Spanish

What is Spanish for at Meridian High School?

The Modern Foreign Languages Department (MFL) at Meridian High is passionate about the benefits learning foreign languages can bring. We strongly believe in languages as a skill for life and that learning should be fun and rewarding for all students. Studying with us will mean that students of all abilities can become confident and effective communicators in a variety of context on a cultural as well as linguistic level. The study of Spanish covers a range of themes, including; relationships, technology and media, music, sport, customs and careers.

Why does Spanish as a subject matter?

Language learning is vital for the UK’s future prosperity and global standing as it is key to our trade relations, national security and diplomacy. The most recent CBI skills survey showed that almost two thirds of UK’s businesses need foreign language skills – and expect that to grow as more firms break into new, fast-growing markets. The problem is many UK businesses have given up on home-grown talent and rely on translators or hire abroad. 

There is no doubt therefore that our economy needs more of our young people, not fewer, to develop at least functional language skills for our future trade and exports. 

Here are the thoughts of the Principal of the British School in Tokyo who wanted to contribute to the CBI’s Languages for the Future report: “I have never met an adult who has retained a sense of resentment about being made to learn a language. In fact the opposite is true. The expression of regret I hear most often is ‘I wish I’d kept up my French (Spanish, Polish, Japanese…).”

What does Spanish help young people to achieve?

At Meridian, we strive to equip our students for the 21st century. Learning Spanish now will therefore mean that students gain confidence to ‘have-a-go’ whether that be in work or on holiday. It will equip our young people to take on the very real possibility, later on in their careers, of having to learn another language in the work place. However, competition for jobs can be intense and so it is critical to find ways to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Having functional language skills does just that! 

Furthermore, for those students considering a university course there is great news. Many forward-thinking universities are offering students the opportunity to study a language alongside another degree subject. This fantastic opportunity will be seized by those students - our students - who have a positive mind set to languages.  

So, with enhanced employability options, the boost to creative thinking as well as the acquisition of soft skills like getting better at conversational speaking, learning a language can be so rewarding.

These wonderful quotations sum up what can be achieved:

 “With languages, you are at home anywhere.” – Edmund De Waal OBE (British Author and Artist)

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” ‒ Flora Lewis (Columnist and Journalist for New York Times)


Topics covered in Year 7:

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Describing a photo
  • Giving opinions
  • Learning about time frames
  • Reading skills; cognates, context and making educated guesses
  • Translation 
  • Oral Exam; Role play 

Topics covered in Year 8:

  • My local area
  • Extending photo descriptions
  • Developing opinions
  • Learning how to conjugate time frames
  • Reading skills
  • Listening skills
  • Translation
  • Oral exam; Role plays and how to prepare an oral presentation

Topics covered in Year 9:

  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Personal rights
  • Poverty and Environment; what can we do to help?
  • Becoming independent with time frames
  • Developing writing skills; AQA GCSE Foundation Exam skills
  • Oral exam; Role plays and oral presentations 

Topics covered in Year 10:

  • Charity / voluntary work
  • The environment / recycling
  • Jobs / career choices / ambitions
  • Current and future study 
  • Life at school
  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Healthy / unhealthy living
  • Full GCSE mock exams (Oral, Listening, Reading, Writing)

Topics covered in Year 11:

  • Travel and tourism
  • Customs and festivals in the Spanish-speaking world
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time
  • Home town / neighbourhood and region
  • Global issues 
  • Full GCSE mock exams (Oral, Listening, Reading, Writing)

Qualification title:

AQA GCSE Spanish (8698)

Additional learning resources:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698/subject-content/communication-strategies

http://www.languagesonline.org.uk/Hotpotatoes/Index.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/