Aims and Philosophy
- In an ever-increasing multi-lingual world, the importance of learning another language has never been greater.
- Learning another language enables pupils to become confident individuals who learn how to interact with others in real-life situations.
- The study of another language also allows pupils to gain the necessary skills to become responsible citizens through a growing awareness of life in another society or country.
- One of the keys aims of modern languages teaching in Curriculum for Excellence is to develop pupils’ ‘communicative competence’ so that they are able to use and enjoy language effectively in real situations for a range of relevant purposes in work and leisure throughout their lives.
- The Modern Languages Department believes that all pupils are capable of being successful in their learning of a modern language. As such, staff in the Department use and develop resources which recognise and build-upon pupils’ needs and previous learning experiences.
- Teaching in the Department reflects the different learning styles of pupils with a variety of teaching approaches used.
All P7 pupils who come to Portobello from one of our Associate Primary Schools will have experienced two years of French. They continue their study of French in S1 and S2. We have very good links with our Associate Primaries and we always endeavour to build on pupils’ prior learning.
In S1 and S2, pupils follow a common course covering the following themes: Self, Family, School, Hobbies, Food and Drink, Health and Wellbeing etc
Pupils’ progress is assessed formatively through class tasks and homework and summatively through end of unit tests.
S3 is the culmination of the Broad General Education (BGE) during which pupils continue to develop their skills and lay down firm foundations for learning leading towards National Qualifications in S4.
Pupils may opt to choose Spanish as well as French or drop French and start learning Spanish. Pupils who opt to do both languages are normally good at French and have a keen interest in language learning. Pupils who opt to drop French and do Spanish instead should be aware of the demands of having to achieve the same level of competency in a totally new language in a short period of time.
French (National 4/5) and/or Spanish (Int 1/2)
In S4 pupils will build on what they have learned in S3, leading to presentation for National 3, 4 or 5 Qualifications at the end of S4. Further information about the National Qualifications can be found by using this link: Nationals in a Nutshell
Please note that session 2013/14 is the last year for SQA presentations at Intermediate Level. In session 2014/15, pupils will be presented at National 4/5 level.
Access 3 French and Spanish/ItalianFor some pupils, Access 3 provides a more appropriate and accessible course. Some pupils identified by the Department will study Access 3 French in S3 and Access 3 Spanish or Italian in S4.
Please note that session 2013/14 is the last year for SQA presentations at Access 3 level. In session 2014/15, pupils will be presented at National 3.
Higher French and/or Spanish
In order to do Higher, pupils must have achieved a pass at National 5 (2014).
The Higher course comprises of two units. The first unit entitled Language contains three prescribed themes as follows: Lifestyles, Education and Work and The Wider World. Within each of these themes, pupils study various associated topics. The second unit entitled Extended Reading and Viewing involves the study of a novel and film in the foreign language
Pupils are assessed via internal assessments (NABs) in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening and the final SQA exam in May
Advanced Higher French and/or Spanish
Advanced Higher is for pupils who have a keen interest in language learning and for those who are considering pursuing their language study at university.
The Advanced Higher course comprises of two units. The first unit, entitled Language contains three prescribed themes as follows: Personal, Social and Cultural Issues, Topical and Cultural Issues and Environmental Issues. Within each of these themes, pupils study various associated topics. The second unit, entitled Extended Reading and Viewing involves the study of a novel and film written in the foreign language.
In addition to the study of the two units above, pupils are expected to complete a folio comprising of two pieces, one of which must be the study of a literary text, the second of which may be a second literary text study or the study an area of personal interested related to the history, politics, culture or geography of the country where the language is spoken.
As with all Advanced Higher courses, pupils are expected to have achieved a very good pass at Higher and be prepared to undertake a considerable amount of independent research at home.
Pupils who wish to do both languages at Advanced Higher level may be eligible to do the Modern Languages Baccalaureate. In order to do so, a pass at Higher English is required along with the submission of an inter-disciplinary project.
Curriculum Leader: Mr A McCulloch