If you speak Spanish, you can communicate with almost 500 million people worldwide! Think how many more employment options that gives you! And if you want to take a trip to Spain or Latin America, a little knowledge of Spanish will go a long way.

Spanish is the world's third most spoken language, after Mandarin Chinese and English, and ranks second in terms of native speakers.

At St. Malachy’s College, Year 8 pupils choose between studying Spanish and Irish.  Spanish is a very successful language at St. Malachy’s College with over 500 pupils studying it across the school.  It has a simple sound system with just five vowel sounds. There is a direct correspondence between spoken and written forms and the basic points of grammar are quite simple.

The Spanish department is formed by 2 energetic full-time teachers, one part-time and one Spanish language assistant.  Pupils at Key Stage 3 have 5 periods (50 minutes) of contact time over the two week timetable.  Those studying Spanish for GCSE have 2 ½ hours every week and those at A-level have 4 ½ hours of study per week plus 1 more hour of conversation practice with the language assistant.


Dr J Thompson (Head of Department)

Mrs C Devlin




"If you speak Spanish, you can communicate with almost 500 million people worldwide!"


  • Bi-annual Spanish trip (Click here to see photos) for Key Stage 3 and 4

  • Bi-annual Spanish trip, including a home stay with Spanish families, for A level pupils

  • A-Level Spanish literature, theatre and cinema courses at Queen’s

  • Participation in competitions organised by, for example, the Spanish Embassy and NICILT

  • Celebration of the European Day of Languages (26th of Sept.) with activities related to Spain (music, food, films, etc.)

  • Lunchtime support classes

Stay app to date: useful apps and websites


  • Quizlet (, and search for ‘StMalachysSpanish’: feee app and website to study and learn vocabulary


  • Duolingo ( free app and website to learn Spanish (and other languages) in a computer game style

  • Duolingo Spanish Podcast: free podcast to develop listening skills in Spanish

  • Conjugation Nation (Spanish): paid app to revise verb formation

At A2 level, students explore the following themes:

  • Young People and Society (topics for development within this theme include education and career planning, part-time jobs, young people and democracy, and issues relating to European citizenship)

  • Our Place in a Changing World (topics for development within this theme include equality/inequality and discrimination/prejudice, poverty, immigration and emigration, and environmental issues)

Also at A2 level, students study literature. We currently study Lorca’s La casa de Bernarda Alba.


A2 1: Speaking

A2 2: Listening (A)


           Reading (B)
















A2 3: Extended                   Writing


Question 1: students introduce and discuss one individual research project based on either:

  • a cultural aspect of a Spanish-Speaking country or community

  • a historical period from the twentieth century of a Spanish-speaking country or community; or

  • a region of a Spanish-Speaking country or community

(approximately 6 mins) 

A2 2: Section A - Listening

Students answer two sets of questions based on two discrete passages recorded on disk.

Recording 1 - students answer in Spanish

Recording 2 - students answer in English

As 2: Section B - Reading

Students answer two sets of question and complete one summary exercise and one translation exercise.

Question 1: Students complete a gap-filling exercise in Spanish.

Question 2: Students answer a set of questions in Spanish based on one passage.

Question 3: Students read a passage in Spanish and summarise it in English.

Question 4: Students translate a passage from English into Spanish.

(2 hours)

A2 3: Extended Writing

Students write one essay in Spanish in response to a set literary text.

(1 hour)


18% of A Level

24% of A Level















18% of A Level