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Modern Languages

In modern languages at TGS, students not only gain confidence in producing and understanding French and Spanish, two of the world’s most widely-spoken languages, but also in their comprehension of the world and our place in it.

Languages are the lens through which we can understand what unites (and sometimes sadly divides) us and that is what being an IB learner is about. Modern languages are the best way to understand our world and how to speak to other people in a way they understand.

In TGS languages lessons, students learn about the places where French and Spanish are spoken; what they are like; what makes life different and exciting in these fascinating places; and, importantly, how to communicate with French and Spanish-speakers all across the world!

Course content

Years 7-9

In years 7-9, the ‘four Cs’ of the IB Middle Years Programme, which languages are particularly well-suited to study, drive our investigation:

Creativity - How do I spend my free time? How does that show who I am? How do sports and activities reflect the people who play them?

Connections - How does travel link people? How does travel link us to the world around us? How do our future plans link us to our communities? How do young people’s shared experiences affect them?

Communication - How does the way we express ourselves reflect who we are? Is expression different in different languages? What effect does our cultural background have on the way we communicate?

Culture - How is a country reflected by its shared culture? How is a community reflected by its shared culture? What can we learn about varied cultures from their celebrations and festivals? How do our cultural environment and wider environment affect the way we live our lives?

By investigating these areas and more, our study of languages and cultures gives us the opportunity to practise and develop real-life, transferable skills, such as communication, empathy, critical-thinking and open-mindedness.

Years 10 & 11

All students at TGS take either French, Spanish or Latin. In French and Spanish, we focus on the four cross-language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. With a specific focus on comparing our experiences with the cultures of those around us, we work to build students’ confidence across these areas, we regularly practise with varied activities and texts on a number of topics from the themes across the GCSE course:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Co-curricular opportunities

  • France and Spain exchanges
  • French and Spanish online exchanges
  • Spanish Debate Club
  • French Debate Club
  • Mandarin Club
  • Japanese Club
  • Italian Club
  • International Film Club

Language learning at TGS is a unique experience because from the perspective of an IB student, there is a huge emphasis on the cultural context of our studies. Within our linguistic endeavours the teachers always make an effort to include relevant cultural information, ranging from the Spanish Civil War to the recent legalisation of abortions in Argentina. Even if you don’t want to pursue languages as a career path it is undeniable that they provide a gateway into politics, history and current events and can even improve your pattern seeking and logical skills (useful for maths and the sciences). With a team of dynamic and friendly staff here to guide us, we are able to grow as open minded individuals and cultivate a unique and varied skill set tailored to our needs and our futures.

Grace – Year 12


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