Modern Foreign Languages

Leader of MFL - Mr F Castelain-Mazingarbe

Teacher of MFL - Mrs A Butt

Departmental Vision

Modern Languages are important and a competence in foreign languages will be of crucial importance in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world. Students will need to be prepared for a world where greater skills in modern foreign languages will be very much in demand.
The ultimate aim of teaching Modern Foreign Languages is to enable learners to communicate effectively. Modern Languages develop the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Modern Languages increase the awareness of the way the language works by fostering valuable study skills such as attention to general and detailed meaning in listening and reading and research and use of reference material. e.g. dictionaries and grammar explanations in addition to predicting , selecting, comparing and interpreting information. The study of Modern Languages increases the self-confidence of students of all abilities by bringing a sense of achievement, enjoyment and purpose and through the study of French or German, students learn about cultures of other countries and enhance understanding of their own.

It is our aim that MFL at The Cheadle Academy should be enjoyable, rewarding and motivating. Students are encouraged to succeed by developing the ability to use the language effectively for purposes of practical communication forming a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure, gaining insights into the culture and civilisation of the countries where the language is spoken. Students will develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning, gaining both enjoyment and intellectual stimulation, as well as the reward from being encouraged to develop positive attitudes to foreign language learning. MFL also encourages contact with speakers of foreign languages and to develop a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations, as well as the learning of skills of more general applications (e.g. analysis, memorising, drawing of inferences) din order to increase their understanding of themselves and their own culture.

KS3 Overview (what is taught in KS3)

All pupils are given the opportunity of studying one Modern Foreign Language in order to prepare them for the challenges of work in a global community. The vast majority will learn two Modern Foreign Languages. Five hours per fortnight is allocated to the first MFL (currently French in Y8, German in Y7).
In years 7 and 8 students will develop language acquisition in all four-skill areas with emphasis on communication, progress, independence and enjoyment. They will be given every opportunity of developing a deeper insight into other civilisations and cultures. They will be encouraged to work on their own, in pairs and in groups. An awareness of the importance of I.T. will be fostered.
Students study language through a range of contexts which include themselves and their home, family, school, local area and free time.

KS4 Overview (what is taught in KS4)

Students being examined until 2017 will follow the AQA GCSE Specification. Listening and Reading skills are each worth 20% of the GCSE, and are assessed in a final examination. Writing and Speaking each make up two controlled assessments, and are each worth 30% overall.
Students have 2 lessons per week and should spend at least 1 hour per week on Homework and reviewing/acquiring vocabulary and structures.
In years 9, 10 and 11 pupils will be provided with a wide range of materials to develop and extend their language expertise in the areas of speaking, reading and listening. Students will be given the opportunity to develop proficiency in a variety of written skills – list writing, note taking, letter writing, production of narratives and playlets. Continued use of I.T. will be encouraged in the form of using the Academy’s Moodle site, in addition to language-learning websites. Pupils will also learn how to organise their own work and time in order to produce extended writing and speaking for controlled assessment.

KS5 Overview (what is taught in KS5)

Students studying French or German at our 6th Form will frequently be taught by MFL staff from Cheadle Academy. Staff from the other member schools also teach our students at this level. Students have 4 lessons per week in total, and should spend at least this amount of time again in independent study.
Students follow the AQA A Level Specification for French and German. Two modules are taken in each of the two A level years. Each year they sit a Listening, Reading and Writing paper and also undertake a 15 minute Speaking examination.
In years 12-13 students will be encouraged to develop sound proficiency in all skill areas and be able to deal with a variety of language registers. In order to be considered for A level. Students need a minimum of a GCSE Grade B, although A/A* is desirable as it proves a level of language more suited for the change to A level.

Career Opportunities

There are very few careers nowadays where the knowledge, however minor, of a Foreign Language might not come in useful. There are however certain career paths where the knowledge of one or more Language leads to a student being seen as more employable. Careers where Languages are extremely useful include
•Law/International Law
•Hospitality Trade
•Export/Import Services

Useful websites

Students have access outside school hours to the websites we subscribe to in school. These include
The BBC Language area contains enormous amount of useful practice material.

Extra Curricular Activities

Lunchtimes/ After School
Students have access to MFL rooms with the permission of the MFL staff in order to practise for speaking assessments, complete MFL homework with support or to use a computer to gain more vocabulary.


The Department has run many successful foreign visits to France and Germany. The long running Staffordshire French Exchange (open from Y9 onwards) has had several participants from school in recent years. There is also a highly successful county based French Work Experience programme for Y13 students.