Modern Languages

Subject Information

Here in St Michael’s pupils have the opportunity to learn three languages.  All Year 8 pupils learn French and Irish (4 periods per week).  In Year 9 they have the option of dropping one language and taking up German instead.  All pupils may choose to study one language or if they wish, opt to also study their second language for GCSE.  All three languages are available at A-Level.

Learning a language in today’s world is no longer a luxury but an essential and integral part of everyone’s education.  The study of languages provides an insight into our own and other cultures. Learning and using a language can be fun and even at a basic level can help us enjoy a holiday even more when we can communicate with the ‘locals’.

At a higher level it will enable our students to communicate effectively and work with our European neighbours. 

It is vital that we increase our knowledge of languages, especially as we are in the European Union, and because of the increasing demands of the world of work and leisure beyond school.

We believe that the apprenticeship of language-learning at school will lay good foundations for the future of our students by enabling them to be more adaptable in their future lives.

Staff​

Head of Department

Bean Ui Chaoilte (Irish)

Mr B. Rasdale (German)

Miss N Corrigan (French/Spanish)

Extra-Curricular Activities

Exchange trips 


All students are encouraged to avail of the many links the school has developed with Germany. The German Department encourages pupils to participate in the long-running exchange with Bielefeld (North-west Germany).

An Ghaeltacht 


The Irish department encourages all students to avail of the many Gaeltacht courses offered at Easter and during the summer holidays. Many are awarded scholarships through their participation in oral Irish competitions in Feiseanna, in Gael Linn competitions and in Sciath Mhic Giolla Bhride. Each year between 50 and 60 students attend courses in Teileann, Machaire Rabhartaigh, Rannna Feirste and Dún Lúiche.

Penpal links are also encouraged from Yr 9 onwards and our Comenius project allows students to also exchange cassettes, videos and communicate by e-mail with their correspondents in France, Germany and Spain. 

GCSE

Course Description

At GCSE Level we follow the AQA syllabus which meets the demands of the National Curriculum and is appropriate to the needs of our students: those leaving school at 16, those going on to further education but not specialising in French and those who will specialise in French at A Level.

The four main objectives are;

Listening,

Speaking,

Reading

Writing.

The course uses authentic materials - reading, audio and video and is relevant to young people's experiences and interests.

Assessment

The examination tests the abilities of the students in all 4 skill areas;

Listening 20%

Speaking 30%

Reading 20%

Writing 30%

At 2 levels - Foundation Tier and/or Higher Tier. Candidates must indicate at the time of entry which tier they intend to take in each skill area. The Writing paper and speaking tests involve a total of four controlled assessment tasks completed in class: the oral marked by the teacher and sent away for moderation, the writing tasks sent away to be marked by AQA.

French

Head of Department

Mr C. Nethercott

Subject Teachers

Mrs Isabelle Leonard

Miss Nuala Corrigan

A-Level

- Examing Board: CCEA

As well as developing a student’s knowledge of various aspects of French society and other French-speaking societies, this course emphasises the importance of achieving a high level of communication skills and competence in the language thus preparing students to use French in work, further study, training or leisure.

Qualification & Specification details:

AS 1: Speaking

Question 1:

Students give a presentation based on as AS level theme related to an aspect of a French-speaking country or community (3 mins).

Question 2:

Conversation (8 mins)

Total Time: 11 minutes

30% of AS Level

12% of A Level

AS 2: Listening [A]; Reading [B]; and Use of Language [C]

Students answer two sets of questions based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1: students answer in French.

Recording 2: students answer in English.

(40 mins)

AS 2: Section B - Reading

Question 1: students answer one set of questions in French based on one passage.

Question 2: students translate a passage from French into English.

(50 mins)

AS 2: Section C - Use of Language

Questions 1, 2, 3 and 4: students complete a series of short grammatical and lexical exercises. 

Question 5: students translate short sentences from English into French.

(30 mins)

Total Time: 2 hours

40% of AS Level

16% of A Level

AS 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in French in response to a set film or literacy text.

Total Time: 1 hour

30% of AS Level

12% of A Level

A2 1: Speaking

Question 1:

Students introduce and discuss one individual research project based on either;

 - A cultural aspect of a French speaking country or community

- A Historical period from the twentieth century of a French speaking country or community or:

- A region of a French speaking country or community.

(6 mins)

Question 2:

Conversation (9 mins)

18% of A Level

A2 2: Listening [A]; and Reading [B]

A2 2: Section A - Listening

Students answer two sets of question based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1: students answer in French.

Recording 2: students answer in English.

(45 mins)

A2 2: Section B - Reading

Students answer two sets of questions and one complete summary exercise and one complete translation exercise.

(2 hrs)

24% of A Level

A2 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in French in response to a set literacy text.

