Year 9 Curriculum Guide

Modern Languages

Students in Year 9 will study one Modern Foreign Language, continued from Year 8. Courses in Year 9 provide a good grounding in the four Attainment Targets at GCSE: listening, speaking, reading and writing.


Homework will be set weekly, on the same day every week and is a vital component of language learning. Learning homeworks will also be set to aid the acquisition of vocabulary. The secret with learning a Modern Foreign Language is little and often, therefore regular revision of vocabulary is essential.

Approximately 40 minutes of homework per week.

We recommend the following strategies:

  1. Look, cover, write, check
  2. Record the words on your mobile phone and listen as a podcast
  3. Write the words out lots of times
  4. Use a mnemonic to help you remember the word. For example BECAUSE = Big Elephants Can't Always Use Small Exits

Parents can help by:

  • checking that homework is completed. (Students should be spending about 40 minutes on their language per week)
  • ensuring students bring all their equipment to the lesson. (Several blue/black pens, a pencil, a rubber, a ruler)
  • ensuring that exercise books are kept neat and in good condition
  • checking their Aim Higher Sheet on the inside front cover of their exercise book
  • working with students on vocabulary learning/testing and spelling practice and with Japanese Hiragana in particular helping make the cards (cereal boxes), playing snap/pairs games with them, helping with Hiragana practice sheets, and helping students perfect "stroke order" as given on worksheets
  • encouraging students and showing an interest in their learning, perhaps by asking them to teach you what they have been doing
  • communicating any concerns about the your child's language learning via their Organiser if the situation arises.

The Curriculum

Following feedback from students, we have developed a really exciting new programme of study that will span 3 years up to and including the GCSE exam.

Our rationale for this is to provide students with a greater opportunity to use language creatively by trying a variety of media: podcasting, filming, mobile phones, food tasting, group and paired work to mention but a few.

They will be expected to have completed 2 GCSE controlled pieces: 1 speaking, 1 written by the end of Year 9, which we hope will improve their confidence as they move into KS4

Useful Websites

There are many excellent websites that will help student's language learning


The use of dictionaries is an important part of National Curriculum work in Modern Foreign Languages.

  • French and Spanish
    There are many pocket dictionaries on the market and these are readily available in the local bookshops. Recommended: Collins Pocket Dictionary Oxford Pocket Dictionary
  • Japanese
    Recommended for GCSE use:
    Webster's New World Compact Japanese Dictionary. ISBN 0671 5515 90
    Oxford Starter Japanese Dictionary OUP. ISBN 0198601972

You may prefer to delay purchasing a dictionary until your child has had an opportunity to discuss this with the class teacher.

Online Dictionary

Vocabulary Book

We also recommend the purchase of a small notepad that students can use every lesson to record new words they have learnt.






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Page updated 12 December 2013


Tavistock College
Crowndale Road, Tavistock
Devon PL19 8DD

01822 614231
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