Modern Languages

Aims And Vision

  • to develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, languages among the pupils
  • to enable the pupils to understand the language in a variety of contexts
  • to enable the pupils to communicate confidently, clearly and effectively for a range of purposes
  • to give the pupils an understanding and awareness of the society, culture and heritage in the countries where each language is spoken.
  • to help the pupils acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use/further study or employment
  • to prepare the pupils to take their place in a multilingual global society.

Pupils will have the opportunity to have contact with pupils in the country of the language studied, from penpal links to trips/exchanges abroad.

Spanish Exchange

We aim to take part in a Spanish exchange every 2 years, and this year in February 2019 a group of 15 pupils from Banbridge Academy spent a week with pupils from ‘IES Miguel Servet School’ in Zaragoza. Our Spanish ‘amigos’ then made the return part of the trip and came to N. Ireland in March 2019. It can be a nerve-wracking experience as the pupils are living with their exchange partner and family, but it is so good for their understanding of the Spanish language. It is also an amazing opportunity to meet new people, try new food, experience life in a foreign school and develop their self-confidence as they ‘survive’ life in another country! It is also great craic!!’

Magazine Articles

Banbridge Academy Magazine 2015-2016: Modern Languages Article

Key Stage 3

All pupils learn French in Year 8. They will develop new skills in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing in French. Topics include family, house and town, hobbies, school, food.

In Years 9 & 10 pupils continue to learn French and will study a second Modern Language, Spanish.

Pupils must choose at least one language for GCSE, with many pupils opting for two.


A language is compulsory at GCSE (French/Spanish), with many pupils opting to study both.
Each of the 4 skills of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing are worth 25% each and pupils sit all exams at the end of Year 12.

There are 3 context areas:

  • Identity, Lifestyle and Culture
  • Local/National/International & Global areas of Interest
  • School Life, Studies and the World of Work


There are two context areas for language study at AS:

  1. Relationships
  2. Culture and Lifestyle

There are 3 assessment units at AS:
AS 1 Speaking, AS 2 Reading, Listening and Use of Language, AS 3 Extended Writing (a study of a film/book)


There are two context areas for language study at A2:

  1. Young people in Society
  2. Our Place in a Changing World

There are 3 assessment units at A2:
A2 1 Speaking, A2 2 Listening and Reading, A2 3 Extended Writing (a study of a film/book)

Career Opportunities

The A level Modern Language course provides a basis for the further study of the language at degree level but the AS level is also a coherent, satisfying and valuable course for those who do not intend to continue with their study of the language at this stage.

Modern Language Graduates have a wide choice of careers open to them. They may pursue careers closely related to the language, such as interpreting, translating or teaching but they will also find that qualifications in a modern language are useful in many other fields, amongst the most common of which are travel and tourism, finance, sales and marketing, management services and public relations. Students who aspire to work in international affairs or within the legal, financial or administrative institutions of the European Union should consider studying a second modern language in order to enhance their career opportunities. The study of a language with science should also be considered for this reason.