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Modern Foreign Languages​​​​​​​

Name of subject: A Level French/A Level Spanish

Examination board:  Edexcel

Entry requirements: Minimum of B grade at GCSE in the language of study. Preferably a B grade in English Language

Description of the course (Overview):

An A level in a Modern Foreign language is a qualification highly sought after by Universities and Employers. This course is designed to create highly competent users of language, who are able to tackle and produce a range of authentic texts in the foreign language, as well having the breadth of historical, cultural and topical knowledge required for access to a university language course.

What topics will students cover?

Both French and Spanish courses cover a similar range of topics, namely:

  • Family issues/relationships;
  • Youth culture and concerns;
  • Lifestyle: health and fitness;
  • The world around us;
  • Education and employment;
  • Customs, religions, beliefs and traditions;
  • Literature, history and the arts

What skills will they particularly develop?

Students at A2 level develop their language skills to a high level of competence, bridging the gap between GCSE and University level. The language skills developed at GCE level are:

The ability to respond to authentic written and recorded materials in the language;

  • Having the tools to discuss mature themes and issues in the foreign language;
  • Developing a cultural and political awareness of the country/countries of the chosen language;
  • Acquiring a strong written style in the language in order to produce discursive, well-structured essays;
  • Communicating your views on issues through the foreign language and being able to defend them;
  • Translating accurately from English into the foreign language
  • In-depth research skills regarding the history and culture of the language in question

Careers – progression.

  • The UK trades with 200 countries worldwide. The Guardian reported last year that employees with languages can earn 20% extra than those with only English;
  • Around 322 million people speak Spanish worldwide. This includes Spanish-speaking  South America, as well as the Caribbean;
  • French is the official language in 29 countries, and is spoken by approximately 274 million people worldwide. It is also an official language of the United Nations, The European Union, NATO and the World Trade Organisation;
  • Following ‘A’ Level on to a  degree in languages involves the unique opportunity to work  or study abroad;
  • It gives you, in abundance, the key skills required by employers in any sector- communication skills, team-working skills, presentation skills, problem solving skills, organisational skills and good learning strategies
  • Taking a pure language degree in one or 2 languages, which can lead you into jobs such as teaching/ education, translation, linguistics and journalism;
  • Taking a degree in a language mixed with other subjects, for example European studies, Spanish and Politics, French and Business and Leisure and Tourism. These are popular among employers  in the tourism industry, the civil service, the realm of politics and multi-national companies;
  • It is also possible to combine languages with the main subject of a degree to increase your range of skills, e.g. Law with French, Spanish for Engineers, Italian for Art Historians.

How are students examined?

The specification is currently under review, but students will be assessed in the following ways (subject to minor changes)

Listening, Reading and Responding: In this paper, students respond to authentic written and spoken materials from a variety of different sources, and respond to them both in English and in the target language.

Speaking: Students will be assessed in 2 main ways. Firstly, they provide an oral response to a visual stimulus ( a picture and article) which leads to an in-depth discussion over 2 of the topic areas mentioned above.  Secondly, they prepare a stance on a specific issue that they have to defend in debate with the examiner.

Writing: Students are assessed through writing in several ways: an English to Spanish translation task, a discursive essay in response to a stimulus and a research based essay (based on an aspect of the history or culture of the target language.