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Heads of Departments:
Mr S Allison, Spanish - Mr S McIntosh, German - Mrs V Salin, French
Learning French, German or Spanish in the Sixth Form at Trinity is a dynamic, interactive experience that will challenge and stretch all pupils. We have lots of students combining languages with a huge range of other subjects including Maths, Economics, the Sciences, History and Geography as well as other Arts subjects. Our students understand that the communication skills and cultural awareness developed through learning a language at A level are enormously beneficial whatever their future plans may be. We feel that learning a language is enjoyable in itself, and gives the confidence and ability to explore the world in a more enriching way. However, given recent political events, it will also be even more important than ever that young people can offer language skills to prospective employers as we seek to maintain and develop trade links with Europe.
In all 3 languages we follow the AQA A level course covering topics including immigration and racism, social progress and political history, which all provoke healthy debate among students and help to bring the language alive. Whilst exact topics vary slightly between French, German and Spanish there is a large emphasis on having an understanding of the history, politics and culture of the countries that speak these languages in each of the A levels. Topics such as ‘Family’ and ‘Technology’ may seem familiar to students from their GCSE studies, but at A level we look at them from a more interesting and ‘grown-up’ perspective. For example, ‘Where I live’ becomes a study of social issues such as homelessness, cohabitation or why many twenty-somethings are still living at home with their parents. Similarly, ‘Jobs’ includes how the workplace has adapted to IT, issues of equal pay for men and women and positive discrimination.
In addition to these set topics students study in detail one or more works of literature and a film made in the target language. In French they are currently No et Moi (de Vigan) and Entre les Murs (Cantet); in German they are Der Besuch der alten Dame (Dürrenmatt) and Das Leben der Anderen (Donnersmarck); and in Spanish they are La Casa de Bernada Alba (Lorca) and Volver (Almodóvar). As part of our provision for students looking to read a Foreign Language as part of a degree at Oxbridge or other top universities we run optional sessions to look at other literature and cultural issues not specified in the AQA syllabus. Also, all students are required to undertake an Individual Research Project which relates to a country or countries where the language is spoken in preparation for their oral exam. The topic of this is entirely the students‘ choice, and can relate to anything from sport to politics, history or even the language itself.
A Level French Presentation
A Level Spanish Presentation