In a world that is becoming increasingly smaller, languages are becoming more highly valued. The workplace is a multi-national one and communication is often multi-lingual. Students of languages are effective communicators with an awareness of world issues and opinions on current affairs. Students of a language at Guiseley School post – 16 have the opportunity to take part in an exciting cultural visit to Berlin/Madrid which will help to cement and inspire their cultural awareness.
The new style A-Level includes themes of study which reflect ‘Social issues and trends’ and ‘political, intellectual and artistic culture’. Topics studied in the Sixth Form include Healthy Lifestyles, Family Issues, Racism, and Multi-culturalism, Modern Technology, Art and Literature, Contemporary Social Issues such as scientific technology, Political Engagement in Germany/Spain, Popular Culture and the EU.

In addition, there is a personalised individual research project sharply focussed and related to the country of study which seeks to extend discussion skills and be personal to the students’ range of interests.

There is also a cultural study element in which students study a film (Goodbye Lenin in German and Volver in Spanish) and a piece of literature (Der Vorleser – German and la Casa de Bernada Alba in Spanish).

The examination includes Listening, Reading and Translation, followed by a written paper and speaking exams.
Lessons involve analysis of authentic magazine, online or newspaper articles as well as watching news bulletins and films to broaden vocabulary knowledge. Students learn to debate and express their opinions and also to counter others’ opinions. They are encouraged to use language internet sites. Writing and grammar skills are developed and students learn how to manipulate language. Dedicated time is allocated for individual speaking sessions with a native speaker of German/Spanish. Students are encouraged to experiment with language and they experience increasing success over the course.
A higher qualification in a language is a valuable asset to any business with international aspirations and, more importantly, it shows excellent communication and cultural skills. In an era where Britain is distancing itself politically from Europe, the need for foreign language speakers becomes even greater to ensure social, cultural and business links can be maintained. Students who take a language to A-Level often pursue the language to degree level. Combined degrees which include a language are becoming popular. Former students combined German and/or Spanish with English, History, Business, Management, or Law.