Modern Foreign Languages

MFL Department

HoD: Mr P Moore

Subjects Offered

French GCSE
Spanish GCSE
French A Level (CCEA Modular)
Spanish A Level (CCEA Modular)

We are all international people these days and there is a very big world out there waiting for us to go and explore! And one of the very best ways to get started is through the study of languages. If you believe that “everyone speaks English”, then it’s time to find out that only about 5% of the world’s population speaks English as a first language!

Starting with the study of French and continuing on to learn Spanish, RSD pupils have a great opportunity to expand their horizons and become one of the 4 billion people in the world who speak more than one language.

Modern Foreign Languages
Some of those people are right here in Northern Ireland. In fact, a recent survey uncovered the fact that the members of the RSD community speak over a dozen languages between them. Being skilled in the knowledge of other languages opens many doors in the world of work, both at home and further afield and is an asset in a very broad range of fields.

Past pupils who have gained good qualifications in languages at RSD have gone on to work in fields as varied as business, education, medicine, journalism and many more. Great opportunities await you as you join the MFL Department at RSD!


We are very glad to welcome pupils into the exciting world of language study! For most, it will be a new experience, whilst others may have had some previous opportunities to learn some primary school French. But we will start at the very beginning, so the situation is the same for everyone. This year we learn how to meet French speaking people and have conversations with them about different aspects of our everyday lives. This will include our families and pets, where we live, hobbies and interests and school life.

In the four periods of French that we have each week, we will use the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing to promote our understanding of French and our skilful use of the language, and end of year examinations cover all of these areas. However, lots of games and interactive activities will help us have plenty of fun whilst we learn!

Another new experience this year as we start to learn Spanish! In two weekly lessons, we quickly catch up on all that we have already learned in French. Similarities between these two beautiful languages help us make swift progress in Spanish. This year, we also have two weekly periods of French to build on our knowledge from Y8. One of the nice things about language learning is that what we learn one year will be of use to us the next year.

We cover some familiar topics, for example school life, but we learn how to develop our understanding of language and become more skilled at producing accurate language and understanding French in greater detail; our Spanish is not far behind! We also meet topics such as food and drink and how to order these in restaurants. Languages are very practical subjects! Opportunities will be provided for pupils to show their knowledge and progress in examinations which, as ever, cover the four main language skills.

In three periods each week, we develop our French and Spanish even further, learning how to use a range of tenses and to express our feelings and opinions. Whilst some familiar topics will be revisited, we encounter new ideas, including how to talk about our holidays. This is very good preparation for those who will progress to GCSE French and/or Spanish; the step up will not feel daunting. Examinations will still focus on the four skills and provide good training for the format of GCSE papers.

Pupils will receive a great deal of guidance from their teachers regarding careers choices, and will be shown how to write about this in good quality French and Spanish. At the same time, we continue our practical theme by researching how to plan a trip to Paris in French class and through a project on Spanish fiestas. Many past pupils have gone on to travel to France and Spain on the back of knowledge and skills gained in class during Y10!

Those who choose to study French and/or Spanish to GCSE level have five periods’ study of each language every week. As ever, pupils revisit some topics that they encountered previously but much greater emphasis is placed on pupils’ ability to develop a more mature approach to the ideas and opinions that they communicate. Similarly, topics of interest to teenagers, such as part-time jobs, healthy living and future plans will be studied. The four language skills will be examined and pupils receive considerable guidance on how to obtain optimum grades.

In addition, pupils will have the opportunity to spend time with our French and Spanish language assistants, practising and developing their spoken language in small groups. Those pupils who choose to study GCSE French will have the opportunity to participate in our trip to Paris which takes place every two years. Tripss to Barcelona and Salamanca have also taken place. GCSE French and Spanish at RSD are examined by CCEA and all examinations are taken at the end of Y12. There is no coursework element.

At AS and A2 Levels, pupils have the opportunity to develop their interests in the global influence of the French and Spanish languages and will become much more confident and fluent when communicating in those languages. Eight periods a week are devoted to the study of each language, including grammar, translation skills, contexts for learning and the study of a film or literature text.

We also organise an additional one or two periods with the French and Spanish Assistants where communication is 100% in the target language; pupils make very rapid progress this way and always enjoy learning from a native speaker. Many extra-curricular opportunities exist for A Level French and Spanish pupils including film days at QUB, and participation in national debating and translation competitions.

Modern foreign Languages News Articles

Spanish-filled experience for Years 11-14!

On 30th March Spanish pupils from Y11-14 along with Mrs Stitt and Mrs McCormick headed to London for a Spanish-filled experience day! 

Recognising our NLC Competitors

All Y10 RSD French and Spanish pupils recently took part in a National Language Competition

Linguists Awarded Certificates from Mester Language Academy

Congratulations to our GCSE pupils who were awarded certificates this morning for completion of a course at the Mester Languages Academy, whilst on the recent Spanish trip to Salamanca.

Salamanca Trip 2019

On Tuesday 29th October RSD and St Patrick’s College GCSE and A-Level Spanish pupils set off early in the morning to travel to Salamanca, Spain with the MFL department.

Onatti Year 10-14 French Performance

The Onatti theatre group came to RSD to perform Les Garçons, one of their most successful French plays, for pupils in Years 10-14.

A Level French group visit QFT

On Thursday 19th October, Mr Moore accompanied his A Level French class to the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast, to view the French film “Manon des Sources”.

Peruvian Visitors at RSD

Pastor Elisario Vargus who is President of the Baptist Association of Churches in Southern Peru along with his wife Esther who is Vice Principal of a school in Tacha, visited RSD on Monday 22nd May 2017.

A Level Spanish cinema trip

Pupils from Year 13 and 14 Spanish classes enjoying a recent trip to the Queen’s Film Theatre to see ‘La Lengua De Las Mariposas’.

RSD Foreign Film Club

A Level Languages pupils from RSD, St Patrick's Academy and St Patrick’s College prepare to enjoy the film Pan’s Labyrinth along with Mrs White (A Level Spanish teacher).  The film is set in 1944, 5 years after the Spanish Civil War and during the early Francoist...

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