“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart“ – Nelson Mandela
The Modern Languages department at Rydal Penrhos School is a large and enthusiastic one, committed to providing pupils with the personal and intellectual skills required to pursue their study of languages at university level and eventually, to take up employment here and abroad.
"...encourages pupils to develop a love for different languages and to value their cultures"
The department delivers lessons in French and German throughout the school from Lower School to GCSE, and then at IB in the Sixth form. Spanish is available as an IB subject at ab intitio level.
Why study French?
- Studying French is a useful investment in the future. It can complement a career in a number of areas, and therefore make you more employable: consider what a bonus it would be in business to be able to deal with French-speaking clients in their own language – this is, after all the age of communication. Also, it is possible to continue French as a subsidiary to quite a few degree subjects, such as Business Studies.
- It is viewed by universities as adding breadth and contrast as a fourth AS level, and combines constructively with any other subject.
- It is an opportunity to discover a culture which is quite different from our own, yet is geographically close
- It is a significant academic subject in its own right, one which is respected as illustrating a particular ability to think logically and to take care of detail
- It gives you a chance to view your other subjects from a different angle, for example, literature from the French perspective, the European dimension from the French point of view
- It gives you an excellent excuse to spend some time in France!
Why study German?
German is an important language in business, science and engineering, the armed services, diplomacy and academic life in general. German is arguably the most important language after English in Europe today. It is spoken in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and is more widely spoken in East European countries than English. German has become even more of an asset since the European Union expanded to incorporate Eastern European states. Being competent in German will allow you to enjoy better the culture of the German-speaking countries, and you will be able to form friendships, which will last a lifetime.
German combines well with any other subject, but enjoys particular links with the sciences: many scientific papers are written in the medium of German, and thus this language can offer the ideal opportunity for a fourth AS subject for scientists.
Most universities offer German as a main subject or in combination with another subject, such as Law, History, Science or Economics. These universities have links with universities in the German-speaking world, and they ensure that residence abroad is an integral part of the course; thus German can open up a vast number of Higher Education possibilities, particularly as there are not that many applicants for courses involving this language.
German speakers are relatively rare and are therefore sought-after.
Why study Spanish?
Spanish ab initio as the title implies, is a course for beginners. It is designed for the pupil with no experience of the language. It aims to develop the pupil’s linguistic skills to a competent level with a reasonable range of vocabulary and also to give him/her a basic awareness of the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. The key skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing are all included in the course, by the end of which the students should be able to communicate effectively in both everyday situations and general conversation. The standard required of a pupil after the two year course is much the same as that required of a very good GCSE candidate. It is also hoped that pupils will wish to pursue an interest in Spanish further.
Spanish is spoken in 20 countries worldwide and speakers of the language are highly employable. It is very useful for pupils considering studying languages at university to have studied Spanish in addition to French or German. For aspiring foreign language teachers, the knowledge of two or more languages is desirable.
NB Spanish can only be taken in the Sixth form as part of the International Baccalaureate course. Arrangements may be made for those who wish to take the subject as a GCSE or A-level if they already possess the required standard.
Welsh is also offered in the form of language and culture lessons. Pupils are able to take exams at GCSE and A-level. Click here for more details.
There is a modern languages society that puts on screenings of a broad range of foreign language films. Click here to find out more.
Head of Department
Mr P Lavery BA
Email Mr Lavery
Modern Languages teaching staff
Frau S Boxleitner MA
Mrs P Healy BEd
Mme C Vallée Llce
Mrs A Beaumont BA
Mr R Tickner BA