Foreign languages

Foreign languages


At CAN we offer two foreign languages: French  Spanish

Students can choose which language they would prefer to study and can study that language up to GCSE.

Languages are important as they allow students to discover other cultures and have a deeper understanding of their own language.

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”

Geoffrey Willans

Learning a language also helps students with their communication skills and develops their ability to memorise information.

“A different language is a different vision of life.’

Frederico Fellini

Further reasons for learning a foreign language include:

  • Boost employability
  • Beat the job search competition
  • Open up a world of opportunities
  • Travel and work abroad
  • Communicate with a larger audience
  • Earn higher wages
  • Become a more interesting person
  • Deepen students’ knowledge of English
  • Create connections with more people
  • Improve students’ CV’s

Sharpen students’ mental skills


In year 7 students learn the basics so that they can talk about themselves, their families, their school and their hobbies. Students practise all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

In year 8 students begin to speak in different tenses so that they can talk about past holidays and events as well as future plans.

At the end of year 8, students decide if they would like to carry on studying their chosen language.



This is a three year GCSE course. All assessments will take place in year 11. Students can sit for foundation papers, giving access to grades 1-5; or students can sit for the higher papers, giving access to grades 4-9.


Paper 1 – Listening  (35 mins at Foundation, 45 mins at Higher)

Paper 2 – Speaking (12 mins preparation, 7-9 mins at Foundation, 10-12 mins at Higher)

Paper 3- Reading (45 mins at Foundation, 1 hour at Higher)

Paper 4- Writing ( 1h at Foundation, 1.15 at Higher)

Each skill weighs 25%


Theme 1: Identity and culture

Identity and culture covers the following four topics, with related sub-topics shown as bullet points:

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends

  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Marriage/partnership

Topic 2: Technology in everyday life

  • Social media
  • Mobile technology

Topic 3: Free-time activities

  • Music
  • Cinema and TV
  • Food and eating out
  • Sport

Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Local, national, international and global areas of interest cover the following four topics, with related sub-topics shown as bullet points:

Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region

Topic 2: Social issues

  • Charity/voluntary work
  • Healthy/unhealthy living

Topic 3: Global issues

  • The environment
  • Poverty/homelessness

Topic 4: Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Current and future study and employment covers the following four topics:

Topic 1: My studies

Topic 2: Life at school/college

Topic 3: Education post-16

Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions


Year 9 are currently taking part in a NEACO project entitled ‘Interpret your future’.

Year 10 and 11 are given the opportunity to practise their French or Spanish with a university student from the UEA.


There are many jobs and fields which involve speaking a foreign language. Here are a few:

  • Translator (there are many different fields for translators)
  • Interpreter
  • Teacher /lecturer
  • Secretary
  • Import/export negotiator
  • International trader
  • Advertising
  • Consultant
  • Solicitor

According to recruitment agency Euro London, learning a language has been shown to add between 10–15% to your wage. Furthermore, salary bonuses vary depending on the language in which you’re proficient. For example, according to The Economist, Spanish will add 1.5% to an annual bonus, whereas French will add 2.3%.