top of page

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

Mr M Fleming





  • 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

1. To enable all pupils to acquire the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing required for oral and written communication in Spanish.

2. To impart a thorough knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary of Spanish.

3. To create for each pupil a positive and enjoyable language-acquisition experience.

4. To foster in the pupils an interest in Spain and an appreciation of its importance in the world.

5. To offer insights into and to encourage appreciation of the culture and civilisation of Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries by:

  • The use of authentic materials in class.

  • Extra-curricular activities, clubs, etc.

  • Providing opportunities for foreign travel.

6. To encourage tolerance towards other people and customs.

7. To contribute to the pupils’ linguistic development which will:

  • increase their understanding of their own language.

  • facilitate learning of other languages.

8. To develop in the pupils qualities of self-confidence, initiative, team-work, cooperation, tolerance, sensitivity, creativity and imagination.

9. To contribute to the overall intellectual and emotional development of each pupil.

Click below to find out more about Spanish at each Key Stage!

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


Personal Development


Think about what learning a language can do for students’ personal development skills:

   • It enhances their experience of other cultures and societies and broadens their education.

   • It encourages a positive attitude towards learning and aids confidence.

   • In addition to actually learning a language, students also develop a wide range of skills and attributes including, literacy, creativity and the ability to communicate well.

   • Moreover, learning a second or third language will greatly enrich their lives, both culturally and socially.


Employment Opportunities

A level Spanish is a great subject choice if you want a fascinating subject that offers you many career possibilities (not just teaching!!!), is a lot of fun along the way and gives you a broad range of knowledge and skills – incredibly important tools to have under your belt. A lot of people believe that the only career opportunity with Spanish is teaching. WRONG! With a qualification in Spanish, such as an A level, there are many career opportunities open to you, ranging from business (e.g. banking, international law and advertising), to communications (e.g. translation and journalism) through to governance (e.g. diplomatic sector). The main reasons why employers actively seek employees with language skills are because we’re great problem solvers (e.g. forming points of grammar correctly), we can think laterally and creatively (e.g. expressing ourselves, using the Spanish we know) and our presentation and communication skills are excellent (think about all those speaking tests). In addition to all of that, studying A level Spanish is fun. While it’s true that you continue to develop your understanding of grammar and build your vocabulary, you also learn about the culture, history, literature, society and lifestyle associated with Spain…in other words, real Spanish life!

Specialist language occupations:

– translation, interpreting, language teaching and training

– new avenues: telephone interpreting, digital subtitling


Occupations with languages:

– journalist, market researcher, accountant, software developer/engineer (i.e. occupations where languages are complementary but not the key skill)


Industry sectors that need languages:

– business services, central government, contact centres, engineering, financial services, marketing, media, technology, travel and tourism, voluntary and charitable sector


Functions where languages are used most often:

– sales, customer service, marketing

bottom of page