“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.” Czech proverb

The Modern Foreign Languages department thrives on developing linguistic competence in all our students while offering a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Our aim is to instil a passion and enjoyment for languages and different cultures alike.

To achieve this, we use a range of teaching and learning strategies and tools, such as exceptional use of new technologies to develop all students’ linguistic abilities within different contexts. We run initiatives such as the Language Leaders Programme, informal Chinese lessons and the Language Challenge. Similarly, we have strong links with our partner schools in France, Germany and Spain, which allows us to make learning a language a rich and real experience, through the use of projects on which to base students’ learning.

Year 9 students have the option to study a Single Language Path, choosing between French, German and Spanish, while carrying out the Language Challenge. The Language Challenge is a programme run by Routes into Languages, which allows students to develop research skills in the context of a particular language, normally the one they have chosen to study in Year 9. Students may opt for the Dual Language Path, choosing to study two languages out of French, German and Spanish. Both paths start the GCSE course in Year 9.

In Years 10 and 11, students may study one or two languages for GCSE, with a range of opportunities for project-based learning during the course.

Sixth Form students can study French, German and Spanish at A Level, using the latest technology and tailor-made resources from authentic material.

We are very proud of the success of our linguists in their applications to do language degrees at Oxbridge. Studying languages allows our students to be extremely flexible and highly employable in the global market. It is very common for our linguists to incorporate the study of a language with another subject at university level in order to maximise their employability.

The Village is the name of our newly funded Erasmus + project which has been awarded to King’s by the European Commission and which is officially launched this week. This is the second Erasmus project that the MFL department leads after the successful and inspiring project United in Diversity, two years ago.

The project will focus on Languages under the context of the Sustainable Development Goals set up by the UN, while exploring environmentally friendly approaches and economic systems which will tackle the challenges of these SDGs. We will be working, closely, with our long-term partner schools IES Andrés Vandelvira (Albacete, Spain) and College Chaloupe Saint Leu (Saint Leu, La Reunion) throughout the next two academic years.

The aim of the project is to create a virtual city, The Village, with its unique political, economic and educational systems underpinning the SDGs. In the process, students will explore French and Spanish heritage, develop cultural awareness and social interaction creating real contexts to enhance our students’ language skills.  The project will start virtually but once travel is permitted, it will involve four exchange trips to La Reunion and Spain, over the two year period, together with  a series of tasks carried out in school by all participants, where the use of IT will be vital and enhanced at all times.  Working collaboratively online with their Spanish and French partners will be key for the success of the project!

This Erasmus project will be completely funded by the European Commission and we are honoured to offer this amazing opportunity to 24 students over the two years. The project pinpoints the MFL department big ethos of “taking languages outside the classroom, please!”

Despite the current situation we are all living, in MFL, we have an exciting extracurricular year ahead bursting with opportunities for all our students, albeit virtually, such as this Erasmus project, drama  and debating competitions, with the purpose to create unique contexts for our students at Kings to put their linguistic skills into practice at all levels despite any circumstances!