Modern Foreign Languages

Despite media reports stating that British teenagers perceive the study of European languages as difficult and the uptake of languages is dwindling, the Modern Foreign Languages Department at Pangbourne has resisted this trend with most students choosing to continue with languages at GCSE level and experiencing good success.

The Department aims to make the study of languages purposeful and enjoyable for the students to create a thriving learning process and atmosphere.

New worlds are opened up to pupils through personal engagement with linguistic and cultural differences and it expands students’ cognitive abilities, which helps them across all subjects, while language qualifications can help CVs stand out.

Modern technology is used in lessons with interactive websites, the use of iPads and applications aiding the learning process. Portable devices, such as a voice recorder, can be used by pupils to help with vocabulary building also.

All pupils in Form 1 and 2 study French and German is also introduced into the programme. In Form 3, students opt to study one of Spanish, French or German, with the option to study two languages.

It is up to the pupils whether they wish to continue with a language/their languages at GCSE level (following the AQA board) and all three languages are offered at A Level (following the OCR board).

Awareness of cultures is deepened at A Level with a clear emphasis on cultural topics such as tourism, family relationships, technology and health, social issues, the environment and politics, and some go on to further their linguistic education at university.

The Department runs trips and exchanges to bring the various languages to life, with exchange programmes in place with Spain and Germany, and trips to Paris and Lille part of the Modern Foreign Languages activities outside of the classroom.

The Department
Mr Robert Kirby Head of Modern Foreign Languages and Teacher of English
BA (Joint Hons) German and French, University of Manchester and PGCE German and French, University of Bath
Mr Philip Bates Teacher of French and German
BA (Hons) French and German, University of East Anglia and PGCE French and German, University of Nottingham
Mrs Susan Cohen
Learning Support Teacher
BA (Hons) French and History, Roehampton University and PGCE Secondary French, University of Reading
Mrs Jane Davies Teacher of Spanish and French
BA (Hons) French and Spanish, Bristol University and PGCE French and Spanish, Reading University
Mr James Hobby Teacher of French
BA (Hons) Modern Languages, University College London and PGCE, Open University
Mrs Katy Oakes
Languages Support Assistant
BA (Hons) French, University of Manchester, PG Dip Translation, Institute of Linguists and PGCE Secondary French and History, Manchester Metropolitan University