A Level languages build upon your existing knowledge gained at GCSE, giving you a sound understanding of using your language in a variety of different situations – at home, abroad, with friends or in the workplace. Taking an A Level language course gives you the opportunity to focus on improving communication in the foreign language and developing your key skills. This is achieved through the study of interesting contemporary issues in a cultural context. French is a facilitating A Level that is highly regarded by Universities and employers. Languages are the key to the new, exciting multinational world we live in- don’t miss out!
Topics and skills
The specification is designed to develop linguistic skills alongside developing a knowledge of the culture and society of countries where French is spoken. Students will broaden their vocabulary and develop their grammatical knowledge to be able to use the language more independently whilst developing their understanding of Francophone society, politics and culture. This will also include the study of a by a French director in Year 12 and a book by a French author in Year 13.
Assessment is through 3 separate papers at the end of Year 13.
Paper 1: Reading, listening and writing 40% 2 hr 30
- Aspects of French society (modern and tradition values, cyberspace and Equal Rights).
- Political landscape
- Artistic culture in the Francophone world (study of a film and a book from a French speaking country)
- The paper tests reading, listening and writing skills through a series of exercises including a translation of a 100 word passage into English.
Paper 2 Writing 30% 2 hours
- Translation into French of a passage of 100 words.
- 2 Essay questions to answer based on the book and the film studied during the course.
Paper 3 Speaking 16 minutes (plus 5 minutes preparation time) 30%
- Discussion of 1 sub theme based on a stimulus card (5-6 minutes)
- An individual project on a theme of students’ choice – 2 minutes presentation followed by discussion (9-10 minutes)
Students are required to achieve a grade B at GCSE to be able to study languages at A Level.
In addition to set tasks, students will be required to complete regular independent study throughout the course to boost vocabulary and key skills required for the subject. This could include independent reading and listening practice and certainly regular learning of vocabulary and grammar practice.
Outside of the Classroom
In Year 12 students have the opportunity to participate in the County Mini Assistants scheme which involves them completing work experience in a primary school in Brittany whilst staying with a French family. Most students choose to participate and thoroughly enjoy the experience and are pleased with the impact that it has on their speaking skills in particular.
Reasons to Study this?
Skilled linguists continue to be in demand in a nation where learning a language is still not always seen as a priority. There are a wide variety of courses that you can study at university which either major in the language of your choice, are a joint degree, or allow you to do a language as a minor. Knowledge of a language is useful in a vast range of careers and the skills acquired through language learning are invaluable.
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