Modern languages (French & German)

Bienvenue!  Willkommen!

Did you know that approximately 94% of the world’s population does not speak English as their first language and that 75% of the world’s population does not speak any English at all?  60% of all UK trade is with non English-speaking countries and so learning a language can increase job opportunities and according to scientists it also boosts brain power.  Therefore at Vandyke we strongly believe that it is extremely important to study a foreign language and that it also enables us to better understand the culture of others.


The Department

MMA_VanDyke_2010_1_191We are a team of 5 dynamic and dedicated specialist Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) teachers who have a wealth of teaching experience.  Our suite of classrooms comprise 5 teaching rooms, including interactive whiteboards and we have a wide range of resources to support the learning of students in the 4 language skills.  We encourage active participation of students in lessons and we use our dynamic approach to learning with a focus on group and pair work and frequent team games and competitions. We also work collaboratively with other departments on cross-curricular projects such as the highly acclaimed “Operation Dynamo” group work project when students were filmed discussing in French the events of the evacuation of Dunkirk.


Year 9 students study French and some have the opportunity to study German as a second modern foreign language.  Both subjects are a popular GCSE choice.  French is also offered as an extra GCSE at our popular early morning classes. We follow the Edexcel course at GCSE and AQA for the new A level syllabus, with current year 13 students studying the WJEC syllabus.  We offer extra lunchtime lessons for our most able linguists from September of Year 11 and revision classes aimed at both higher and foundation students are run throughout the year.  Students are also encouraged to use a variety of recommended websites to support their language learning outside of lessons.


Details of extra-curricular opportunities

We run study visit trips with our colleagues in the history department to locations such as the World War 1 battlefields in northern France, as well as Berlin and Munich in Germany.  These visits last 5 days and we carry out various language activities to improve students’ knowledge of the language as well as the culture of the country and its customs, in addition to visiting many famous historical sights.  

Key Stage 4 students have travelled to the Opal Coast and Paris in France for 5-day visits and whilst there undertook many activities as well as practising their French.

We encourage A level students to undertake work experience placements in France or Germany.  These placements enable our A level linguists to immerse themselves in the culture, as well as giving them an excellent opportunity to improve their language skills.