From their arrival at Alsager School, all students will study at least one language in Year 7, either German, Spanish, or French. We give students opportunities to develop their language with a focus on the four main skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Students will develop the ability to form language correctly, by learning about grammar formation and phonemes. Students will be able to produce language in past, present, and future tenses.
Students learn a wide range of vocabulary in the target language, with topics often chosen based on what is relevant for young people in society. Students learn about sports activities, school life, technology, environmental issues, and career plans, to name just a few. We also give students language they can use in the real world. How can you explain a medical problem to a doctor? How can you order food and drink in a restaurant? How can you ask for directions to a place in town?
There is also a big focus on understanding the culture and the people behind the language. In KS3 we have a variety of cultural projects, for example learning about the artwork of Salvador Dalí in Spanish, or the history of the city of Paris in French. We also learn about traditions in different countries, like the fascinating festivals that happen in Germany, or the bizarre edible delicacies of Latin America. (guinea pig!) Students who progress further in languages may delve even deeper and get to grips with authentic resources. This could be a German novel, a famous flick from French Cinema, or the vivid world of Spanish music and dance.
I love teaching languages because it gives students access to other cultures. It allows them to consider their identity on a global scale, and how to interact with people from around the world. In an increasingly diverse and developing society, it is more essential than ever that young people understand the importance of global citizenship. It allows students to express themselves creatively by speaking and writing in other languages. Learning languages gives students transferable social and communication skills, as well as a space to develop their confidence with expressing themselves. It can open the door to new career paths and make you an attractive candidate to future employers. I champion learning languages because there is something special and powerful about being able to speak to people from around the world in their own language.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
Mr Perry (Teacher of Languages)
What does it mean to be a languages student at Alsager school?
“It means to want to learn and respect other cultures. To be a language student shows resilience, bravery, and respect towards what is new and different.” (Year 10 student)
“It means to study hard and try and learn about different people and their language. It means to be challenged but have fun as well.” (Year 7 student)
“To be a language student is an enriching experience that is unique and totally different from all other subjects.” (Year 7 student)
What key skills do you gain/develop from learning languages?
“You become more perceptive and learn to explore questions in depth.” (Year 10 student)
“You learn how to be independent and responsible for your own learning.” (Year 10 student)
“In languages you develop confidence and perseverance to try to get it right.” (Year 7 student)
“You can learn to be sociable and you can get to know people even if they don’t speak English.” (Year 7 student)
Do you think it is important to learn languages?
“Learning languages is vital to make you stand out from the crowd. It gives employers a reason to hire you and not someone else. It breaks down barriers, and the skills you develop learning a language help with everything.” (Year 10 student)
“I think it is important as it helps you learn how other people speak and live and if you go on holiday, you know how to speak part of their language.” (Year 7 student)
What is your favourite thing about learning languages at Alsager school?
“My favourite thing about learning languages is the dynamic atmosphere in the classroom. Teachers make the lessons fun and friendly, but still get across the information we need.” (Year 7 student)
“My favourite thing about learning languages is when you leave you have learned something you didn’t know before.” (Year 7 student)
“My favourite part of learning languages is the teachers, if I am stuck they will help me and support me to be the best I can be.” (Year 7 student)
“My favourite thing about learning languages is when you leave you have learned something you didn’t know before. Each lesson has its own challenge to tackle, and then it’s a great sense of achievement when you work it out yourself.” (Year 10 student)