Why should I study Modern Foreign Languages?

A modern language can be included as a part of a huge number of degree choices. Recent Chigwell linguists have combined French, German or Spanish with Law, Economics, Business Studies, Linguistics, Portuguese, Russian and many other disciplines, giving them a significant edge in the subsequent job market. Indeed, surveys prove that modern languages are one of the most employable subjects you can study at university: the UK has an acute lack of linguistic competence in the workplace. It is very hard to add a language to your portfolio of skills later in life: Sixth Form options time is a useful point at which to consider this. We very much encourage strong linguists to give serious consideration to taking two languages at A level.

What skills will I gain?

After A level, you will be able to communicate in the language you study, to a level far removed from but based on what you learned at GCSE. A level enables you to argue effectively, and write in different, and much more interesting, types of register. You get the opportunity to cover creative and discursive essays, for example. A modern language encourages attention to detail and analytical skills; it is a challenging academic discipline; and creates strong communicators. Perhaps for this reason some traditional universities view it as an indication of more general ability.

What will I learn?

Listening, Reading and Writing. Listening and reading comprehensions, and translations into English and Spanish.

The listening tracks are under the student’s control.

Writing. Two essays of about 300 words each on a film and a book studied during the course.

Speaking. A discussion of a topic based on a card given out 5 minutes before the exam. Then, most of the examination consists of a presentation of and discussion about an individual research project undertaken by the student during the course.

The A level course builds strongly on the base provided by GCSE. It encourages students to be able to manipulate grammar very proficiently, something mainly tested through translation.

There is also a strong and really interesting cultural strand in the study of a literary work and a film during the course.

Entry requirements

We normally require a minimum of a grade 8 pass at GCSE.

Examination Board: AQA

Mrs E. Feeney (French)
Mr J. Twinn (Head of MFL and Spanish)
Mr T.G. Crowder (German)

Heads of Department