Currently two modern languages – German and Spanish – are offered to our students as an 11-week taster course in First Year. Students will then have the opportunity to study one of these foreign languages as a full timetable subject from Second Year and will sit this examination at Junior Cycle.
A learner-centred environment is at the core of modern languages classes in our school. We encourage and enable students to achieve their potential in class and use differentiated learning to support the various needs of our learners.
German classes cover the four key language learning skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. We use modern teaching approaches and authentic German resources that are relevant and interesting to the lives of our students. Teachers use their own teaching resources along with a Schoology German group, German visual aids, PowerPoints, language websites where the students can carry out individual and pair work tasks, and textbooks Viel Spaß 1, Deutsch für Alle and Klasse 1. German class currently adopts a team-teaching approach and both German teachers are in the classroom for each class, alternating between lead teacher and facilitator. The role of the facilitator in the German class is to work with special needs and weaker students, assisting them with their understanding of the language and the designated activities.
Why learn German?
German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe with approximately 100 million native speakers spread across Germany, Austria and certain German-speaking regions of other countries. Germany is the largest economy in Europe and is a thriving economy with an abundance of career opportunities. Both German and English derive from the Germanic group of languages and have many similar words. German is also spelled phonetically. Once the sound system is learnt, it is very easy to predict how the spoken word is written and how the written word is pronounced.
The aim of the 11-week Spanish taster course is for students to form an idea of the sound, rhythm, pronunciation and structure of Spanish words and sentences. A brief taste of the Spanish grammar and exploring Spanish and South American culture are part of the introduction. Students familiarise themselves with the new language through singing, playing, illustrating vocabulary, writing and acting out role plays in social situations in Spanish. Language applications and websites are used as tools for practising and reinforcing new concepts and vocabulary.
At the end of the course, students undertake a short project which consolidates all skills and material covered. This component of the course invites the student to resolve a task with digital media and creativity. Assessment is divided into oral production and written recognition and comprehension.
Spanish in our school is taught by a fully qualified teacher, who is a native speaker. The Spanish teacher creates all the educational material and no extra textbook is required for first year.
Why learn Spanish?
Spanish is the primary language of 20 countries worldwide. The number of Spanish speakers is estimated at around 470 million, making it the second most widely spoken language in the world in terms of native speakers. Speaking Spanish as a second or third language is often positively looked upon and maximises work opportunities both in Europe and the U.S.A.