Modern Languages

Bastille Day 2011 at Eckington School

Bienvenue & willkommen to the modern languages department at Eckington School! Here at Eckington School we are passionate about language learning and our team of linguists work hard to ensure that our students have every opportunity to be successful and enjoy the experience of learning French or German.

Why learn French or German?

  • Not everyone in the world speaks English! According to the National Centre for Languages (CILT) 94% of the world does not speak English as their first language, 75% of the world does not speak any English at all!
  • Learning a foreign language develops a variety of skills  reading, listening, communication, presentation, problem solving, organisation and independence.
  • It can improve understanding of the English language as it heightens awareness of structure and grammar.
  • Language learning promotes tolerance as it offers an insight into other cultures.
  • It can make travel and leisure more exciting and interesting.
  • Being able to speak a foreign language just to GCSE level can open many doors in the world of work. Businesses in the UK are in massive need of people who can speak more than one language. A native speaker of English with basic French or German will have more career opportunities and choices.
  • 60% of Britains exports go to non-English speaking countries and 20% of UK exports are adversely affected by barriers in language or cultural ignorance.

The leader of teaching and learning for French is Mrs Siddons -

The leader of teaching and learning for German is Mrs Staley -

Modern Language learning at Eckington School

In years 7 and 8, each student studies either French or German during 4 periods per week, following a course designed around the Studio course book in French and Stimmt course book in German. Lessons include a variety of activities to suit all learning styles and abilities, ranging from reading, writing, listening and speaking activities to pair work, group work and interactive activities using various ICT resources such as the electronic whiteboard and laptops.

Qualifications currently available in both languages are GCSE, AS and A Level and as the study of languages post Key Stage 3 is currently optional, we find that in Key Stages 4 & 5 we have small classes which benefit greatly from increased opportunity for one on one support from their teachers.

Enhanced language learning at Eckington School

Currently in KS3, Eckington School offers the very exciting opportunity for a small number of students to take part in the Enhanced Languages Project. Students at Eckington School will have the opportunity to opt into an Enhanced Languages form group prior to the start of year 7. These groups have a French or German specialist as their form tutor, meaning that they obtain extra exposure to the foreign language, thus making quicker progress in their language learning. The project has been running for a number of years now with many siblings of former enhanced languages students also opting into the scheme. Please ask a member of the languages teaching staff at the Year 6 open evening for further information or contact Mrs Staley (German) or Mrs Siddons (French) in the modern languages department.

Language Trips at Eckington School

Our annual exchange with the Herzogenaurach Gymnasium near Nuremberg in Germany is currently in its 6th year. Each October a group of German students stay with the families of Eckington students, with our students traveling to Germany in the summer term for the second leg of the exchange. The exchange is so enjoyable that a number of students have opted to return for a second or third time and we are hoping that as word spreads, the exchange will become more and more popular as there are many students at our partner school who would love to visit Eckington and in turn, host one of our students in Germany.

Chinese at Eckington School

September 2014 saw the start of the second year of Chinese at Eckington School through the Confucius Classroom project. The project was launched in July of 2013 and our Chinese teacher, Miss Kun Ma, has introduced over 500 of our students in Key Stage 3 to the Chinese language and culture. Some students followed one lesson per week throughout the year, whilst others have taken short blocks of taster lessons. In addition, sixth form students, Key Stage 4 pupils and staff have enjoyed the opportunity to learn Chinese at lunchtime extra-curricular classes. Miss Ma has also worked with six of our primary feeder schools, offering lessons to 300 future Eckington students.

In order to cope with the demand for Chinese in the school community, in September 2014 it was agreed that a second teacher from the Confucius Institute, Miss Lu Wang, would be attached to Eckington School. This has enabled us to work more intensively with students and to expand our provision further. It will also help us to deliver the YCT qualification which will be introduced for the first time this academic year.

The Youth Chinese Test is an international test for students of Chinese and is the first rung on a ladder of qualifications which students can climb as they progress through the school. The qualification is internationally-recognised, offered by the Chinese Hanban organisation and will be a useful addition to students skills as they prepare for an increasingly competitive future. In order to achieve the qualification, students will need to learn 80 Chinese words and be able to use them in simple sentences.

We hope that you would agree that this is a very exciting opportunity for the students and teachers of Eckington School and should you like any further information, please contact the modern languages department.

Last updated: Thursday, February 02, 2017Print this page

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