Subject Information - Spanish

National 5

Head of Department: Mr Calum Ure

Course Progression: Spanish

Courses

In a world where international contacts are increasingly vital and where global communication is ever easier, the importance of being able to speak other languages and understand different cultures is paramount. More and more employers are looking for people with good foreign language skills and more and more courses in Further and Higher Education are offering language options.

Young people proficient in foreign languages will be able to take advantage of excellent opportunities to spend part of their undergraduate studies abroad. You may find it interesting to know that employment rates for graduates with language skills are amongst the highest in the country.

Teaching and Learning

The emphasis in language learning is on oral communication. 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.

The Department puts language learning into context through a number of language opportunities abroad, eg to attend a school in Bochum in Germany, and cultural visits, as well as drama competitions and outings to see foreign films and plays.

Spanish (S3/S4) National 4/5

The National 5 Course covers the themes of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture and will provide an appropriate level of challenge for our pupils as they deepen their knowledge of the language. 

The examination tests the skills of Talking (25%), Reading (25%), Listening (25%) and Writing (25%).  The Writing mark is based on the pupils’ performance in two tasks.  As well as a Writing paper in the final examination (12.5%), a written assignment is also carried out in class time during S4 and is submitted to the SQA to be marked externally (12.5%).  Talking is assessed internally. The pupils give a presentation and have a follow-up discussion in the target language with their class teacher on two contexts covered during the course; this is recorded for moderation purposes.

All pupils will begin to study for the National 5 qualification, although some pupils may find the demands of National 5 too challenging and therefore, the National 4 qualification may be more suitable. For these pupils there will be an opportunity to transfer to the National 4 course after the prelim.

 

Higher

Head of Department: Mr Calum Ure

Course Progression: Spanish

Courses

In a world where international contacts are increasingly vital and where global communication is ever easier, the importance of being able to speak other languages and understand different cultures is paramount. More and more employers are looking for people with good foreign language skills and more and more courses in Further and Higher Education are offering language options.

Young people proficient in foreign languages will be able to take advantage of excellent opportunities to spend part of their undergraduate studies abroad. You may find it interesting to know that employment rates for graduates with language skills are amongst the highest in the country.

Teaching and Learning

The emphasis in language learning is on oral communication. 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.

The Department puts language learning into context through a number of language opportunities abroad, eg to attend a school in Bochum in Germany, and cultural visits and outings to see foreign films and plays.

Spanish (S5/S6) Higher

Why go on to Higher?

More and more companies are looking for employees with language skills and an increasing number of universities are offering courses which link languages to science, business, tourism, hospitality and law. The Higher course aims to equip pupils with the necessary communication and presentation skills in the foreign language, which give pupils the competitive edge they need in today's modern world. Pupils are expected to work hard and are given the opportunity to prepare in advance for key components of the course. There are only four learning outcomes, which are explained below.

Recommended Entry

• An 'A' pass at National 5 in S4

Course Units

Language Unit
Theme 1 Lifestyles
Theme 2 Education and Work
Theme 3 The Wider World

Extended Reading and Viewing
Pupils read and write about a novel or short story in the foreign language.

Internal Assessment

Candidates are required to pass one learning outcome in each of the skills of reading, listening and writing. Speaking counts as both internal and external assessment, which means that an important element of the external exam is completed prior to the official examination diet. Candidates must obtain 60% in internal assessments to gain a unit award (pass/fail) and may re-sit up to three times in Modern Languages if necessary.

External Assessment

• Reading Comprehension and Directed Writing (essay in the past tense)
• Listening comprehension with questions in English, followed by a short essay in the foreign language relating to one of the themes of the Language Unit.
• Speaking test carried out in March by the class teacher and recorded. This may be moderated by the SQA. Speaking consists of a short presentation and follow-up discussion. It accounts for 25% of the final mark. Candidates are allowed to prepare themselves well for this exam.

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Advanced Higher

Head of Department: Mr Calum Ure

Course Progression: Spanish

Courses

In a world where international contacts are increasingly vital and where global communication is ever easier, the importance of being able to speak other languages and understand different cultures is paramount. More and more employers are looking for people with good foreign language skills and more and more courses in Further and Higher Education are offering language options.

