The importance of Spanish
|With over 500 million Spanish speaking peoples in the emerging Central and South American markets, Spanish is the official language in more than twenty countries. It is predicted that by 2050 the USA will be a bi-lingual country.
Spanish is also an important language in Europe, where it is an official language of the EU. Overall, in the business world it is second in importance after English.
This History of the Spanish Language
Spanish was introduced into the Eltham College school curriculum in 2000 and has flourished with spectacular public examination results year on year. Pupils can choose Spanish A level to further their learning and develop more of an understanding of the culture.
We follow the AQA languages A level course. In the Lower Sixth, you will learn a range of topics about which you will already have considerable knowledge and opinions (the internet, television, sport, family, celebrity, healthy living, advertising). You will discuss these subjects and write essays about them. In the Upper Sixth, things get more serious as we consider racism, politics, the environment, violence, immigration and scientific development. You will also study the cultural topic of the Spanish Civil War and the film Hable Con Ella by Pedro Almodovar. The former deals with the reasons and consequences of the Spanish Civil War; the latter looks at the complex relationships between people that are in fact mirroring the conflicts and dichotomes in a post-franco era.
A level Spanish will enable you to look at these topics in a foreign language and you will leave with a skill which may just define where you live, the career you choose, the books you read, the music you listen to, the films you see and so much more.
At the very least, you will have studied a subject which can be combined with many University courses.
Aim of the department
The aim of the Spanish Department is to ensure that every pupil benefits from a broad spectrum of Spanish culture, supporting their development and greater understanding of Spain's place in European history and legacy in the "New World". After Spain's conquest of the new world, Spanish began to take hold in America, and the language today reflects the contribution made by Latin Americans as well as Spaniards.
Trips and enrichment
The Spanish department regularly organises language study visits to important cultural destinations including Barcelona, Valencia and Palma (Mallorca). Pupils receive intensive language tuition (conversation and grammar revision) in order to hone their skills in preparation to taking public examinations.
Cultural visits to Mexico and Cuba have brought students a rich and varied insight into the political, economic and social dimensions of these very diverse but equally dynamic Spanish speaking countries. Cultural visits to the Americas bring the language alive and make its learning that more tangible!
Students are also regularly entered for quizzes and competitions promoted by the Spanish Embassy. In recent years we have had great success in the Ruta Quetzal competition.
Students have also regularly had the opportunity to attend intensive language courses in Villiers Park and to participate in the Canning House Essay Competition.
Additionally, we run excursions to see productions at Sadler's Wells (Flamenco show, Ballet Revolucion - a cuban modern ballet show), Havana Rakatan (cuban floor show) etc. and we attend cinema worshops at the BFI every June to study the work of the Spanish film director - Pedro Almodovar.
In June we also run a paella-cooking workshop with pupils learning to make authentic Valencian paella.
The Spanish department is proud of its achievements to date and is committed to keeping the learning of Spanish vivid and real. To this end future projects to South America including Costa Rica and possibly Argentina are currently being explored with cultural visits planned for the near future.
Spanish is taught by: