The Modern Languages department at Colchester Sixth Form College consists of two full-time and seven part-time members of staff, together with five language assistants and approximately three hundred students. Each year we have a significant number of students studying two, three or even four languages and we pride ourselves on the very large range of courses and languages that we run in our department.

We consider ourselves to be a very supportive, enthusiastic and hard-working department and are proud of our track record of producing confident young linguists who are able to continue their studies at university if they so wish. Each year we send dozens of language students off to university either to study traditional language degrees or a language in combination with another subject.

Furthermore, students benefit from being taught in modern, specialist language rooms in average group sizes of fourteen. All A Level and IB students have the opportunity to practise their conversation skills in small groups with native speakers on a weekly basis and can take part in trips and exchanges as well as fun activities such as The European day of Languages and our MFL Christmas Carols.

Courses Offered by the Department

French

The A Level French course is based on linguistic and cultural aspects of the Francophone world. We study a variety of topics including the changing nature of the family, cinema as the 7th art form, crime and punishment, politics and immigration. Students will be taught both film and literature analysis alongside translation and summary skills.

This is a lively, vibrant course, suitable for hardworking, keen linguists.

German

The A Level German course focusses on linguistic and cultural topics in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. We study a variety of themes including Art, Architecture, Post-War German History, Politics and Immigration. Students will be taught both film and literature analysis alongside translation and summary skills.

This is a rewarding, varied course, suitable for conscientious, committed linguists.

Spanish

The A Level Spanish course is based on the language and culture of the Spanish speaking world. We study a wide variety of topics including the changing nature of the family, gay rights, Spanish fiestas, Latin American dictators, the Spanish Civil War, politics, immigration etc. Students will be taught both film and literature alongside translation and summary skills. This is a lively course, suitable for hardworking, keen linguists.

There are two trips, one to Spain and one to Paraguay and Argentina.

Italian

The A Level Italian course is based on linguistic as well as social, historical, political and artistic aspects of the culture of Italy and the Italian-speaking countries and communities. A wide range of topics are explored, including music, media, the evolution of the Italian family, immigration, the North-South divide and Fascism. Students will have the opportunity to develop translation and summary skills and will also learn how to analyse films and literary texts.

This is an exciting, dynamic course suitable for keen, motivated linguists.

GCSE Spanish

This is an accelerated GCSE course, 6 periods per week for one year and it is based on life in Spain and the communities and countries where Spanish is spoken. Emphasis is placed on the practical use of the language, related to real-life situations.

The course is suitable for students with some background in the language as well as for keen beginners. The former will continue to build on their knowledge and move on to new subjects and the latter can be confident that they would have developed valuable skills in other subjects which will facilitate their learning of a new language.

GCSE Italian

This is an accelerated GCSE course, 6 periods per week for one year and it is based on life in Italy and the communities and countries where Italian is spoken. Emphasis is placed on the practical use of the language, related to real-life situations. The course is suitable for students with some background in the language as well as for keen beginners. The former will continue to build on their knowledge and move on to new subjects and the latter can be confident that they would have developed valuable skills in other subjects which will facilitate their learning of a new language.

IB Modern Languages

At IB level, we offer courses in four main European languages: French, German, Spanish and Italian. The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded students. It is therefore essential for all IB students to learn a language.

Students will develop the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to be able to communicate with a high degree of competence. Students are given many opportunities to acquire extensive knowledge of other countries and a range of texts are studied for both language learning and cultural awareness.

Additional Studies

There is the opportunity to take Chinese, Japanese or Latin as an Additional Study. Students who have a first language other than English are also able take A Levels in their native languages such as Russian, Portuguese or Turkish.

Please see our Courses page for full details of all the courses offered by the college.