Total Time: 1 hour

18% of A Level

Careers

French is essential for all French based language degrees and courses and a Modern Language (at GCSE Level) is often a general requirement for University entrance. French is now widely studied in combination with other University disciplines e.g. Law, Business, Finance, Accounting, Marketing and Humanities. French is useful for most careers e.g. Business, Travel, Catering, Tourism, Civil Service, Diplomatic Service, Industry, Science & Technology and Teaching.

German

Head of Department

Mr Brendan Rasdale

GCSE

The syllabus in German is appropriate to the needs of a wide variety of students and the aims of GCSE German are as follows:

Aims

- develop understanding of the spoken and written forms of German in a range of contexts;
- develop the ability to communicate effectively in German, through both the spoken and written word, using a range of vocabulary and structures;
- develop knowledge and understanding of the grammar of German, and the ability to apply it;
- develop knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where German is spoken;
- develop positive attitudes to German learning & provide a suitable foundation for further study and/or practical use of German.

Assessment

The course will be assessed through the four skill areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Each skill area is offered in two tiers, Foundation and Higher.

Examination

- Oral Assessments (30%) Two internally moderated tasks. (Oral Assessment 1 takes place in November of Year 11)
- Listening Exam (20%)
- Reading Comprehensions (20%)
- Writing Assessments (30%) Two externally moderated tasks. (Writing Assessment 1 takes place in April of Year 11)

Take a loot at;

German Business in Ireland

A-Level

- Examing Board: CCEA

The syllabus in German is appropriate to the needs of a wide variety of students including:

- Those hoping to take this subject at third level, for career reasons.

- Those going on to Further Education but not specialising in the subject. In such an instance, German is a different, yet highly rated A Level qualification alongside what might be required subjects. 

Course Aims

- To develop the ability to use language effectively for purposes of practical communication.

- To form a sound base of the skills, languages and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure.

- To offer insights into and encourage a positive attitude towards the culture and civilisation German speaking countries.

- To develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning.

- To provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation;

- To promote learning skills of a more general application (e.g. analysis, memorising, research, drawing of inferences, communicating effectively, organising information, etc.).

- acquire knowledge and skills that will help them progress to further study and/or employment.

Qualification & Specification details

The full Advanced GCE A level award is based on students’ marks from the AS (40 %) and the A2 (60 %).

AS 1: Speaking

Question 1:

Students give a presentation based on as AS level theme related to an aspect of a German-speaking country or community (3 mins).

Question 2:

Conversation (8 mins)

Total Time: 11 minutes

30% of AS Level

12% of A Level

AS 2: Listening [A]; Reading [B]; and Use of Language [C]

AS 2: Section A - Listening

Students answer two sets of questions based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1: students answer in German.

Recording 2: students answer in English.

(40 mins)

AS 2: Section B - Reading

Question 1: students answer one set of questions in German based on one passage.

Question 2: students translate a passage from German into English.

(50 mins)

AS 2: Section C - Use of Language

Questions 1, 2, 3 and 4: students complete a series of short grammatical and lexical exercises.

Question 5: students translate short sentences from English into German.

(30 mins)

Total Time

2 hours

40% of AS Level

16% of A Level

AS 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in German in response to a set film or literacy text.

Total Time: 1 hour

30% of AS Level

12% of A Level

A2 1: Speaking

Question 1:

Students introduce and discuss one individual research project based on either;

 - A cultural aspect of a German-speaking country or community

- A Historical period from the twentieth century of a German speaking country or community or:

- A region of a German speaking country or community.

(6 mins)

Question 2:

Conversation (9 mins)

18% of A Level

A2 2: Listening [A]; and Reading [B]

A2 2: Section A - Listening

Students answer two sets of question based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1: students answer in German.

Recording 2: students answer in English.

(45 mins)

A2 2: Section B - Reading

Students answer two sets of questions and one complete summary exercise and one complete translation exercise.

(2 hrs)

24% of A Level

A2 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in German in response to a set literacy text.

Total Time: 1 hour

18% of A Level

Careers

  • Law & Accountancy

  • Business/Finance/Banking

  • Tourism

  • Education

  • Electrical/Mechanical Engineering

  • Sciences (Research)

  • Diplomatic Service (European Commission)

  • Information Technology

  • Biochemicals / Medicine.

  • Environmental Science

  • Nanotechnology

The German economy is the largest in Europe, and it is the second largest exporter of high end manufactured goods in the world. At the moment, it is recognized as the world leader in Environmental Engineering, particularly in the areas of renewable energies such as Wind Power and Solar Power. Other significant industries include Biotechnology, Chemicals, IT, Automobiles, and Financial Services. Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin are key European Trade and Industry locations.

