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Secondary: Modern languages

Who is this course for? 

This is a course for talented linguists who want to teach French and/or Spanish in schools. You should have a belief in the emancipatory power of languages, and how mastery over another language opens up other worlds – travel, literature, employment, culture – to those who learn them. People who are fascinated by other cultures see language as inseparable from the human experience. Linguists are utterly intrigued by the complexity of language, its properties, and the way in which meaning is enshrined within it. You will have an interest in the deeper structures of language shared across different languages, and what this reveals about the way we communicate with others as humans. Trainees who follow this course have an absolute commitment to communication in all its forms, including the spoken and written word. In a modern globalised world, the ability to speak a second or third language opens doors to employment across the globe. If you have this deep love of languages and you want to inspire a similar love in pupils, then this course is for you.

In order to take this course, you should either be a native speaker in the language, or have studied the language to degree level – you will need to be able to teach the language at A Level on this course. If your degree is not in the language, then you will need to demonstrate at interview that your competence, in both language and literature, is at a similar level to someone who has taken a degree in the language. We would normally expect you to have spent time in a country where the language you will be teaching is spoken.

What will I study?

In this course you will learn about language acquisition and the way in which people learn additional languages. You will study common errors and misconceptions that pupils develop, and how these can be predicted, mitigated, and overcome. You will study the grammar of your language, and what it means to study and learn grammar in the context of learning to speak a language. You will learn about different curriculum models in languages, how these are structures, and how they are assessed, including at GCSE and A Level.

How will I learn to teach languages well?

Through professional practice and through critically reflecting on your own practice. Your school placements within the course will give you the opportunity to teach, to observe, to practise, to experiment, and to innovate. You have the opportunity to reflect upon your own practice within your school context. As a course entitlement, you will have the time to discuss this with your school-based subject mentor; you can then identify the ways in which you need to develop as a specialist and as a professional. What results is a highly personalised programme in which, through dialogue with your mentor, you develop your teaching style, practice, and ideas in a bespoke way.

Through participating within a community of practitioners which includes other trainees on the same course, the mentors who are themselves subject specialists, and the subject specialist leaders (SSLs) at the Inspiration Trust. Mentors and the SSLs are teachers of languages who have reputations at the regional and national level. As a trainee, you become part of this interconnected web of professionals, all of whom are developing and promoting the subject of modern foreign languages. You will have the opportunity to observe some of these professionals at work, to discuss with them the challenges and opportunities you experience, to learn from them and their various approaches to the discipline. As part of your teacher training programme, your developing classroom practice will be supported by subject studies, in which you will receive subject-based enhancement with curriculum experts.

Through developing your knowledge as a professional and as a subject specialist. One of the most distinctive characteristics of Inspiration Teachr Training is the value it places on the richness of knowledge. Firstly, you will deepen your knowledge within your subject specialism, including of literature in your language. Secondly, you will develop professional knowledge to support your subject specialism. You will survey a range of educational research which will shape your teaching practice as you develop a better understanding about learning, reading and memory.

In these ways and others, this course will develop you as a scholarly and able practitioner, able to become a leading voice within the field.

How much funding will I get?

Fee-paying trainees will be eligible for a bursary of £26,000 to help fund the course. You could also apply for a scholarship of £28,000. You can find more information about funding and bursaries on the UCAS website and Get Into Teaching.

You may be able to apply for a student loan to help pay your tuition fee or living costs - please visit www.gov.uk/student-finance for further information.