opportunities to develop and extend a wide range of skills: listening, talking, reading and writing in a modern language within a range of contexts; translation; grammatical knowledge; planning and research; integrating and applying language skills; developing independent learning and higher-order language skills.
This course is made up of three mandatory Units:
Understanding Language (Advanced Higher)
Using Language (Advanced Higher)
Specialist Study (Advanced Higher)
The purpose of the Understanding and Using Language Units is to develop and extend reading, listening, talking and writing skills in the modern language, and to develop knowledge and understanding of complex and sophisticated language in the contexts of society, learning, employability and culture. Topics covered can include personal relationships, lifestyle, media, globalisation, citizenship, learning in context, education, jobs, work and CVs, planning a trip, other cultures, traditions, literature, film and media.
The purpose of the Specialist Study Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop and extend planning, research and analytical skills in order to undertake an independent specialist study based on literature.
Where possible, we aim to provide pupils with practical insights into the relevant cultures and with opportunities to practise and experience the language outside the classroom.
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To find out more about how we engender hard work and determination in our young people, come and visit us and meet our dedicated teaching staff and speak to our pupils.