The Modern Languages Department aims to make boys proficient in the use of one, usually two and sometimes three languages. This involves not only linguistic competence but a thorough understanding of different cultures.
In the Junior School boys are introduced to both French and Chinese. In the Lower School boys continue with Chinese and also study French or Spanish with the emphasis on listening and speaking. In the Middle School, most pupils study a combination from French, German, Spanish, Chinese or Italian. Upper School linguists can study these at Advanced Level as well as taking introductory courses in Arabic and Japanese.
The department believes in the importance of bringing a language to life by spending time in a country in which it is spoken. Year 6 and 7 pupils spend time in France, there is a wide range of optional visits to France, Spain, Germany, Italy and China for pupils of all ages and it is expected that pupils studying A Levels will participate in residential study, a homestay visit or take part in work experience, all of which are organised by the College.
Our well-resourced audio-visual and computer laboratories provide intensive practice in the key skills of listening and speaking while six native-speaker assistants contribute to the achievement of excellent levels of oral competence.
A measure of the success of language learning at Dulwich is the encouraging number of students who go on to read modern languages at university. Boys looking to study Modern Languages at university are tutored in the literature of their chosen subjects as well as taken beyond the A level syllabus in their linguistic work.