Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
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...
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 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.
MFL at A Level
Dr Burgos explains more about studying languages at A level.
Named after famous theologian Desiderius Erasmus, the Erasmus Society held their inaugural meeting in September 2015. The society was set up by Mrs Cruttenden, the former 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.
Dr Laura Burgos
Laura is Head of Modern Languages. Laura has a degree in Hispanic Studies and PhD in Spanish Literature, and an MA in Gender Equality in Social, Human and Legal Sciences. Laura has worked at Taunton School and Wellington School, and was a lecturer at Exeter University. Laura successfully introduced and co-ordinated our first Spanish exchange trip in 2020. Laura also assists Emma with our equestrian centre.
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.
Lydia joins us from Torquay Boys' Grammar School. She will be teaching French as part of our MFL provision.
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.