Young people proficient in foreign languages will be able to take advantage of excellent opportunities to spend part of their undergraduate studies abroad. You may find it interesting to know that employment rates for graduates with language skills are amongst the highest in the country.

Teaching and Learning

The emphasis in language learning is on oral communication. 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.

The Department puts language learning into context through a number of language opportunities abroad, eg to attend a school in Bochum in Germany, and cultural visits and outings to see foreign films and plays.

Spanish (S6) Advanced Higher

The Advanced Higher is a challenging yet very rewarding course, which provides excellent preparation for university entrance. Articulating well with the Higher Course, pupils progress even further with their language learning skills to explore the literature, cinema, cultural and topical issues and the current affairs of the country whose language they have chosen to study.

The ability to study and to carry out research independently of the teacher is a key requirement at AH level and once again good preparation for Higher Education. The atmosphere of the Advanced Higher class is purposeful yet relaxed with teachers and pupils working in a more mature, tutorial-like context and pupils quickly establish excellent relationships with our young language assistants thus greatly enhancing their learning experience.

Visits to the outside organisations such as the French Institute, cinemas, and exhibitions or to hear presentations by outside speakers are not uncommon features of this course.

Recommended Entry

Entry to Advanced Higher requires success at Higher with at least a 'B' grade.

Course Structure

To gain the award pupils must pass all 3 Units and the Course Assessment.

Course Units

  • Understanding Language
  • Using Language
  • Specialist Study

 

Internal Assessment

Pupils must pass all 3 units.

1. Understanding Language

In response to texts learners will be required to provide evidence of their listening and reading skills in the modern language, in one of the following contexts: society, learning, employability or culture.

2. Using Language

Using complex and sophisticated language, learners will be required to provide evidence of their talking and writing skills in the modern language, in one of the following contexts: society, learning, employability or culture.

3. Specialist Study

Learners will be required to provide evidence of their planning, research and analysis skills based on literature or media within the context of the modern language. This relates directly to the work to be done on the Portfolio.

External Assessment

  • Reading and Translation (50 marks)
  • Listening and Discursive Writing (70 marks)
  • Performance (50 marks) - learners will demonstrate their talking skills in the modern language with an external assessor in March.
  • Portfolio (30 marks) – 1200-1500 words written in English, learners will demonstrate their analytical skills in relation to literature or media. Submitted in March.

Graded A, B, C and D.

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IB

Head of Department: Mr Calum Ure

Course Progression: Spanish

Spanish (S5/S6) IB

Overview

Learning a second language is an integral part of the IB Diploma Programme, which demands that pupils engage with other cultures and develop an awareness of the wider world.

Pupils will increase their awareness of Spanish and Spanish cultures, literature and traditions and regular use of foreign media will enable pupils to further their knowledge of politics, social patterns and linguistic diversity and developments.

The Spanish IB course aims to achieve a high level of linguistic competence and cultural awareness. It will be academically challenging and will involve a significant amount of language acquisition and application. The course demands that all pupils handle the language appropriately with a high degree of accuracy, enabling them to interact socially with an appropriate level of cultural sensitivity.

Recommended entry

Pupils wishing to take this course should have had several years' experience learning the language and should have performed well at National 5 or an equivalent level.

Topics

Standard Level and Higher Level are differentiated by the recommended number of teaching hours, the depth of syllabus coverage and the level of difficulty and demands of assessments and assessment criteria. Pupils of both levels of will study all the topics from the core, which is divided into three areas, namely: 

  • Communication and Media
  • Global Issues
  • Social Relationships

 

In addition, at least two of the options will be selected from the following list: 

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Customs and Traditions
  • Health
  • Leisure
  • Science and Technology

 

At Higher Level, two works of literature are also studied.

Internal assessment

The internal assessment makes up 30% of the total mark and it is externally moderated. It consists of individual and interactive oral activities based on a range of stimuli.

External assessment

The external assessment makes up the remaining 70%, with a Written Assignment worth 20% being completed during the spring term of year 2 and two exams in May. Paper 1 assesses receptive skills and is worth 25%. Paper 2 assesses written productive skills, and is also worth 25%.

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