Department of Modern Languages Web Page


The two languages taught from Year 8 in Strabane Academy are French and German.

Why learn a foreign language?

  • Learning a language provides enjoyment, and is challenging and motivating.
  • It provides a sense of identity and self- awareness, which leads to tolerance and understanding of others.
  • Learning a foreign language develops a variety of skills – communication, presentation, problem solving, organisation and independence.
  • It can make you a more tolerant and open-minded person as it offers an insight into other cultures.
  • It opens doors and creates opportunities.
  • It can make travel and leisure more exciting and interesting.
  • It can improve your English as it heightens your awareness of structure and grammar.
  • It allows for creativity.

Did you know?

  • 86% of the UK’s richest under 30s speak a foreign language.
  • 94% of the world’s population do not have English as their native language and 75% of the world’s population speaks no English at all
  • Having a language at GCSE can be of benefit as many jobs requiring languages skills need them as a secondary qualification.
  • 60% of Britain’s exports go to non-English speaking countries and 20% of UK exports are adversely affected by barriers in language or cultural ignorance
  • Over 20% of employers say that they need employees who are more competent in languages.
  • Why learn French?
  • There are currently 67.8 million people with French as their first language, and it is spoken in 60 countries around the world.
  • French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents. French and English are the only two global languages
  • France is the world’s largest manufacturer of television sets (HDTV was invented in France).
  • The French are leaders in medical genetics .
  • The French are the world’s third manufacturers of electronics equipment.
  • France is the fourth largest producer of cars in the world
  • France is the European leader in aerospace
  • France is a major world research centre in the field of high energy physics.
  • More tourists visit France than any other country in the world.

Key Stage 3

In Strabane Academy at Key Stage 3 pupils are introduced to the language and culture of France and French-speaking communities and countries through a variety of teaching methods and assessment in line with the current curriculum. They learn about the basic grammar of the language and how to use it to build up their confidence in producing language in all 4 skill areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing.  They also have the opportunity to enhance their thinking skills and personal capabilities, and in doing so become independent learners.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 pupils are prepared for the AQA GCSE examinations.  They may choose to continue to study one language or both French and German. A range of text books and resources is available to support the delivery of the Key Stage 4 curriculum.  Pupils are encouraged to recognise the relevance and importance of language skills.  The topics cater for all pupils needs.  Some of the topics, such as family, where I live and food and drink will have been covered at KS3 but there are also new topics, such as mobile technologies and the environment which will inspire students who are interested in the culture of France and French or French-speaking communities and countries.

Key Stage 5

At A-level pupils are prepared for the cea AS and A2 examinations. They have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of French language, literature and culture.  They will further enhance their skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking.  In addition to text books a range of internet resources, language magazines and newspapers further enhance their language skills.

In most careers nowadays language abilities are highly valued and there is a particular shortage of people with languages in Engineering and Finance. A GCSE in a language will make you more employable.

 Careers involving Languages

  • Computer programmer
  • Credit controller
  • Customer support adviser
  • Executive search consultant
  • Cultural briefing consultant
  • Interpreter
  • Teacher
  • Language trainer
  • Translator
  • Engineering
  • Banking
  • Civil service
  • Travel and tourism
  • Secretary/PA
  • Marketing
  • Public relations
  • Pharmaceutical work
  • Journalism and media
  • Transport and distribution