11 April 2017
Why study it for A Level?
“Studying Modern Languages is just one big adventure!” says Jack, who left the College last year and now studies Spanish at university, which includes living in Andalusia for a year.
The career doors that open for those that speak a foreign language are vast, and invariably exclusive. British businesses based both here and around the world are actively recruiting those who can speak a second language, and both Spanish and French (two of the most widely spoken languages on Earth), are languages at the very top of that list.
Whether it’s solely using the language that employers are looking for, as a translator for instance, or combining it with another skill that you will have studied, the possibilities are endless.
Not everyone in the world speaks English, so being equipped with a foreign language offers the goal of working abroad in a non-English speaking country, and being able to hit the ground running.
Even travel for leisure can become more fun and inspiring if you can converse with local people and understand everything around you.
The A Level courses themselves are highly enjoyable when you immerse yourself in learning the language that could be the key to your future.
What makes Modern Foreign Languages different at Birkenhead Sixth Form College?
Your teachers, Viviane and Cristina, are from France and Spain respectively, so can give insights into the nuances of their languages that just aren’t possible with a non-native speaker. One of the Foreign Languages course components is about the culture, lifestyles and history of the places in which French and Spanish are the indigenous languages too, so our specialist teachers are the right people to be imparting their wisdom and personal experience to you.
Class sizes are such that students are able to work in groups to learn from and with one another, but students also get the opportunity to have one-to-one sessions with the teachers to work on particular elements of the language that they feel they need extra work on.
Both teachers conduct most lessons in the said foreign language, which is a perfect way to get used to understanding and conversing as you work your way to fluency, and before you have the chance to take part in a trip abroad to live amongst those who speak the language you are learning. Each year, students travel to parts of France, Spain and Belgium (Salamanca, Paris & Brussels in the last year) to convene with partner institutions in those areas and meet their European counterparts, who welcome those from the College to their own schools to get involved in lessons and soak up their culture. You also get to tour the incredible cities, see plays and films, eat the amazing local cuisine, and possibly learn to cook it too!
Modern Foreign Languages students said:
"Knowing the local language across the world means that you can better understand the culture, then you can integrate into the community better. Whether that’s for work or on holidays, it just opens your eyes to so much more, and makes you really feel part of something.
"It’s great to have a teacher who’s a native speaker to get all the idiomatic language and accent too. I felt that really helped. So did the trips abroad, where we stayed with local families and spoke the language the whole time. That helped with appreciating everything around us, but also really helped with my A Level work too because I could understand everything even better than before. It was getting thrown in the deep end a bit, but it’s so much fun and worth every second."
Jack Spencer, BSFC Graduate
Posted by The BSFC Blogger
Category: Subject of the Month