Do you enjoy communicating, meeting new people, learning about new cultures and societies? Do you feel excited and motivated by the sound of a foreign language? Do you want to make yourself highly employable? Do you want to develop a whole range of transferrable skills?
An A level in modern languages takes you, the enthusiastic linguist, into a whole new league. You will acquire a depth of knowledge, understanding and intercultural competence not to mention a range of transferable skills: communication skills, critical thinking, autonomy, resourcefulness and creativity, all of which are of value to the individual, to wider society, to higher education and to employers. You will develop control of the language system to convey meaning, using spoken and written skills, including an extended range of vocabulary, for both practical and intellectual purposes. By the end of the two years you will have a strong foundation on which to pursue your education at degree level.
The A-level French specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. Students will focus on how French-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of French-speaking countries. In the second year further aspects of the social background are covered, this time focusing on issues such as life for those on the margins of French-speaking society as well as looking at the positive influences that diversity brings. Students also study aspects of the political landscape in a French-speaking country, looking at immigration from the political perspective and at the way in which political power is expressed through action such as strikes and demonstrations. They will look at teenagers and how the extent to which they are politically engaged looks towards the future of political life in French-speaking society. Students will also study both a film and a novel which, feedback from students tells us, are particularly interesting aspects of the course. There is a bigger focus on grammar at A Level than at GCSE and this encourages students to communicate with greater independence and accuracy as well as facilitating a general understanding of how languages work, including English.
Students are assessed in listening, reading and translation (50%), writing (20%) and speaking (30%). All examinations will take place at the end of Year 13.
5 GCSE at grade 5 or above. Students must have achieved grade 5 or above in maths and English. Students must have studied French at GCSE and achieved at least a grade 5.
WHY STUDY French?
French is spoken in over 40 countries worldwide and is one of the two official languages of the European Union. Young people with language qualifications will also become increasingly desirable in the British workforce in a post-Brexit Europe. An A Level qualification in French can lead to excellent career opportunities and undergraduate degrees in many disciplines. French has been designated a ‘facilitating subject’ by the Russell Group, which means it opens doors to a wide range of higher education courses, even if it is not studied directly at university. Studying languages at A Level also cultivates a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are invaluable to students wishing to go on to higher education or employment.
We strongly advise you to buy the largest Collins French / German / Spanish – English dictionary. This has an RRP of around £35, but can generally found for around £16-17 on the internet.
Other costs will be optional, such as participating in our trips abroad or attending MFL days at local universities.
The Academy will not charge for books, materials, equipment and instruction in connection with the National Curriculum or Statutory Religious Education taught at school, except where parents have indicated in advance their wish to purchase the product.
Exam Charging Policy:
– Students with less than 85% attendance may, under the discretion of the Sixth Form Office, be asked to pay for their exam entry.
– Exam resits that are made at the request of the post 16 students will be charged at full price.
– When it is not possible to obtain a refund, full price will be charged to students for:
– the Summer Exam entry, if they withdraw from the subject after 20 April.
– non-attendance at an exam without good reason.
BTEC students, who leave the Academy prior to the conclusion of the course, will be charged £50.
The AS Level builds on knowledge acquired at GCSE and puts you on the pathway for study at degree level. Success is reliant on your ability to become an independent and self-disciplined learner. Once you have an A level language under your belt the world becomes your oyster! Your capacity to communicate in another language opens a great number of doors. Whatever you decide to do in life it is highly likely that your ability to speak and write in another language and to interact with people abroad will give you far more opportunities.
Our French assistant will also provide opportunities for you to speak in small groups of no more than 3 students about the topics we study in class as well as contemporary issues in French society. This will be an extra scheduled hour in your timetable.
The MFL department offers a range of activities to enhance the curriculum. We run annual trips to France, Germany and Spain as well as day trips to events such as MFL immersion days at Leeds University. In addition, we have a weekly programme of language clubs for our younger students and encourage our sixth formers to get involved and assist with these.