French is an international language of world business and politics. It is one of the official languages used in the EU and is the spoken widely around the world. Learning French allows a student to study not only the language and culture of France but also Francophone countries throughout the world.
Trips to Paris are organised bi-annually which provides students with the opportunity to practise their language in an authentic way while experiencing French culture and food.
Pupils also have the opportunity to attend French film events at Queen’s Film Theatre, as well as language immersion courses at Queen’s and Ulster Universities. A French theatre company will also perform for the students.
A French Assistant is employed to work intensively with the yr13 & 14 French students in preparation for their AS and A2 exam. When time allows it the French assistant is also deployed throughout the junior school and to assist with speaking preparation for the GCSE students.
Bonjour! Welcome to Year 8 French! At the beginning of Year 8, pupils will start to learn simple words and phrases and build on these gradually. By mid-way through Year 8, they will be able to have a conversation in French, order food and drinks in a café, talk about themselves, their family and pets and where they live. They will talk about young people in France, their daily routine and life at school. By the end of Year 8, they will also be able to describe their town, their hobbies and interests, their favourite group and talk about music in French.
Pupils will be assessed in a variety of ways. Teachers will ask questions in class, give short vocabulary tests, weekly homework and there will be a formal assessment each half-term. These results will be recorded and parents will be asked to sign the test and to comment on their son’s progress throughout the year. There is an internal examination in Christmas and June at the end of Year 8.
Pupils can expect to receive two pieces of homework each week in Year 8. This will usually be one written task and one learning task. Written homework should be neatly presented in their homework book and signed by parents.
All pupils should revise the work done in class every evening. They should spend 15 minutes on this daily. They should make sure that they understand what they have done in class and ask their teacher the following day if they have any questions. Learning new words is essential for pupils to progress in learning French. Pupils should learn a small amount of vocabulary each day rather than trying to learn too much the night before a test! It is helpful if parents can ask their son about what he has learned in class. Pupils might also like to try teaching their new words to another family member.
Key Points to Success:
This year pupils will learn to listen, speak, read and write in French. They will develop essential skills to help them learn a language. They will be taking part in pair work and group work exercises as well as completing tasks individually in class. Pupils will need to concentrate in lessons and learn to listen intently. We concentrate on developing speaking skills and pupils will soon become confident about using French with the teacher and with their friends in class. They will have good communication skills when they visit France on holiday.
Course Outline KS4:
In addition to learning the core skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing French, this course builds on Key Stage 3 study and prepares students for AS-Level French. It helps students to develop language skills in a variety of contexts. The unitised structure allows students to complete two units (speaking and writing) prior to their Summer examinations in Year 12. The course also offers students a choice of topics in writing and speaking. The main topics studied are: Family and friends, Relationships, Lifestyle / Health and Sport, Free Time, Holidays, Home and Local area and School / College and Future plans.
The assessment is divided into four sections or units:
- Listening - 20%
- Reading - 20%
- Speaking - 30%
- Controlled Assessment/Coursework - 30%
The controlled assessment consists of two written tasks and two speaking tasks. Examples of these could include writing about your holidays last year or giving a presentation about where you live. These will be completed in class time during Years 11 and 12.
As students will have four periods of French per week, they can expect two pieces of French homework per week. This may take the form of a written task, a reading comprehension, learning vocabulary or preparation for a spoken assessment.
Key Points to Success:
In order to achieve their potential in GCSE French, students will be required to undertake independent study. Due to the progressive nature of learning a language, they will be expected to revise classwork after each lesson and to learn vocabulary on a regular basis from the beginning of Year 11. A commitment to work hard is expected from each student throughout the two years of the course.
Course Outline A Level:
The A-Level language course is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge of the language and the skills necessary to:
- give a Presentation and sustain a conversation in the language on a variety of topics such as plans for the future, hobbies, relationships, travel, the difficulties facing young people in our society;
- listen and respond to recorded material;
- read articles in the language and answer, in writing, questions on them;
- translate a range of articles into, and from, the language;
- write critical essays on prescribed texts.
The AS (two modules) is the first part of the full Advanced GCE course. The full Advanced GCE comprises the AS and the second half of the GCE course referred to as A2. However, the AS can be taken as a ‘stand-alone’ qualification without progression to A2. The A-Level GCE award will be based on the aggregation of the marks from AS (50%) and A2 (50%).
A-Level work involves absorbing a wide range of new vocabulary, idiom and grammatical structures. This requires constant revision, practice and organised study methods. Homework will usually require the completion of work set by the class teacher. This is generally set one week in advance to allow the student sufficient time to do the appropriate study or research. A student who does merely the minimum cannot realistically expect a good grade. Suggested time: A minimum of a one-hour session at home per day as well as sensible use of time-tabled study periods in school. Students should familiarise themselves with the requirements of the course. They should be aware of and make proper use of the resources available both from the class teacher and the school library. These include a wide range of books, articles, magazines, past papers, sample essays, and cds available for home use.
Key Points to Success:
- Students should have clearly defined targets for revision, both short and long term;
- Their written work should be well organised and accessible;
- In the classroom and in conversation classes with the Language Assistant it is important that each student takes an active role, i.e. asks questions, takes part in conversations and is willing to make oral presentations;
- Enthusiasm and a strong work ethic will engender confidence with the language and encourage success.