Modern Languages

What languages are taught?

The Lower School Curriculum is based on the principle of offering choice and exposing students to as wide a range of different languages as possible. GCSE choices are made at the end of Year 9, enabling students to choose the language(s) to which they are most suited.

Year 7 and Year 8

In Year 7, all students learn Latin in forms. Additionally, students choose two more languages to study from French, German, Mandarin or Spanish. There are parallel Mandarin sets for beginners and for students who have already learnt Mandarin at Eltham College Junior School.

Year 9

In Year 9, students choose any two of the three languages they have studied in Year 7 and 8, and continue with those languages through until the end of Year 9.


The IGCSE courses begin in Year 10, when all students must study at least one Modern Language, although a good number opt to study two.

Find out more about the individual languages taught at Eltham College

French  German  Mandarin  Spanish

 How are languages taught?

  • Teachers make full use of international journalism and European broadcasts, webcasts and podcasts to keep their lessons topical, stimulating and accessible.
  • We incorporate IT into the curriculum to make language learning more interactive, creative, engaging and fun.
  • The Language Assistants play an essential part in our teaching: at A level each student receives additional, individual tuition. At GCSE level students engage in small group discussion on a regular basis.

Language study trips

This is always the first question prospective parents ask us on open days. The Languages Department runs the largest number of trips in the school.

There is an exchange or study trip for both GCSE and A level European languages. There is a biennial cultural trip to China, open to all Senior School students.

In recent years we have visited China, Laval, Paris, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Berlin, Minden, Nuremberg and Nice.