Mr M Koutsakis MA
Head of Modern Languages
“What’s the point in learning a language anyway? Everyone speaks English nowadays.”
Learning a language brings reward: it is revered by universities and employers alike and opens doors to employment and friendship. Whatever your linguistic ability, you will benefit from learning a modern language.
At Colfe’s you will:
- learn communication and presentation skills;
- be exposed to European and non-European cultures, customs and traditions;
- cumulatively build your linguistic knowledge through our novel blend of modern grammar teaching and more traditional methods of learning vocabulary.
Pupils begin their linguistic studies in Year 7 by studying Spanish and then have the opportunity to take up German or French in Year 8. GCSE, AS and A-level courses are offered in all three of these languages. A variety of extra-curricular languages, such as Japanese, Russian or Italian are offered as clubs.
All classes are conducted as much as possible in the foreign language and our French, German and Spanish assistants provide regular conversation practice for small groups of pupils. For Years 7-9 there is the European Film Club. Able pupils can gain internationally recognised certificates in French (DELF) and German (Goethe-Zertifikat). At A-level students can take part in work experience programmes, help in the running of the European Film Club and in the extra-curricular programme offered for pupils at our Junior School.
The Modern Languages department has a dedicated IT computer room and a separate study room for Sixth Form students with computers. There are support clubs for pupils in Years 7-9 who need extra advice or help and GCSE revision clubs for pupils in Years 10-11. At A-level, students’ progress is tracked in each language and we run additional classes in response to their needs.
Whether it’s to be able to purchase gaufres from a stall holder at the Christmas Market in Lille or Aachen, to navigate a water-logged ditch with guidance from the surveillant at the Château de la Baudionnière, to take part in German classes in Bonn or dance salsa with a real Spaniard in Barcelona – what you have learnt in the classroom will help you in the world outside. And when it happens, it’s immensely satisfying! At A-level, too, after your first day’s immersion in the ‘World of Foreign Work’ – perhaps as a journalist’s assistant in Rouen – you may be weary but you will also be delighted with the mind-full of new and old language you have assimilated.
A-level course details: