Modern Languages Department

 

Members

Mrs. C. Pickering (HOD) (Irish)

Miss L. Cassidy (Spanish and Irish)

Miss O. Flanagan (Irish)

Mrs S. Hayes (Irish)

Mr. P Hynes  (Irish)

Miss C. McVicker (Spanish)

General aims

 The main aim of the Modern Languages Department is to promote the learning of Irish and Spanish in a communicative manner which encourages students to embrace the language and culture associated with it. In this age of multiculturalism, the Modern Languages department aims to train students with the skills pertinent to learning another language, while fostering respect and an understanding for our own and other cultures. All students are given the opportunity to develop their communication and thinking skills coupled with the ability to speak another language.

Key Stage 3

In year 8, students study one period of Irish and one period of Spanish per week. At the end of year 8, students choose one language to continue studying in Year 9 and 10.

In Year 9, students study their chosen language through 5 topics; Myself and Others, Family and Weather, Home and Location, School, Food and Drink. Students sit exams at the end of each topic assessing their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in the target language.

Students continue to study their chosen language in year 10 through a further 5 topics; Holidays (and Gaeltacht), Working Life, Shopping, Hobbies/ Interests, Everyday Life, Health and Emotions. Students continue to sit end of topic exams. Self evaluation is a priority in the Modern Languages Department and students are encouraged to set high achievable targets for progression and asked to review their progress at the end of each topic.

Key Stage 4

Students who chose to study a language for GCSE will sit the CCEA GCSE exams. Building upon their study from key stage 3, students study their chosen language through three contexts for learning; The Individual, Citizenship and Employability.

Students are assessed in 4 areas; listening, speaking, reading and writing. The assessment is a mixture of controlled assessment and formal exams at the end of Year 12.

  • Speaking: This accounts for 30% of the total marks and consists of 2 speaking activities throughout Year 11/ 12. This is assessed through controlled assessment.
  • Writing: This accounts for 30% of the total marks and consists of 2 written activities throughout Year 11/ 12. This is assessed through controlled assessment.
  • Listening: This accounts for 20% of the total marks. Students sit a listening exam at the end of year 12.
  • Reading: This accounts for 20% of the total marks. Students sit a reading exam at the end of year 12.
  • Students study three themes;  Relationships, Health and Lifestyle and Young People in Society.
  • Speaking Exam with outside examiner (35% of the total marks)
  • Listening, reading & translation from target language into English and a written exam (65% of the total marks)
  • Speaking Exam with outside examiner (35% of the total marks)
  • Listening, reading & translation into the target language and literature paper (65% of the total marks)
  • Having a Modern Language greatly enhances career opportunities such as teaching, journalism, translator in the European Union, Civil servant and work in the media.

Post 16                                                                                                                               

Students can study Irish and Spanish to A-level.

Students then sit two exams at the end of year 13.

Students sit A2 in Year 14

Students study two themes; Local and Global Citizenship and Environmental Awareness. They study a piece of literature in Irish or Spanish. As part of the speaking exam students also study short films or a societal theme.

There are a further two papers at the end of year 14.

Throughout A-level, students develop their communication and fluency skills. It is expected that they achieve a high level of fluency in the target language by the end of year 14. Students who study a language to A-level are strongly advised to spend a period of time in the target language country or  Gaeltacht area.

Extra Curricular Actiities

There are a wide range of extracurricular activities in the Modern Language Department which greatly enhance language learning and cultural awareness. These include, An after School Cumann Gaelach, Gael Linn tráth na gceist and céilí, Onatti theatre group, ‘opportunity Europe’,  Easter and Summer courses in the Donegal Gaeltacht, Feis an Dúin language and poetry competitions, Aonach oibre in Coláiste Feirste, and many other competitions. Students have the opportunity to take silver and gold fáinne exams and this year we are introducing a Spanish equivalent.

Career opportunities

  • Having a Modern Language greatly enhances career opportunities such as teaching, journalism, translator in the European Union, Civil servant and work in the media.
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