The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Modern & Foreign Languages

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Modern Languages Staff

Ms P Miller: Spanish/French Head of Department

Mrs M Matchett: German/French

Mr D Wilson: French/Spanish

Miss N Cosgrove: French/Spanish/German

Mrs L Tomb: Spanish/ French

Mr R Gallagher: Spanish/French

Teaching and Learning

The Modern Languages Department is a forward thinking and inclusive one where all ability levels in languages are welcomed and progressed. Spanish, French and German are all taught from Key Stages 3 to 5. Spanish is the core language in Year 8 and boys can choose French or German to complement their Spanish in Years 9 and 10, thereby granting all pupils the opportunity to make an informed choice for GCSE. The CCEA specifications are followed at both GCSE and A Level in all three languages.


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There are currently four full-time members of the Department and two part-time teachers. In addition, three native speakers assist with Advanced Level conversation classes in Spanish, French and German. All MFL rooms are currently equipped with Interactive Whiteboards and audio equipment.


Inst is also delighted to have been re-accredited with the highly prestigious International School’s Award from the British Council which recognises the school’s contribution to global education, with pupil learning at its core. This award recognises the work undertaken with its three international partners in France, Germany and South America, as well as the international elements embedded across the curriculum.

European Day of Languages

We are huge supporters of the European Day of Languages and are enthusiastic in our support of it each year. Tutor Groups across Key Stage 3 participate in a European Quiz, developing their knowledge of the rich linguistic and cultural diversity emanating from our European neighbours.


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At Key Stage 3 pupils follow the ¡Viva! Textbook and online material in Spanish covering topics which include personal description, free time, school, family and friends and town. In French, we use Dynamo with Stimmt used in German. These course books are supplemented by the universally celebrated interactive language websites ¡Oye!, Zut!, Gut! and Linguascope. The boys are actively encouraged to use these websites in and outside school which allows them to develop their ICT skills in tandem with consolidating their language knowledge. Online homework is also a key feature of Key Stage 3.

KS3 Extension French and Spanish


Pupils can also opt to study either Spanish, French or German for GCSE. Pupils follow the CCEA specification in all three languages. The MFL GCSE courses encourage boys to broaden their linguistic knowledge within the four skill areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. > GCSE > Specification Picture8.jpg > GCSE > Specification > GCSE > Specification


Students may choose to study two of either French, Spanish or German. The smaller class sizes and contact with the languages assistant allows pupils to further develop their language skills in a friendlier and more relaxed setting. By the end of the A2 course pupils will have developed considerable linguistic confidence and fluency, dealing with a range of topical issues, detailed grammar points and a literature text in the target language. > GCE (from 2016) > Specification > GCE (from 2016) > Specification > GCE (from 2016) > Specification


We are lucky to have had Sports Lawyer and Past Pupil, Andrew Nixon from Sheridans Law Firm in London return to the school in order to talk to the boys about his career using Modern Languages and where this has taken him. Andrew’s practice focuses principally on non-contentious and contentious commercial and regulatory matters, including rights exploitation and protection, governance, arbitration and dispute resolution. Andrew has a particular interest in sports technology, digital media, sports data, and E-sports.


QUB Links

Dr Daniel McAuley, L1 Convenor & Lecturer in French Linguistics is a firm friend of the Modern Languages department at Inst.


Dr McAuley highlights the fundamental nature of skills developed through language learning for global business markets and underlines the importance of taking a language at GCSE/AS/A2 Level in terms of added value with reference to employability.

Our Y10 & 12 pupils are fortunate to benefit from his experience and knowledge.

Career Opportunities

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

22 2024
GCSE Results Day
27 2024
Scouts International Jamboree - Summer Camp
14 2024
AS/A2 Results Day
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
© 2024 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution