Subject: GCSE Spanish
Staff and Responsibility: Ms T Nicholson
Through studying a Modern Foreign Language, students will develop their ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. They will also broaden their horizons, stepping beyond familiar cultural boundaries and will develop new ways of seeing the world.
To build on previous learning from years 7 and 8, pupils in year 9 continue with their middle school language. Pupils can then choose this language at GCSE and A level.
The aim of the GCSE Spanish course is to enable students of all abilities to develop their Spanish language skills. The course covers three broad themes:
- Identity and culture – family, technology in everyday life, free-time activities
- Local, national, international and global areas of interest
- Current and future study and employment
Students will learn skills needed by tourists and people travelling for business and will also discuss topics concerning young people such as drugs, healthy lifestyle, work & relationships. There is a focus on the culture and identity of the countries where Spanish is spoken. We will study authentic texts like poems, lyrics or short stories. The skills of translation will also be taught, from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish.
Students will have four exams at the end of Year 11 – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each skill is worth 25% of their GCSE grade.
Lessons are conducted mostly in the target language and, as well as the textbook, we use other resources such as magazine articles, internet resources and computer-based materials. No special equipment is needed for the course, but most students find that a Spanish dictionary or access to an on-line dictionary is a help with their homework. Parents can be very helpful in checking that homework is done, and testing vocabulary that has been learned.
Potential Career Options
Students will find that being able to speak Spanish is a real advantage when the time comes to look for a job. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world and employers are always on the lookout for good communicators. The Russell Group has named languages as subjects that open doors to more degrees at universities. (The Russell Group is a group of 24 universities with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement).
Why study a foreign language?
- 90% of the world’s population live in a country where English is not the native tongue.
- 74% of all employers are looking for candidates with language skills.
- Employers value languages, as they are increasingly important to make sure we can compete in the global market. Because of this, languages are increasingly becoming a requirement for many graduate schemes, such as those offered by Lidl.
- A GCSE course in a foreign language is stimulating and enjoyable. Whilst emphasising pupils’ roles as European citizens, it also teaches practical communication skills and develops awareness of pupils’ own cultures and those of the target language speaking countries – an important asset for life in the 21st Century.