Pupils will learn three modern languages whilst at Immanuel College: French, Modern Hebrew and Spanish. Lessons in the Modern Language Faculty are fast-paced and interactive, using a variety of authentic resources. There is a significant emphasis on teaching in the language itself and pupils are encouraged to respond accordingly! Pupils will also have the opportunity to make use of digital resources in the Modern Languages IT room. Modern Hebrew is taught as a special language which connects Jewish people everywhere. It equips pupils with a vital set of communication skills which enable them to extend their understanding and appreciation of Israeli way of life and culture.
In Year 7 pupils learn French and Modern Hebrew. French is taught in mixed ability sets and Modern Hebrew is taught in ability groupings. Year 8 pupils are put in sets according to their performances at the end of each unit test and end of year examination. In Year 8 pupils continue to study both French and Modern Hebrew with French also being taught in ability sets, determined by their results at the end of each end of unit tests as well as their results in the end of Year 7 examination. Spanish is introduced in Year 8 and is taught, at the outset, according to their French sets. Movement up or down thereafter is dependent upon ongoing assessment, homework and the results of regular testing. In Years 7-9 the emphasis is on encouraging pupils to gain excellent language skills and on building linguistic confidence.
For GCSE, most of our pupils study at least one language with significant numbers opting to study two. Pupils are taught in mixed-ability groups according to their option choices. They have 4 periods per week. By the end of Year 11 our aim is that pupils will be able to use their language effectively for practical communication, have some insight into the culture and civilisation of the countries of their chosen language(s), including the Jewish dimension, and will derive pleasure from their exposure to a variety of authentic resources, including: literary extracts, film clips and short films, magazines and newspapers. All 3 languages follow the AQA GCSE course. There is no longer any controlled assessment in Modern Languages. The examinations, which are all taken at the end of Year 11, are divided equally between the four skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
In the Modern Languages Department at Immanuel College we pride ourselves on the fact that around 20% of our pupils in the sixth-form take a language at A level, which is well above the national average. At Key Stage 5 our aim is for our students to learn to collect, analyse and exchange information, ideas and attitudes through the medium of the language as well as to develop an interest in the contemporary culture of the countries in which their chosen language is spoken. Students at Key Stage 5 will study in much smaller sets and will have 8 lessons per week which are divided between 2 teachers. In French and Spanish students also have the opportunity to work with our language assistants who provide conversation sessions on a weekly basis.
The extra-curricular life of the Modern Languages faculty is very rich. We offer penfriend letter exchanges with schools in France, Spain and Israel for all pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9. In Year 8 all pupils go on an educational trip to France. In Year 10 pupils studying French and Spanish have the opportunity to go on a 4 day educational, cultural and social trip to either Strasbourg or Madrid where they can make use of the language that they have learnt as well to discover more about the fascinating culture of the countries. We also have a very popular Modern Languages club run with the able assistance of our 6thform linguists; as well as an extremely well attended Israel Society which regularly offers a high calibre of speakers on a range of Israel-linked topics, including politics, history and art. The highlight of the year in the Modern Languages faculty is our Focus Week during which we encourage pupils, and staff, to greet each other in a variety of languages! Key Stage 3 pupils are treated to a week of language based and cultural activities, such as Flamenco dancing or a French play and we invite a range of speakers to talk to students in Key Stage 4 + 5; past speakers have included a Premiership football interpreter, an international lawyer and a television producer.