CONNECT: The most important life-skill for a human being is communication - and the most essential tool for communication is language! Language learning is not only about the mechanics of contemporary vocabulary and structures, but also involves the fascinating study of culture, politics, history and literature.
CAREER: People with foreign language skills have a marked advantage in the job market and a greater earning potential than their mono-lingual counterparts.It is a little known fact that after medicine, graduates with a modern language as part of their degree have the highest rate of employment!
CULTURE: In the Languages department at Kent College, we aim to make every pupil’s experience of learning the language a memorable one. From taking part in clubs to travelling abroad and experiencing language immersion trips and visits, the dynamic nature of the department keeps language learning alive, purposeful and stimulating.The staff within the department are caring and enthusiastic about their subject. We are fortunate to have native speakers including a well experienced foreign language assistant.
COMMUNITY: The four language departments at Kent College hugely benefit from the international atmosphere of our school. We have pupils from so many nationalities and this contact with European and overseas students encourages pupils to be part of the global community. They benefit from an insight into the culture of other countries and a better understanding between communities. This often allows them to form friends and practise their language skills “in situ” and gain confidence in expressing themselves in the Target Language (TL) . Our students can see the global relevance of MFL each day!
CONFIDENCE: Learning a language pushes you out of your comfort zone and so the sense of confidence and accomplishment when you are able to communicate with someone else in a different language is fantastic! Students learn to have a go, making mistakes is very much part of the journey, and they grow stronger from pushing themselves forward regardless. This resilience is a valuable skill that they can take into other areas of their lives.
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What skills will I learn?
Ability to communicate in Spanish:
- Ongoing opportunities are provided to develop and use the 4 key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Communicating in Spanish is a skill that is immediately transferable out of the classroom into real life situations of making new friends, assisting tourists and travelling abroad!
Analysis and evaluation / problem-solving
- Understanding and decoding grammar
- Inferring information
- More advanced students learn to study literary and non-literary texts, films, and extended creative and analytical writing.
- Pupils are involved in projects and tasks where they research various aspects of the Hispanic world.
- Pupils are regularly given insights into the culture of another Hispanic country, enhancing the understanding of that country’s people and promoting better understanding between communities.
Confidence and resilience
- Learning to communicate at whatever level in a foreign language builds confidence and resilience in pupils as they are compelled to push themselves out of their comfort zone to progress. The subsequent sense of accomplishment they feel has a positive impact on other areas of their lives.
What else will I get to do?
In the past, students have been involved in Spanish theatre visits, Spanish clubs, cooking workshops and short visits with bespoke language lessons in Salamanca. Previous years have also seen pupils go to the West End to see La casa de Bernarda Alba and participate in an exchange programme with a school in Vigo, north of Spain. We are always looking for opportunities that engage and inspire the students, and give them a more holistic language experience.
Tortilla española worksop
The next step..
Increasing globalisation and other socio-economic developments in Europe and beyond, make communication across national borders increasingly important, so people with foreign language skills have a marked advantage in the job market and a greater earning potential than their mono-lingual counterparts.
We are fortunate in languages that AS courses are still offered, and so an AS in Spanish can be taken in Y12 alongside other subjects that have been chosen for A-level, enabling the student to showcase extra skills and stand out from the competition. Language skills are always highly respected as they are a reflection also of a student’s capacity to understand and assimilate large quantities of information (vocabulary and grammar) and manipulate them simultaneously to react in the moment. These skills set one pupil apart from another. In addition, because the study of language involves the study of other cultures, linguists also stand out because they will have developed a more innate understanding of connecting with others from other countries.
Trip to Salamanca and visit to Madrid
Meet the Head of Spanish
Mrs Beatriz Alonso Licenciada en Filología Inglesa (English Philology) by Univeridad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. CAP (teaching qualification) from Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
After I qualified as a teacher of EAFL, I worked for three years in Spain as an English and Spanish teacher in a secondary school in Pontevedra, Galicia. In 1991 I moved the UK where I worked as a Language Assistant in two Grammar schools in Kent for a year. After that, in 1992 my career in Kent College started and the rest is history! Over the last nearly thirty years the Spanish Department has flourished allowing students to learn a vibrant language and to travel to different destinations in Spain where to put their skills into practice.
In this day and age, I feel privileged to be playing a part in equipping our students with the necessary skills to communicate, understand and connect with people from all over the world and to allow them to discover the amazing cultures that constitute the Hispanic world.
Have a question?
If you would like to discuss details of your child's care with us, send us a message and we will gladly answer your questions.