The vibrant Modern Languages Department at Campbell College offers our pupils many opportunities to learn, practise and enjoy languages both inside and outside the classroom.
Through enthusiastic teaching and encouragement towards independent learning, we aim to foster an appreciation of the importance of fluency in other languages, as well as an interest in other European cultures. Pupils have numerous opportunities to improve their communication skills, develop confidence, and experience different ways of life abroad.
The Department is housed in six classrooms designed to facilitate the use of multimedia approaches to language learning. Both pupils and staff make regular use of the interactive resources available to all, either through the interactive whiteboards, the computer labs or the websites to which the Department subscribes. Lessons at all levels are conducted for the most part in the target language, with the emphasis being on the accurate communication of ideas and opinions.
The Modern Languages Department at Campbell teaches French as a core subject to all pupils in the first three years. At the end of Year 8, pupils are offered a second language, either German or Spanish, which they then study until the end of Year 10. Our aim at Key Stage 3 is to make languages fun and rewarding. In all three languages, we use modern ‘communicative’ methods which combine a high level of oral and written competence with sound grammatical accuracy. Pupils often work in small groups, using active learning activities to develop their ability to talk about their family, home and environment, personal interests, and school life.
Pupils continue with at least one language to GCSE and take examinations set by CCEA. There are three Contexts of Learning at GCSE level:
1. The Individual (this encompasses pupils’ lives, families, homes and interests, as well as those of people living in other countries and communities)
2. Citizenship (this covers lifestyles, attitudes and customs in the students’ own country and community, as well as abroad)
3. Employability (this develops understanding of education and employment in the students’ own countries and communities, and beyond).
In the Sixth Form, pupils can sit AS and A2 exams in all three languages (CCEA board). The courses at this level cover a range of topics including the geography and history of the target language country, literature, film and contemporary issues. In A-level languages, our aim is to further develop pupils’ interest in and understanding of the language, to encourage their communication with native speakers of French / Spanish / German, and to enable pupils to acquire knowledge and skills that will help them progress to further study and/or employment.
Languages Beyond the Classroom
We offer a wide variety of opportunities to our pupils with regard to their broader understanding of foreign cultures. Those in the Middle School enjoy the annual French Breakfasts in class, and take part in activities organized for the European Day of Languages, Francofest and the French Café at Open Day. The fortnightly Languages Club allows pupils to experience cultures from around the world, with pupils learning, for example, basic Russian, Arabic and Irish, and partaking in cookery sessions. Senior pupils attend the EU Languages Fair in St. George’s Market, NICILT courses at QUB and educational visits to Queens Film Theatre. There is a successful debating club, which competes in the Post-16 French and German debating competitions.
We recognise the need for pupils to experience life and language first-hand. As a result, we run annual foreign language trips to France, Spain and Germany. Students of GCSE and A-Level languages are encouraged to participate in residential courses and home-stay visits in order to acquire and develop their linguistic skills and cultural knowledge. In conjunction with the History Department, we run a very successful annual trip to Berlin.