Thurston Community College

Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum

Curriculum Intent of Modern Foreign Languages

Languages are an integral part of the curriculum. Learning a language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. It helps to equip students with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to thrive and succeed in life, thereby encouraging them to appreciate, understand and celebrate diversity. It provides them with the foundation for learning additional languages and enables them to study and work in other countries. Consequently the Languages curriculum makes a significantly positive contribution to business, industry and the economy.

Threads of powerful knowledge in MFL  

MFL involves fundamentally:
Phonics - This involves  understanding the system of the sounds of a language and how these are represented in written words - clear and reliable pronunciation and the links between sounds and spelling are integral parts of second language learning.  A strong awareness of phonology is important. When listening to the language, learners’ ability to understand and visualise the language is supported by having a strong phonological awareness. The ability to decode words (turn the written word into sounds) also helps learners when reading texts, enhances autonomy and can improve vocabulary learning. Once students have developed more confidence in speaking it will give them access to more frequent inclusion of different time frames, greater variety and complexity of language and moving towards the development of spontaneity. 

Vocabulary - This is a vital component and forms the basis for any student when communicating orally or in written form.  A good active vocabulary is essential for students so that they can respond orally and in writing in response to classroom tasks and in exams. It can make a great difference in terms of quality, quantity and variety of language.  A good passive vocabulary is vital for students if they are to respond successfully to written or aural stimuli in class-based listening and reading tasks, as well as in final exams in these two skills.

Grammar - This involves including inflectional and/or derivational features (the systems for changing the form of a word and for creating new words, respectively) and syntax.  An element in making progress in languages is developing grammatical understanding. Grammatical progression needs to be carefully planned across time. Students need to embed grammar in their memory so that they do not get confused or demotivated as structures and concepts gradually become more complex. Current examination specifications at both GCSE and A-level contain a substantial amount of grammar that students are expected to master. It is important that there is a logic behind grammatical progression in curriculum plans, from simpler to more complex concepts and structures.  Explicit grammar instruction can have a positive impact on how efficiently students learn grammatical concepts, while revisiting grammar systematically ensures that the taught concepts and structures are embedded in students’ memory.  

Cultural reading and enrichment - experiences and opportunities within and beyond the classroom which develop every student’s cultural capital.

Links to Further Information


KS3 Spanish

Authentic material :

  • KS3 Spanish BBC Bitesize (

KS3 French

  • Allez - mini readers (Kerboodle)
  • Watch on demand - mini clips on Linguascope ( )

Authentic material :

  • KS3 French BBC Bitesize ( 

 KS4 Spanish

  • Kerboodle
  • Unit 4 -  Customs and festivals
    Learning about Latin American and Spanish customs and traditions
  • Unit 6 - Social issues
    Learning about charities and voluntary work
  • Unit 7 - Global issues
    Learning about ways to protect the environment, homelessness and the needy
  • Unit 8 - Travel and tourism
    Learning about different regions in Spain and Latin America
  • Authentic material :

    GCSE Spanish - BBC bitesize ( )

 KS4 French

  • Kerboodle
  • Unit 4 -  customs and festivals
    Learning about French and Francophone customs and traditions
  • Unit 6 - Social issues
    Learning about charities and voluntary work
  • Unit 7 - Global issues
    Learning about ways to protect the environment, homelessness and the needy
  • Unit 8 - Travel and tourism
    Learning about different regions in France 
  • Authentic material :

    GCSE French - BBC bitesize ( )

Additional Useful Texts  Spanish

  • Federico García Lorca La casa de Bernarda Alba
  • Gabriel García Márquez Crónica de una muerte anunciada
  • Laura Esquivel Como agua para chocolate
  • Ramón J. Sender Réquiem por un campesino español
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafón La sombra del viento
  • Isabel Allende La casa de los espíritus
  • Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer Rimas
  • Fernando Fernán-Gómez Las bicicletas son para el verano
  • Luis de Castresana El otro árbol de Guernica
  • Gabriel García Márquez El coronel no tiene quien le escriba

Spanish Films

  • El laberinto del fauno Guillermo del Toro (2006)
  • Ocho apellidos vascos Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (2014)
  • María, llena eres de gracia Joshua Marston (2004)
  • Volver Pedro Almodóvar (2006)
  • Abel Diego Luna (2010)
  • Las 13 rosas Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (2007)

Additional useful texts French


  • Molière Le Tartuffe
  • Voltaire Candide
  • Guy de Maupassant Boule de Suif et autres contes de la guerre
  • Albert Camus L’étranger
  • Françoise Sagan Bonjour tristesse
  • Claire Etcherelli Elise ou la vraie vie
  • Joseph Joffo Un sac de billes
  • Faïza Guène Kiffe kiffe demain
  • Philippe Grimbert Un secret

French Films

  • Les 400 coups François Truffaut (1959)
  • Au revoir les enfants Louis Malle (1987)
  • La Haine Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)
  • L’auberge espagnole Cédric Klapisch (2002)
  • Un long dimanche de fiançailles Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2004)
  • Entre les murs Laurent Cantet (2008)

Authentic material