The Modern Languages Department currently offers courses at various levels in French, German and Spanish. The need to learn to communicate in a foreign language is given more and more emphasis at present with the ever increasing importance of an expanding Europe. In Modern Languages the aim is to develop communicative competence in the four skill areas of reading, listening, talking and writing within a widening range of contexts and language purposes. Another important aim is to provide a worthwhile and enjoyable educational experience for the pupils and provide them with an increasing bank of knowledge about the foreign country, its customs and its way of life.
Apart from the traditional areas of tourism and airline travel, the business world also requires people who can offer the ability to speak another language alongside their formal qualifications.
The ability to speak a foreign language is regarded as a very useful secondary skill in an ever increasing number of jobs.
Opportunities for study and employment are no longer confined to the country of origin. There are short-term as well as longer-term opportunities for further study, training, work experience or employment abroad, and the study of a foreign language helps to prepare young people for this experience.
Learning a language also has benefits on a personal level. Young people develop skills which are useful in other areas - discussion skills, presentation skills, dictionary skills etc. They learn to cooperate with their peers and are trained to be responsible for their own learning. They develop the skills and awareness to enable them to learn any language more effectively in future years. They become more confident and better all-round communicators, learning the importance not just of verbal communication but of facial expression, body language and social skills. They develop a better understanding of the country and people whose language they are learning.
The European Day of Languages is on the 26 th of September and the department celebrates this event in a variety of ways. Pupils take part in quizzes, food samplings, designing posters, language tasters etc. Prizes are also awarded for the winners. Many other departments are also involved in sharing their language skills.