Modern Languages

Modern Languages

Modern Languages Senior School

The Senior School Languages department at Marlborough delivers an enriching programme throughout the school to pupils of all backgrounds and abilities. We believe that by enabling our pupils to communicate fluently in foreign tongues, we are helping them gain a vital skill that will enable them to become truly global citizens. We aim to make our pupils think, engage and aspire to give of their best intellectual efforts. We promote outstanding teaching and learning, in order that all pupils have access to the best post-secondary programmes worldwide.

All pupils in Shell must study Spanish, French or Bahasa Malaysia alongside Mandarin. In Remove and Hundred, all pupils must study at least one foreign language on the Edexcel IGCSE course. Beyond this, the IB Diploma requires all pupils to take a foreign language and the same three options are available at Ab Initio and Language B level. An option is also available for first language Bahasa speakers throughout the school.

The department is healthily staffed with six full time language beaks and we have a Spanish assistant who offers extra conversation classes. All members of the Languages department are tutors in both day and boarding houses. All staff are highly qualified and attend professional development courses in order to ensure that their practice is current and relevant.

The department is located within six classrooms, all with strong audio-visual resources and powerful Wi-Fi to dynamically support teaching and learning. The department is forward thinking, innovative and uses a modern and extensive range of language-learning resources.

Modern Languages Prep School

Prep School French Department

With ‘Communication’ as one of the key philosophies behind our everyday lives here at Marlborough, and living in such a vibrant, diverse community with over 30 different nationalities represented, it makes sense to embrace the learning of different languages. The MFL department strongly believes that learning another language is essential to opening new doors to a wide variety of cultures and experiences that one would miss out on if only one language was spoken. It also enhances the essential principles of friendship and understanding. Learning a new language enhances listening skills, boosts creativity and confidence and can only widen one’s possible future career opportunities. With the choice of French, Spanish and Malay, with extra-curricular activity options of  Beginners German and Italian, with many native speakers amongst us to enhance the learning experience with both their skills and cultural knowledge, the passion to learn a new language is highly evident.

Prep School Spanish

Spanish is an option for children from Reception to Year 8. The younger ones start with a more interactive course, predominantly focussing on the oral and aural aspects of Spanish. From Year 5 pupils follow the Listos course and there is a shift to include more reading and writing. Our aim is to foster a love for the language and an enthusiasm for learning. We are committed to providing a full and thorough introduction and recognise the importance of a firm grammatical foundation if significant progress is to be made later.

We also consider the Hispanic world and reasons for learning Spanish; we explore the cultures, tradition, food and fiestas celebrated around the world.

Aims of the Spanish department:

  • Positive experience
  • Sense of achievement and enjoyment
  • Cultural awareness
  • Confident communication skills
  • Transferable skills
  • Broadening horizons


Malay language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the region. Our goal in teaching Malay is to enable the pupils to acquire the basic language skills needed for practical communication. This subject is based on the key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It aims to encourage students to express their thoughts on a subject close to them using simple phrases. The content of the subject develops from the simple form of language to the more complex, covering such linguistics aspects as phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. The course is also designed to introduce the principal cultural features of Malaysia.