The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

PGCE Modern Languages (1 year)

The Modern Languages Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course  prepares you to teach one or more modern foreign languages to all ages and abilities in the secondary school system (KS3 and KS4).

Introducing your course

Do you have a passion for languages? Does the prospect of widening the horizons of young people excite you? Do you want to equip the next generation of global citizens with a second language? Share your love of the foreign culture and language by learning to teach French, German or Spanish.

Through high-quality teaching sessions, micro-teaching in a school prior to teaching practice, collaborative workshops and supportive school placements, the PGCE MFL course will equip you to become an inspirational and effective language teacher of young people aged 11-16. Make a real difference to the communication skills of the next generation! Train to teach MFL!

Overview

Our PGCE Secondary course will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach modern languages (ML) across the secondary age range, including some opportunities to know more about 16-19 teaching, through independent inquiries and observations. The course seeks to provide you with the skills to teach French, German or Spanish language, as a means of communication, to pupils of a range of ages and abilities, within the framework of the National Curriculum.

The approach is practical and participatory. After an initial exploration of essential principles, techniques and classroom activities, you are encouraged to organise lessons which make use of both published materials and individual creativity. Opportunities exist to teach a second language.

Your university tutors and school mentors will help you develop your teaching skills in ML through a range of approaches: workshops, seminars, lectures and demonstrations, simulations and micro-teaching activities, independent and group research. These will focus principally on the four essential skills of language learning – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The central focus of the course is on teaching ML in a challenging yet accessible way and understanding how children learn. The university-based sessions often consist of practical workshops, where you can develop Languages skills as well as learn the pedagogical knowledge needed to teach.

Opportunities will be provided to develop ICT skills and ideas for using them to enhance MFL learning. In school, you will be supported by your curriculum mentor who will organise your school experience and support you through observation and discussion at weekly meetings and at other times.

View the programme specification document for this course

Aims

  • To help you become aware of the place of Modern Languages in Britain’s schools.
  • To prepare for planning, teaching and assessing pupils’ learning within the National Curriculum, the New Secondary Curriculum and the new GCSE specifications.
  • To encourage you to think critically about the nature and processes of language teaching and learning.
  • To enable you to explore a range of teaching styles and methods, to assess their relative strengths and weaknesses in order to develop your own methodology and set of teaching skills.
  • To support you in your personal and professional development, to work with pupils and colleagues in our partner schools and beyond.

To Apply

Applications are made centrally online through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT), rather than direct to the University. You can also monitor the progress of your application from this site.

Before applying, you should read the National Curriculum for Modern Foreign Languages and the Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status. You should also ensure that you will meet the criteria set out under Entry Requirements.

Accreditation

On successful completion, you will have gained not only your PGCE, but have attained Qualified Teacher Status. This is the accreditation that enables you to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales.

Contacts

For further information on this programme, email the ITE office or telephone: 023 8059 2413. You can find general information on teaching as a career, including the criteria for QTS, on the Department for Education website.

Programme tutor:  Melanie Smith

Key Facts

The Southampton Education School works in partnership with over 100 local schools and colleges across the region.

The Southampton PGCE provides you with a very firm foundation for your teaching career. We have high employment rates from the course and many trainees are actually employed in our partnership schools.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEs:
QualificationGrade
GCSEGCSE in Mathematics and in English Language at grade C or above, or the equivalent qualifications. This is a government requirement, and ‘equivalent qualifications’ are as designated by the PGCE admissions team (IELTS qualifications are not considered equivalent)
Degree

You should normally hold a good honours degree, with at least 50% of its content being in your first foreign language. You should be able to offer 2 foreign languages. If this is German or Spanish you should also be able to offer French beyond basic active competence. This will be explored at interview. Early applicants may be able to gain a place on one of the NCTL funded second language enrichment/booster courses.

Skills test

Trainees are required to have passed the skills tests before starting the course. Please refer to www.skillstestbooking.com for information.


For further information visit the Department for Education site here.

Selection process

You will be selected for interview based on the following criteria:

  • your application shows that you have appropriate subject knowledge
  • the application shows that experience has been gained in a school/college or working with young people
  • the application is well written and persuasive.

Prior to interview candidates are asked to undertake at least 0.5 day of observation in secondary ML classrooms and discussion with current teachers. At interview candidates are asked to:

  • do a presentation on an aspect of Modern Languages teaching (provided in advance) in your first teaching language 
  • produce a piece of writing on an aspect of Modern Languages teaching.

The following selection criteria will be applied at interview

  • good subject knowledge and/or ability to learn further
  • good knowledge of educational issues and a strong sense of the professional demands
  • good interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

A good academic reference must also be provided from your most recent university or college or from an employer (where you have been away from studying for some time).

All places offered will be conditional on enhanced DBS and health checks.

Please note, applicants cannot be registered on any other course from September of the year of entry (this includes PhDs and Masters degrees).

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

The full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Modern Languages is an intensive one year course. Two-thirds of your time will be spent in schools (minimum of 120 days) with the remainder spent at the University with a full programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will spend time in real classrooms during your school experience. You will gradually be introduced into whole class teaching; initially it is likely that you will observe lessons and work with small groups of pupils. The expectation though is that you will quickly develop the skills and confidence to work with whole classes, with the support of your school-based mentor.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

EEE Building

Highfield Campus, Southampton Education School (B32, B34)

The Southampton Education School is based on the Highfield Campus, in ...Find out more

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