The Modern Language department in Alexandra College is very proud of its tradition of excellence and record of achievement.
Languages currently on offer are French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Modern language learners have a wide choice of careers open to them. Students also find that qualifications in a modern language are used in many fields and can assist them in finding employment in other countries. The study of one or more foreign languages is not only enriching for our pupils, it is also essential in the modern world.
Here in Alexandra College, we introduce our pupils to the cultures of different countries, thereby enriching them as individuals and broadening their horizons in an ever-expanding world.
TIMETABLED PERIODS FOR MODERN LANGUAGES
First, second and third years are timetabled for four modern language periods per week.
Pupils in Transition Year continue with their chosen language (three periods per week) but they also have an option to try out a new language – beginners’ French, Spanish and Italian are currently offered. Pupils may then continue to study two languages for the Leaving Certificate examination if the demand is high enough.
French, German, Spanish and Italian are all offered to Leaving Certificate level, with pupils often choosing to study two languages. Senior language classes have five modern language periods per week.
Currently, the core textbook used in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year in all four languages offered is also available as a digital resource on students’ iPads. The use of ICT in the modern language department is an important element of our teaching, complementing the more traditional methods that we also depend upon. There is a wide range of foreign language books, magazines and DVDs available in the school Library.
Pupils are encouraged to be more independent in their language learning, through their use of ICT and of iPads (in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year). This gives very immediate access to resources such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television broadcasts and podcasts. Up-to-date information is vital in pupils’ preparation for written, aural and oral exams.
Languages are taught in a ‘communicative’ way and so the teacher is one of the most valuable resources in our language classroom. The target language is spoken by the class teacher as often as possible, and pupils are encouraged to respond in the language that they are learning.
Some suggested language apps: Duolingo, Padlet, Babbel, See-saw (for language portfolio), canva.com, Google Classroom, HiNative, Edpuzzle, Quizlet.
In past years we have organised valuable, enjoyable trips to Barcelona, Paris, Saint Raphäel (near Nice), Berlin and Cuneo (Italy).
The trip to Cuneo, near Turin, involves a school exchange begun in 1992.
Pupils from Alexandra College visited Greece, Italy and Portugal as part of our involvement in a Comenius Project involving pupils and teachers from seven other European countries.
International Language Week
Each year in September, pupils of Alexandra College join together to celebrate European Language Day.
Over the years this has been transformed into a much larger, week-long event which celebrates all of the wonderful cultures and languages represented in Alexandra College. A variety of activities take place during the week, both during and outside of language class time. Activities include quizzes, poster-making competitions, treasure hunts, foreign language film screenings and multi-lingual assemblies.
We are very proud of our many modern language pupils who each year continue to progress their study of languages at third-level institutions.
These pupils have found a love of languages and an understanding of their importance. They pursue a variety of options, either as a pure language student, as a student combining a foreign language with another discipline (popular options include Law with German, Law with French, a language and Business) or as a student taking a modular course in a language alongside her studies.
We have a Twitter account where students can get links to useful foreign language texts, websites, news items and more …. @ModLang_at_Alex.