English and Modern Languages

Course leaflets are here

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English Faculty

The English Faculty plays a lead role in the development of language and communication skills that will play a vital part in all other areas of learning and the future life of all pupils. The personal and social development of all pupils is enhanced by confident use of language skills when reading, writing, talking and listening.

English

A good command of English is the key to success in many aspects of life and work. It is important to be able to communicate well with others and to express yourself clearly in writing and talking. Skills in English will help pupils in many other school subjects and in the world of work. Reading books, newspapers and magazines provides enjoyment and information throughout life.

Course Outline

There are three main elements in this course

Reading: studying poetry, drama, novels and short stories in detail and writing about them critically.

Writing: completing a variety of writing tasks ranging from pieces which give information, to creative work in which the imagination is used and ideas developed.

Talking and Listening: learning to play a useful part in discussion as well as giving individual presentations, and learning to respond appropriately to what they have heard in a range of contexts.

Additional skills which are developed in this course include:

working with others in groups

learning to review, improve and redraft work.

The Faculty also provides opportunities for field trips, events and visiting speakers. Trips include visits to the theatre in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh Festival in August. Performing Arts groups present productions tailored to the needs of school pupils. Professional writers visit and talk about their work and deliver workshops. The Veronica Thomson Public Speaking Competition is held annually and is a major event in the department’s calendar.

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Faculty of Modern Languages

Faculty of Modern Languages

The faculty consists of Miss Grenet, who teaches French and some German, Mrs Phelan who teaches German and French, Miss Thiel who teaches German and some French.
Miss Grenet is a French native speaker who is the Head of the Faculty and who has many years teaching experience in our Scottish system. Mrs Phelan lived and worked in Austria for 9 years and has years of experience of working in tourism and the oil& gas industry in Austria, France and UK. Miss Thiel is a native speaker of German, who taught languages in secondary German school and at university level in Scotland. Miss Thiel also teaches Modern Studies at the academy.

What’s the subject about?


The aim of this faculty is to provide a worthwhile and enjoyable educational experience for the pupils and develop their languages skills and knowledge of other countries and ways of life.
This prepares the youngsters to cope with a variety of situations and opens up a world of possibilities:
– It increases the learner’s awareness of their own language, improving communication skills.
– It helps them build up an insight into the life of another country and increase their opportunities and confidence to travel abroad.
– It provides an advantage vocationally: many university courses require students to have a qualification in a language as part of their general entrance requirements for admission. Pupils can also choose to continue their study of this language at university, either alone or as an additional subject in courses such as business, engineering, law…
Given the international nature of trade and industry, knowledge of a foreign language is attractive to employers in the light of greater mobility within the European Community and beyond. Furthermore, it’s good to bear in mind that tourism is a big source of employment in Scotland and employers are seeking adaptable communicators. Nowadays, cultural empathy is important not just for the international manager but also the shop assistant.

Course outline

Courses from S1 – S3 consist of 4 main elements: Reading, Listening, Writing and Talking, with pupils following the experiences and outcomes outlined in curriculum for excellence.

• In S1 and S2 pupils expand on their language experience by continuing their French studies for half a year and learn some German for the other half. Learners develop language skills and knowledge about language, based in cultural contexts. At the end of S2 they are asked to choose which language they want to continue studying.

• In S3, pupils then study either French or German and some pupils are offered to study Lifeskills Languages instead.

In French and German, pupils prepare for an SQA Qualification over the course of the school year: Modern Languages for Life and Work Award. This award which aims to develop learners’ language and employability skills in practical and relevant contexts for life and work is genuinely recognised and valued by employers. This is a valuable opportunity for all the pupils, regardless of whether they choose to study Modern Languages in the senior phase. For those not continuing, it gives them an official recognition of their language skills acquired over the S1-S3 period.

In Lifeskills languages, instead of focusing on the one language, pupils would learn some French and German in a more practical way and through interesting projects. They will learn more transactional language focusing for example on travelling abroad, ordering food in a café, booking accommodation on holidays, asking for directions…

In the senior phase languages are not compulsory, although strongly recommended. Pupils have the opportunity to choose to study either French or German at National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Level. They can also study the two languages if they wish, thus broadening their range of language skills.

• The purpose of these courses is to build on prior learning and continue to develop the four skills of TALKING, LISTENING, READING and WRITING.
• At National 4 level assessment is carried out in these skills internally only; whereas at National 5 level the 4 skills will be externally assessed except for the Speaking, which will be internally assessed but externally moderated.
• The variety of options available in Turriff Academy means that classes available at National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher may be delivered individually, bi-level or multi-level as appropriate and as resources allow. This means pupils are expected to do independent learning at times.

Learning at Home


Home learning plays a crucial part in consolidating class work. Pupils are asked to do specific tasks as homework and learn the new vocabulary given in class every day. They are also encouraged to go over the grammar lesson taught in class and learn it at home.
We strongly advise pupils to make use of the unlimited wealth of online resources which can be used to develop language learning at home when no specific homework has been set.
Quizlet.com
All pupils are expected to regularly log in to Quizlet.com to revise at home the vocabulary that has been learned in class. Pupils have their own login and should have joined the relevant Turriff Academy class on Quizlet and have access to the vocabulary sets.
Microsoft Teams
Modern Language Classes all have a Microsoft Team set up. Pupils access this through GLOW. They’ll find resources used in class under FILES and homework that can be completed and handed in online under ASSIGNMENTS.
 Languages online https://languagesonline.org.uk/Hotpotatoes/index.html
This website presents language activities for all language learners, in a lively and entertaining way, which pupils can use to reinforce and practise class work.
 Linguascope https://www.linguascope.com/
Pupil can access this website to reinforce learning through activities and games. The username and password are available from the class teachers.

For Senior Learners (S4-S6):
 BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z9frq6f
The BBC Bitesize website has video clips and other activities to help pupils prepare for National 4, National 5 and Higher in French and German.
 Bright Red Digital Zone https://www.brightredbooks.net/subjects/
Log on to the Bright Red Digital Zone (free-of-charge) for Listening resources, quizzes and other activities which complement the work done in class: National 5 and Higher in French and German.
Scholar
Pupils have access to Scholar through GLOW.
The scholar website is developed by Heriot-Watt University and links fully with SQA courses.
There are full courses available for Higher and Advanced Higher French and German, and support materials available for National 5.

Coffee Break Languages

CoffeeBreak Languages provide free Podcasts at a variety of levels, in different topics which are excellent for practicing listening skills.
https://radiolingua.com/coffeebreakfrench/
https://radiolingua.com/category/coffee-break-german/

At Turriff Academy, the Languages teachers are excited by their subject and are committed to teach more than just languages. They have taken senior pupils on a school trip to Paris, S3 pupils to attend Modern Languages Business Brunch events aiming to help pupils gain a deeper understanding of why successful employers view languages as a key skill in today’s globalised world. The department furthermore organises an event for all S1 to celebrate the European Day of Languages at the end of September every year. It also takes pride in connecting languages to real life experiences. S3 pupils are made to look at Aberdeenshire as a key touristic attraction – particularly for the German market and get involved in promoting the region, Seniors get a chance to bake using cookery books in the target language and some British student teachers over in Germany have kept a blog for our pupils to share their experience living and working abroad.

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