An Ghaeilge: Irish

Head of Department

Maighréad Bean Uí Chaoilte

Subject Teachers

Mrs Mary Nethercott

Mr Chris Nethercott

Mr Brendan Rasdale

Subject Information

Irish is the official language of Ireland. It is a modern European language, whilst being among the most ancient languages in the western world, possessing rich cultural, literary, academic and folk traditions.Irish fulfils the Department of Education’s Modern Language requirement. Irish is offered to students in St Michael’s from Year 8. It is taught by communicative method with the emphasis in the early years on listening and oral skills.As the students develop their ability and confidence in the language, their reading and writing skills are also developed. From Year 8 students visit the Gaeltacht which is nearby, attend summer courses and enjoy the language in an environment where it is still spoken on a community basis. 

GCSE

At GCSE level in Irish we aim to develop the ability of students to use the language for practical communication, to develop their awareness of the nature of language and language learning. We aim also to promote a better understanding of our own culture and heritage.At this level students are assessed in the four main skills areas – Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. In the GCSE assessment candidates are required to understand and respond to spoken and written Irish and to communicate in both speech and writing, showing a knowledge of grammar and structures.  The table below summarises the structure of the GCSE course:

GCSE Short Course students take two of the above four components, either:

• Unit 1: Speaking (60%) and Unit 3: Listening (40%); or

• Unit 2: Writing (60%) and Unit 4: Reading (40%).

 

All students must take at least 40 percent of the assessment (based on unit weightings) at the end of the course as terminal assessment.

A2 1: Speaking

Question 1:

Students introduce and discuss one individual research project based on either;

 - A cultural aspect of a Irish-speaking country or community

- A Historical period from the twentieth century of a Irish speaking country or community or:

- A region of an Irish speaking country or community.

(6 mins)

Question 2:

Conversation (9 mins)

18% of A Level

A2 2: Listening [A]; and Reading [B]

A2 2: Section A - Listening

Students answer two sets of question based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1: students answer in Irish.

Recording 2: students answer in English.

(45 mins)

A2 2: Section B - Reading

Students answer two sets of questions and one complete summary exercise and one complete translation exercise.

(2 hrs)

24% of A Level

A2 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in Irish in response to a set literacy text.

Total Time: 1 hour

18% of A Level

AS 1: Speaking

Question 1:

Students give a presentation based on as AS level theme related to an aspect of a Irish-speaking country or community (3 mins).

Question 2:

Conversation (8 mins)

Total Time: 11 minutes

30% of AS Level

12% of A Level

AS 2: Listening [A]; Reading [B]; and Use of Language [C]

AS 2: Section A - Listening

Students answer two sets of questions based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1: students answer in Irish.

Recording 2: students answer in English.

(40 mins)

AS 2: Section B - Reading

Question 1: students answer one set of questions in Irish based on one passage.

Question 2: students translate a passage from Irish into English.

(50 mins)

40% of AS Level

16% of A Level

AS 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in Irish in response to a set film or literacy text.

Total Time: 1 hour

30% of AS Level

12% of A Level

A-Level

- Examing Board: CCEA

A language is usually a culture’s most conspicuous distinguishing mark. It contains the collective memory of a community and is often associated with differences in social relationships, moral values, political outlook and traditions. Irish is the official language of Ireland. It is a modern European language, whilst being among the most ancient languages in the western world, possessing rich cultural, literary, academic and folk traditions.

Irish fulfils the Department of Education’s Modern Language requirement. There are 12 Irish Language Nursery Schools in N. Ireland and 9 recognised Irish Language Primary Schools and 2 Secondary Schools at present, with others still awaiting official recognition.

Irish is offered to students in St Michael’s from Year 8. It is taught by communicative method with the emphasis in the early years on listening and oral skills.

As the students develop their ability and confidence in the language, their reading and writing skills are also developed. From Year 8 students visit the Gaeltacht which is nearby, attend summer courses and enjoy the language in an environment where it is still spoken on a community basis.

Qualification & Specification details:

A number of students take Irish to A-Level. Irish is recognised by all Universities in Ireland and in the United Kingdom as an entry requirement. It can be studied at all Universities in Ireland and at many more in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Careers

Language is in much demand at the present in Northern Ireland for teaching and Radio/TV work. The setting up of the new Irish Language TV station, TG4, has created many jobs. Students of Irish have made careers for themselves as Civil Servants, Diplomats, Journalists, Lawyers, Nurses, Social Workers, Teachers, Lecturers, Librarians, Secretaries, DJ, TV Presenters, Translators, Researchers, in jobs in the Gaeltacht and in Irish Culture Organisations.

Many students who intend to pursue a particular career which may require only two specific subjects at A-Level choose to take Irish to A-Level as a completely different area of study, but which will allow them to achieve the necessary grade, whilst showing a broader range of skills and knowledge.

Address

St Michael's College

Enniskillen

Chanterhill Road

County Fermanagh

Northern Ireland

BT74 6DE