Modern Languages Faculty

Languages at Eastbank Academy

In Eastbank Academy we aim to teach and promote languages by encouraging pupils to use the foreign language as often as possible within a fun, supportive atmosphere. We strive to help all pupils to achieve their full potential through a variety of up-to-date teaching approaches and by providing opportunities of using the foreign languages beyond the classroom.

Why study a Modern Language?

A language is an extremely useful asset in the world today. If you visit another country and you travel beyond the places where the tourists gather, you quickly discover that the belief that everyone understands English is largely a myth. The reality is that only 6% of the world’s population speak English as a first language.  75% of the world’s population don’t speak any English at all.

The benefits of learning a language include:

  • Better understanding of different cultures
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Enhanced ability to build new relationships
  • Improved literacy and reading skills
  • Enhanced problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Increased employability prospects

How we learn in S1-S3

In their Broad General Education (BGE) in S1-S3, pupils will develop their language learning up to level 4 of Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes.  Pupils will continue to develop the skills of Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening.

The key features of learning and teaching will be:

  • Real communication in relevant contexts
  • An emphasis on how languages work including grammar
  • Maximum use of the modern language in the classroom
  • An increased focus on culture and international education
  • Language learning across the curriculum
  • Developing skills for life, work and learning

Appropriate teaching methods will ensure success in a foreign language for all learners:

  • A mixture of individual, pair and group work activities
  • Active learning and games (show me boards, puzzles, language board games)
  • Cooperative learning
  • Making thinking visible
  • Assessment is for Learning ( learning objectives, self/peer evaluation against set success criteria, whole class response system such as Kahoot or show me boards)
  • ICT and media (film studies, use of language websites, kahoot quizzes)

How we learn in S4-S6

National 5 / Higher courses are explored through the four contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture. Learners develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. The development of subject-specific and generic skills is central to these courses. The transferable skills developed will help learners progress to further study or the world of work.

The N5 / Higher course builds on the language learned previously and extends this into giving opinions on more mature issues.  Pupils learn to understand audio and written materials and express their opinions about a wide range of topics including teenage problems, the impact of the digital age, career path and taking a gap year. The Higher is also your passport to continuing your language on into university level where you can combine languages with Business Studies, Law and Tourism.

Appropriate teaching methods will ensure success in a foreign language for all learners:

  • A mixture of individual, pair and group work activities
  • Active learning and games (show me boards, puzzles, language board games)
  • Assessment is for Learning ( learning objectives, self/peer evaluation against set success criteria, whole class response system such as Kahoot or show me boards)
  • ICT and media ( authentic video clips, websites)

Why study French?

More tourists (75 million) visit France than any other country in the world. French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents. French and English are the only two global languages. There are currently 67.8 million people with French as their first language, and it is spoken in 60 countries around the world.  Being able to speak French will open doors for future prospects in jobs, entrance to further education and enrich your learning with knowledge about language and French culture

  • The French are leaders in medical genetics.
  • The French are the world’s third manufacturers of electronics equipment.
  • France is the fourth largest producer of cars in the world.
  • French, along with English, is the official working language of The United Nations and The Council of Europe

Why study Spanish?

There are about 400 million native speakers of Spanish, more than those of any other language except Chinese. In other words, Spanish speakers form 7% of the world’s population.

Spanish is the official language of 21 countries – Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Peru, to name but a few.  It is one of the official languages of international conferences, the United Nations and the European Union.  It is spoken by over 8% of the US population (30 million people) especially in California, Florida, large areas of the Southwest, New York and other large cities.

Spanish is an attractive language. In the early stages, it is relatively straightforward because:

  • it has a simple sound system, with just five vowel sounds
  • there is a direct correspondence between spoken and written forms
  • the basic points of grammar are quite simple.

Spain is around two hours flying time away. Even if you can’t afford to visit Spain, with satellite dishes, e-mail and Internet links, it’s easy to find the chance to practise your Spanish!  Spain plays an important role as one of Britain’s most important trading partners. It is in a period of international expansion and openness to foreign markets. A knowledge of Spanish could open up an exciting and promising new dimension in your life. It could give you the chance in the future to try new countries and new ventures.

Being able to understand Spanish will give the key to the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Spain and Latin America. The vitality of Spanish and Latin American culture can be found in many areas of life, for example music, fashion and sports. Being able to speak Spanish opens up a whole new dimension of opportunities.

Why study German?

German is the most widely spoken language in Europe.

More people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. Germany’s 83 million inhabitants make it the most populous European nation. It is also an official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.

Germany has the 3rd strongest economy and is the number one export nation in the world.

Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the economic powerhouse of the European Union. In 2017 Germany exported goods worth 1,279.4 billion euros (1,569.2 billion U.S. dollars) from cars to machinery and industrial equipment, from pharmaceuticals to household goods.

Knowing German creates business opportunities.

Germany’s economic strength, equals business opportunities. Multinational business opportunities exist throughout the European Union and in the Eastern European countries. If you’re looking for employment in the United States, knowing German can give you great advantages. German companies account for 700,000 jobs in the United States, and US companies have created approximately the same number of jobs in Germany. All other things being equal, the job candidate with German skills will trump the one without such skills every time. Most surveyed companies in the United States would choose someone with German literacy over an equally qualified candidate.

German is not as hard as you think.

If English is your native language, then you already have an advantage when it comes to learning German. Because modern German and modern English both evolved from the common ancestor language Germanic, the two languages share many similarities in both vocabulary and grammar. If you understand any of this …

Meine Schwester hat braunes Haar. Sie ist intelligent. Sie studiert Medizin in Berlin. Sie kann gut singen.

… then you already know some German!

In addition, German is spelled phonetically. Once you learn the system of sounds, it is easy to predict how the spoken word is written and how the written word is pronounced.

Penpal exchange with Reunion Island

The department has linked with the secondary school ‘Collège Henri Matisse’ in the French overseas territory of Reunion Island.

We exchange letters and class projects between students which provide a window into Reunion Island schools, families, and lifestyles.  This is a great opportunity for our pupils to apply their language skills to real life situations and develop their awareness of everyday life in another country. This should provide an extremely rewarding and relevant learning experience.

Language learner award

Every year, the department nominates pupils who have demonstrated effort and commitment to studying languages and celebrate pupils’ achievements during a city-wide event at the City Chambers. This is a great way to meet other language learners across the city!

European Week of Languages and language related events throughout the year

Every year, pupils take part in events celebrating languages in Eastbank Academy. These include:

  • Food tasting
  • Foreign language mini taster lessons (German, Italian, Mandarin, Polish…)
  • Promo talk and workshops delivered by SCILT

Restaurant and food tasting

The department has a link with Elenas Tapas restaurant in the WestEnd of Glasgow and Le Chalet Beaumartin in Bearsden. We organise food tasting trips providing a fun experience for pupils who will be given the opportunity to practise their spoken French/Spanish while enjoying authentic foreign food.

Cinema trips to the GFT

The department has a link with the GFT in Glasgow and organise cinema outings as part of the Into Film Festival. The Festival is a perfect opportunity for pupils to experience watching a film in the foreign language in one of the most iconic cinema venue in Glasgow.

Euroscola (Advanced Higher level)

Every year, Advanced Higher pupils take part in a one week trip to Strasbourg. Euroscola is a unique event for schools to learn about European integration by experiencing it first-hand. Students from the 28 EU Member States are selected to become a Member of the European Parliament for one day at the Parliament’s premises in Strasbourg.

They take the floor in plenary and committee sessions to debate and vote on resolutions on current affairs, all the while practising their language skills and making friends with fellow students from across Europe.