A Level language courses are for serious linguists and not for the fainthearted.
They require students who are determined to learn new vocabulary and grammatical items on a daily basis and who have a passion for the language. You need to be an excellent communicator and not afraid of giving your own opinions and justifying them. If you are interested in other countries and cultures and want to manipulate the target language effectively so that you are understood, then you will enjoy the necessary hard work and commitment a language course demands. Learning a language is a life-long skill which complements many other courses.
THE MFL DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
The MFL department at Wyke offers A Level courses in French, German and Spanish. The department consists of three experienced language specialists, one for each of the languages offered, and three Foreign Language Assistants, all of whom are native speakers. The six staff work closely together to provide a vibrant, fast-paced linguistic experience in a welcoming and reassuring environment. There are two main teaching rooms for languages, and half of the lessons take place in the language laboratory, where listening skills are developed and exam-type exercises are provided through the online resource ‘kerboodle’. As a department we all agree that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Living in the country of the language you are studying would be ideal, but the next best thing is to travel abroad. We encourage you to take part in cultural opportunities offered.
You will study social change and cultural aspects of countries where the language is spoken looking at areas such as family, technology and topics relevant to these countries. You will also study highlights of the artistic culture of Germany, including music and cinema, and learn about political engagement in the countries where the language is spoken. In addition, you will explore the influence of the past on present-day communities. Throughout your studies, you will learn the language in the context of the country and the issues and influences which have shaped it. You will study a text and a film and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of your choice. Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, reading, speaking and writing skills
HOW THE COURSE IS DELIVERED
Most of your lessons will be delivered in German or Spanish and half of them will take place in the language laboratory where online resources are often used. As well as four 70 minutes lessons with your specialist teacher, you will have a 20/30 minute session with the Foreign Language Assistant each week. Topic booklets and handouts, based on the AQA recommended texts and materials, are issued throughout the course to every student.
Trips and cultural visits abroad have been offered to language students at Wyke to develop linguistic, cultural and personal skills. We currently offer a visit to Berlin in Germany. All these visits, run by experienced staff, offer a packed programme of cultural, educational and social events. Closer to home, staff arrange for students to attend special Language Days and workshops at Hull, Leeds and York University plus local film and theatre events when the opportunity arises.
Studying languages can open up a wealth of opportunities. It can mean working in the more obvious fields such as translating, interpreting, tourism or teaching, but also in sales, marketing, law, journalism, IT and public relations, where a language, often combined with another expertise, really opens up doors for you. Many careers require language skills to cope with the global market place, international trade and e-commerce. The internet has made access to other countries and markets much easier, so effective communication with potential clients is vital for online companies.
Language skills give students cross-cultural competence, enhanced employability and a lifelong skill. To employers they give added value, access to new clients and markets, high level communication skills, a wider perspective, open mindedness and a sensitivity to other cultures.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREPARE ME FOR THE COURSE?
You must have exposure to the target language wherever possible. If you get the opportunity to travel abroad or talk to people from German speaking countries, take it. Watch films or listen to music in the target language, read newspapers, magazines, books and websites and look at news sites online. Vocabulary and grammar are vital, so learn little and often, and really try to develop the habit of language learning.
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