Modern Foreign Languages

Central to the Channing experience

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are central to the Channing experience. We have a long-term strategy, known as Adelante, to make confidence in MFL a feature of a Channing education. All pupils in the Senior School study Spanish in Year 7 and, following a taster course, choose between French and German for their second foreign language. Pupils take the two languages until the end of Year 9 and many continue as dual linguists at IGCSE.

We encourage modern linguists in the Senior School to support their younger peers and have a very successful mentoring system.
We offer a variety of clubs such as cine-club, conversation and pen pal clubs, beginners’ Mandarin, and debating societies for both French and Spanish. In addition to these, pupils are encouraged to submit entries to poetry and essay competitions and to participate in the Adelante Reading Challenge for their Houses.
All Year 8 pupils have the opportunity to take part in a study trip to Andalusia in the Autumn Term, where they have Spanish language lessons, learn to dance Flamenco, prepare, cook and eat an authentic paella, and visit some of the region’s most memorable sights.

Year 13 students have the opportunity to spend time at our partner school in Oviedo, Laude Palacio de Granda, attending lessons for their chosen subjects being taught in the Spanish language.

There is a visit for Year 9 and Sixth Form German students to Aachen where Channing has a link with St Leonhard School, a visit to the German Christmas markets for Years 8 to 13, also in Aachen, and a study tour to Berlin and Dresden for Years 11 and above.

The French department organises a study trip to Montpellier for pupils in Years 10-13 inclusive. Pupils attend lessons in the morning and do cultural activities in the afternoon, taking in the sights of one of France’s finest cities.

Linguists in Years 12 and 13 have a weekly one-to-one oral session with the Foreign Language Assistants as well as the opportunity to represent Channing at the Inter Schools Debating competition and give presentations at the Highgate French Circle.

Our commitment to languages at Channing is unrivalled. We aim to foster a love of foreign languages and cultures alike. To this end, we encourage girls to travel widely in order to practise their languages and to gain firsthand knowledge of foreign cultures. It is expected that Sixth Form linguists will spend time abroad undertaking language courses or doing work experience. The Department also organises regular outings to see foreign films and plays.

Channing pupils benefit from a rich linguistic and cultural experience and each year a number of pupils go on to study languages at top universities, including Oxbridge.