The Modern Languages Department in St Louis is an active department and we enjoy a high rate of success in external examinations. Pupils learn Irish and French or Spanish in Years 8 to 10 and can then choose to continue one or both languages at GCSE, AS or A2 level.
The aims of the Modern Languages Department are:
- to develop the ability to use French/Irish/Spanish in everyday situations through the communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing;
- to develop an awareness of the nature of language;
- to create an atmosphere in which pupils' experience of learning Irish and French/Spanish will be enjoyable and successful;
- to stimulate an interest in the culture and civilisation of France and French-speaking countries/Ireland/Spain and Spanish-speaking countries;
- to develop an awareness in the pupil of his own identity within Ireland/Europe and to encourage a respect for Irish and other European cultures and traditions;
- to ensure a high level of academic achievement to equip the pupil for their future;
- to contribute to the personal and social development of each pupil.
All our staff members are committed to achieving the highest of standards and to making language learning an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
We also have Language Assistants who work with our pupils in the Senior School to improve their language skills. Without a doubt, our Language Assistants contribute significantly to the positive learning experience of our pupils. In smaller groups, they bring the language and culture to life and give pupils the opportunity to practise their language skills in a more realistic and informal setting.
Of those pupils taking A Level Languages the majority proceed to university, entering a wide range of disciplines including degree courses where they combine their language with those disciplines (e.g. Law/Accountancy/Business etc.), as well as traditional courses in French/Irish/Spanish Language and Literature.
Pupils also participate in a range of extra-curricular activities to enrich their formal language learning in the classroom:
- Year 10 pupils thoroughly enjoy participating in the annual Gael Linn quiz, giving them an opportunity to engage with the Irish language on various topics and meet Irish language learners from different schools across the country. Pupils especially enjoy the music round where they can volunteer their karaoke skills!
- St Louis has a successful association with Gael Linn's Abair Public Speaking competition. Year 11-14 pupils have the opportunity to discuss topical issues as Gaeilge. Many of our pupils have reached Ulster finals and enjoy speaking publicly in their second, sometimes third, language!
- Every year, a team of our Year 10 French/Spanish students participate in the Franco/Hispanofest, organised by NICILT at Queen’s University. Pupils see how language skills are used practically in the world of business and tourism. Whilst using their knowledge of French/Spanish in a ‘real-life’ situation to sell a product or promote a region in France, they increase their confidence and develop their interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team. They especially like catching a glimpse of university life and what could be in store for them in the future.
- Each year, we have a wide range of activities to celebrate the European Day of Languages, where students enter competitions, take part in quizzes and host or attend different language taster lessons.
- Many of our Irish language students attend the Gaeltacht where they are motivated and inspired by this contact with the living language and whenever possible, students participate in educational trips abroad to France/Spain, either with the department or incorporated in a sports trip, where they experience the language and culture first hand.
Mrs J Fleming (Head of Department)
Mrs M McPhilomey
Miss A O’Brien
Mrs M Campbell
Mrs R Wilson
Miss C Glavin
Mrs M McPhilomey