Modern Languages

Modern Languages

“ English is not enough! 75% of UK businesses are losing trade due the inability of the majority of our workforce to speak a second language.” House of Commons Debate 2010.

The aim of the Modern Foreign Languages department is to plug that gap. It is to offer the student the ability to compete in the European Market, improve their communication skills and enable them to interact with people from a basic level to more advanced conversations in an enjoyable, stimulating and safe learning environment.

French and Spanish at Little Lever High School are taught by specialist staff with a deep understanding of the language and enthusiasm for the subject. Mrs Fidler and Mr. Rhodes teach both French and Spanish and have both spent time living and working in Spain, South America and France. We aim to offer our pupils a solid grounding in grammar whilst equipping them with the key skills for language-learning, both within and beyond the classroom.

How will I study?

The MFL department focuses on pupils developing the independent learning skills that they will need throughout their lives. To support this development, a wide variety of teaching and learning methods are employed which utilise interactive whiteboards, i-pads, mini-whiteboards, in group, paired and independent activities. In KS3 all students receive 2 periods of language study per week and in KS4 this increases to 3 periods.

Pupils will be continuously assessed through each unit in KS3 and will complete end of unit tests each half-term to show their progress. It is important that students know where they are up to. These assessments will consist of formal written, reading and listening exams, and conversations or presentations based on research and group work. Books are marked fortnightly with constructive feedback as to how to achieve and exceed their targets.

Extra-Curricular Activities

We offer an annual trip to a French Chateau where a variety of day trips are undertaken to experience French culture - such as a visit to a goat farm and chocolate factory. Pupils are able to experience Eurodisney or take a day trip to Paris. A trip to Madrid is offered to interested pupils who will spend 3 nights in this vibrant city, visiting a theme park, travelling by underground to stadiums, museums and other places of interest using their language and immersing themselves in Spanish culture. There are also cinema trips to watch films in the target language to support listening skills and stimulate cultural interest.

The Christmas market trip is a popular event where pupils can buy souvenirs and sample some of the many European delicacies sold during the festive season.
During the school day there are lunchtime language clubs for pupils where they can play interactive games and all Year 7 pupils are entered in a nationwide competition – The Times MFL Spelling Bee where they can impress others with their vocabulary and compete to win a prize.

Our resources are constantly being developed and tailored to the national curriculum requirements for Modern Foreign Languages and the interests of our pupils. It is our responsibility as linguists to educate pupils about the French and Spanish Speaking worlds and culture about which they are studying as well as helping pupils to develop the four key skills in language-learning: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

Pupils are encouraged to bring their own equipment and purchase their own bilingual dictionary which is a must for any language learner.

Year 7: Pupils focus on developing the key skills they will need to communicate across a broad range of topics including self and family, pets, sport, local area, and school life, as well as projects about French or Spanish speaking countries and customs. Pupils are encouraged to work independently and produce speeches and presentations using the language at the end of each unit.

Year 8: Pupils further develop their integral language skills on a new range of units such as free time, healthy living and holidays, whilst consolidating language already learnt. They will be able to talk about past and future events to add some depth to their speaking and writing. They will also get the opportunity to watch foreign language films during a unit of work covering film and cinema.

Year 9: Pupils spend Year 9 in preparation for GCSE covering a broad spectrum of topics and a focus on grammar to give them the solid foundations vital for success at GCSE.

Languages are optional at KS4 at Little Lever. Pupils who opt to take French or Spanish GCSE will follow the Edexcel specification. The course is 60% controlled assessment with spoken and written components which are completed over the course of Year 10 and 11. The Reading and Listening skills are tested at the end of the two-year course and are worth a combined 40% each of the overall grade.

 Sample reading and listening exam papers for French can be found on the Edexcel website at: http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/french-2009.coursematerials.html#filterQuery=category:Pearson-UK:Category%2FExam-materials

Sample listening and reading exam papers for Spanish can be found at:


The qualification forms part of the English Baccaulaureate and offers an in depth curriculum which will enable the learner to use their language up to and beyond GCSE level.

Learners are encouraged to buy their own dictionaries and Edexcel revision guides. Pupils use Vocab Express to develop their vocabulary and are encouraged to use other apps such as Duolingo to keep their language fresh.

To keep up on French news pupils can visit: http://www.lemonde.fr/

To keep up on Spanish news pupils can visit: http://elpais.com/

Reading around a topic area is always encouraged at GCSE as is the development of listening skills. For pupils with an interest in music, a good site is: www.lyricstraining.co.uk or you can download podcasts from the internet. For any further information please contact the MFL Department.