At Badminton, we offer a range of languages both in the classroom and as extra-curricular activities so that girls can develop as enthusiastic linguists and confident communicators.
We are fortunate to have native speakers on our teaching staff for languages and language assistants are used from the beginning of our curriculum so that girls can find ease and fluency alongside the academic rigour of language study. French, German and Spanish are studied throughout the school curriculum and pupils begin Mandarin in Year 7.
Many girls also have tuition in languages such as Japanese and Chinese, and there is the opportunity to learn Italian in the Sixth Form. Extra-curricular language clubs are very popular, and girls enjoy everything from storytelling in Spanish to tongue twisters in Italian to the chance to take part in the UK Languages Olympiad. The department is supported by Foreign Language Assistants and there are opportunities to take part in Homestay visits to Spain and France and a Senior School trip to Berlin.
All pupils in Years 7 study French and Mandarin and may continue to study the latter in Years 8 and 9 as an extra-curricular option. In Year 8 and 9 two Modern Languages are studied, and pupils choose between French, German and Spanish. For those joining in Year 9 with no language background, there is usually the option of a beginners’ language. Bilingual pupils may take GCSE in Year 9.
All pupils are expected to study a Modern Language at GCSE and many choose to continue with two. We follow the Edexcel IGCSE curriculum in French, German and Spanish. This allows pupils to develop their ability to understand the spoken language in a range of contexts and styles, and to read and respond to different types of language as well as communicating effectively both orally and in writing. Pupils will be supported in all languages by a Foreign Language Assistant.
The Edexcel A Level curriculum builds on the foundation of skills learnt at IGCSE. Pupils develop their language skills by working on topics such changing family structures, the impact of tourism and immigration and multiculturalism in society. There is also the opportunity to study a book and a film and to complete an independent research project. A good number of girls go on to study Modern Languages at university, often in combination with other subjects, and those who pursue other degrees find that their opportunities for work and travel are greatly enhanced by their study of languages at Badminton.