Modern Foreign Languages

In French and Spanish we have eight members of staff of whom four are native speakers. As linguists communication and sharing ideas are fundamental to teaching and learning. We have 8 dedicated teaching rooms and are in ‘B’ Block which we share with our colleagues from the Arabic Department. All our classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards or screens, which enable us to deliver lesson using 21st Century technology. We are very proud of our examination results and the achievements of our students every year.

The aims of the department are:

  • To produce confident and competent linguists who are excellent communicators
  • To engender a love of languages that will make MFL students 21st century learners who are adaptable, creative, and digitally competent.
  • To promote languages as a vehicle through which students learn both skills and knowledge of a wide range of subjects
  • To develop independent enquirers with transferable skills
  • To challenge our students to extend their range of language whilst supporting those who need a little extra help
  • To create life-long learners with a deep cultural understanding
  • To foster intellectual curiosity and integrity
  • To encourage risk-taking

Lower School

Students in Key Stage 3 study either French or Spanish with the opportunity to begin the other language at GCSE. Through Studio (French) and Viva (Spanish) and the Activelearn digital learning platform students develop the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing and encounter all the grammatical structures and linguistic skills necessary to progress confidently to GCSE in their chosen language. Through use of the target language in lessons, students are encouraged to communicate with each other as well as their teacher. Creativity is at the heart of Key Stage 3 language-learning enabling students to apply what they have learned in a range of situations.

Middle School

We follow the AQA GCSE Specification for French (8658) and for Spanish (8698).

The course is centred around three key themes:

  • Identity and culture;
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest;
  • Current and future study and employment. Students are examined at the end of the course in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

All skills have an equal weighting.

Students have the option to take French or Spanish as additional languages as well as continuing with their current language. As a department we also facilitate GCSE or IGCSE examinations for native speakers in Year 10. Promoting continuity between Key Stages 3 and 4, we continue with Studio and Viva as our main text books as well as the Activelearn digital learning platform and a range of other resources to support independent learning.

Sixth Form

We follow the AQA GCE Specification for French (7652) and for Spanish (7692).

These specifications not only develop the linguistic competence of our students but are deeply rooted in French and Hispanic culture and society. As well as studying aspects of French and Spanish literature and cinema, students also undertake a research project in their chosen language, thus developing their intellectual curiosity, critical thinking skills and powers of analysis. A Level students also have the opportunity to have French and Spanish conversation classes with a native speaker to enhance their oral competence.

What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?

A good teacher at Dubai College cares about their students and goes beyond what is asked of them, is passionate about their subject and teaching and learning, constantly develops their classroom practice and genuinely loves being in the classroom.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?

Not to be afraid to take risks and to develop a love of languages and especially French culture.

In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special?

The students and the wonderful ancillary staff who work tirelessly in the background to help and support us all.

Who or what inspires you?

Dr Carolyn Roesler and the difference she has made to so many children at Raey in Addis Ababa

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

I once practised Tai Chi on the Great Wall of China

Miss E John, Head of Modern Foreign Languages

Meet the staff

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Liz John

Liz John

Titles: Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Nik Bernaz

Nik Bernaz

Titles: Second in Modern Foreign Languages, Teacher of French
Samer Zaghlowl

Samer Zaghlowl

Titles: Director of Arabic A & Islamic Studies
Sawsan Abdulhadi

Sawsan Abdulhadi

Titles: Head of Arabic B