Modern Languages

Modern Languages

The ability to understand and communicate in another language is increasingly important in our society and global economy. Languages are a lifelong skill, to be used in business and for pleasure.


The aims of the Modern Languages Department at Clifton College Preparatory School are to encourage children to communicate confidently; provide a solid foundation of basic grammar and vocabulary in each studied language; develop an awareness of the culture and traditions of the relevant countries and ensure pupils enjoy and succeed in their language learning, engendering a genuine desire to continue studying the language beyond the Preparatory School

Highly qualified teachers, including some native speakers, teach languages. All classrooms are well equipped with interactive whiteboards and the latest MFL software. We also subscribe to MFL websites, which pupils can access anywhere in order to further practice their chosen languages.


In Year 3, children have one lesson of French per week. A specialist teacher delivers French in an interactive style, using songs, games, flashcards, real objects, puppets and French storybooks. By the end of the year, the children have a good grounding in basic spoken French vocabulary and structures.

In Year 4, pupils have two lessons of French per week. The approach is mainly oral, with songs and games. There is some reading and writing to reinforce the vocabulary.

Pupils have two lessons per week in Year 5 and three lessons per week from Year 6 onwards. Lessons focus equally on the four skills of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.


This course is designed as an introduction to Chinese language and culture, and is a popular option at Clifton College. Language materials focus largely on oral and aural work, and the children learn basic words and phrases in Mandarin Chinese through songs, drills and games.

Pupils are taught to recognise and to reproduce a bank of basic Chinese characters.