Modern Languages | King's College Taunton

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

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Why Study Modern Languages?

Why Study Modern Languages?

Our excellent resources and facilities ensure that we engage linguists at all levels. All of our classrooms are equipped with digital projectors and we have a dedicated ICT suite for languages. Our dedicated staff are highly skilled, motivated and constantly exploring new teaching tools and resources. Language learning at King's is lively, active and exciting.

Throughout the Fifth and Sixth Forms our excellent native-speaker language assistants provide weekly conversation lessons for pupils.Their teaching supports the learning taking place in language lessons and is a vital component in our pupils' experience of the language and its country.

We challenge our pupils to broaden their horizons and take charge of their learning. Whether this is through a language exchange or through the opportunities our ICT facilities offer for independent study, we are proud of our confident and dynamic modern linguists. School exchanges are regularly arranged to Germany, and pupils are also able to arrange one-to-one exchanges with young people of their age.

A Whole New World...

A Whole New World...

In addition to the French, German and Spanish staff, teaching can usually be arranged in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Italian for pupils joining King's who already have experience of these languages. Mandarin is also offered as an activity at beginners' level.

We firmly believe that successfully learning another language enriches your life forever. Knowledge of languages opens doors to another world. Nothing can replace reading a novel or seeing a play in the original language, and visits to foreign countries are so much more interesting if you can eavesdrop on conversations in buses and restaurants, read what is written all around you, and speak to anyone you meet.

French, German and Spanish

French, German and Spanish

French is widely spoken on five continents, in 43 countries, by approximately 200 million people. It is one of the principal languages of diplomacy and international organisations. The prestige of French art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine and cinema makes French a culturally important foreign language. France is also our nearest continental neighbour with an immense variety of landscapes, and is therefore an ideal holiday destination.

It might also surprise you to find out that German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe, since Germany's 83 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation. It is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. While learning German can connect you to 120 million native speakers around the globe, it is the third most popular foreign language taught worldwide and the second most popular in Europe and Japan, after English.

You may also be interested to discover that Spanish is the third most widely-spoken languages in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and English. The cultures of Spain and Latin America offer the richest possible mix of interests in language, literature, film, food, politics,architecture and history, for travel, for work, in their geography and in their peoples.

The Erasmus

The Erasmus

Named after famous theologian Desiderius Erasmus, the Erasmus Society held their inaugural meeting in September 2015. The society was set up by Mrs Cruttenden, Head of Modern Languages at King’s, in order to bring together all the students who study a Modern Foreign Language, as well as Classics. The group encourages pupils to develop an interest in not only the languages they learn, but also the culture of the countries from which they stem.

Talks have included the difficulties of accurate translations and how a direct translation from a foreign language does not always make sense in English, and a look at the origins of a number of languages.

Nicola Kirby
MFL Teacher

Nicola joins us having worked most recently at the Downs Prep School, and previously at Taunton School for six years. She teaches both Spanish and French to A level and has also taught IB. Nicola was a S/Lt in the CCF Navy Section at Taunton and is a level one Zumba instructor. Nicola and her husband Alastair have two children, aged 4 and 1.

Lucy Cruttenden
Head of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Lucy is Head of Modern Languages. During her time at Exeter University, where she read French, she spent a year working as a foreign language assistant in the Jura. She also has a Maîtrise from Grenoble University.

Maria Duckham
MFL Teacher

Maria is a French national who read English, Russian and Media Studies at Rennes University in Brittany. She has been living in the UK since 1996 and studied languages for her PGCE at Exeter University.

Lisa Wrobel
Head of German

Lisa joined King's in September 1998. She teaches French and Germany, having studied both languages at Exeter University. She lived in Germany for a year working as a foreign language assistant and often returns for visits.

Karen McSwiggan
MFL Teacher

Karen studied German and Russian at Reading, Göttingen and Kiev. She came to King's to teach German in 1991, became housemistress of Meynell in 1995 and Deputy Head in 2003. She is married with four children.

Laura Burgos-Lejonagoitia
MFL Teacher

Laura has a degree in Hispanic Studies and PhD in Spanish Literature. She joins us having spent a year working in maternity posts at Wellington School and Taunton School. Before that she was a teacher of Spanish and French at South Dartmoor Community College for six years and a lecturer at Exeter University. Laura is keen to become involved with the CCF and DofE, as well as getting fully involved with the pastoral side of life at King’s.

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