As the world continues to become increasingly connected, learning a language other than English is a necessity. Advancing technologies have afforded us the ability to communicate no matter where we are in the world, amplifying the importance of foreign language study.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

The great thing about languages is that, other than being a form of communication, they also serve as a means of relating to others on a cultural level. It’s the only way to understand how other cultures think and express themselves.

As well as grammar and vocabulary, our language teaching draws on history, geography, politics, literature and film. Whichever career path you move on to, people with foreign language skills will always stand out compared to people without them.

KA is committed to equipping our pupils with these skills, and the process begins in the early years of the Junior School when pupils are introduced to French and Spanish.

The Modern Languages Department is committed and energetic, and all of the staff have spent prolonged periods abroad, maintain their level of fluency in the language, and are committed to the ideals of internationalism.

Pupils can choose from French and/or Spanish in S1.  They then continue with their first foreign language up until the end of S4.  A second language can be selected for National 5, and a very large number continue to Higher and Advanced Higher.

The emphasis in language learning is on speaking, as the ability to communicate orally is an essential skill. However, at all levels, we underpin this with solid learning of grammar and vocabulary, and we develop the skills of listening, reading and writing at all stages of the curriculum.

In the course of studying for a National 5 in a Modern Language pupils will learn about the people and places where the language is spoken, covering the contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture.

Pupils are encouraged not to view languages in isolation, and cross-curricular activities include the use of ICT in the classroom. The Department also organises trips and exchanges to France and Spain.