Modern Foreign Languages
Examining Board: EDEXCEL Head of Department: Mrs H Wyllie
Aim: to further develop your proficiency in the language. Languages can happily be taken with most other subjects as it can "add another string to your bow" if taken with two other A Levels, like the Sciences, Business, Media, English or Computer Science.
Universities are actively looking for students who have language skills and indeed offer opportunities to develop your study of a language alongside whatever degree discipline you may choose.
Career Paths: A language degree can open doors to a range of careers right on your doorstep.
These days, a further qualification in a foreign language is very valuable currency for any career. Studying languages teaches you more than just how to communicate in another tongue. The skills you gain from your course, such as presenting, team working, researching and structuring an argument, lend themselves to careers in a range of sectors.
From Journalism and Media to Business, from Travel and Tourism to Politics, the world is your oyster: whether it’s working for MI5, the police force, a travel agency or working for an international company in finance or imports, you don’t have to move abroad to find a career that will let you use what you’ve learned. And more importantly it pays off, literally, as people who use a language in their work earn on average 8% more than those who don’t!
Course: The four skill areas of GCSE -Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing - are refined, particularly Speaking and Writing, where you will aim to improve your accuracy and fluency.
The course follows on naturally from GCSE. As much of the target language as is practicable is spoken during the lessons. You will practise your listening, reading and writing skills using current materials based on the varied themes. These materials will include film, TV and audio as well as printed matter and, in addition to the sort of exercises familiar to you, there will be regular practice in translation, summary and interpretation skills.
The A Level course is divided into three assessed units:
Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing to include translation (40% of total GCE)
Paper 2: A written paper responding to questions on a prescribed text and film studied in class (30% of total GCE)
Paper 3: Speaking exam largely based on a project that the student has researched independently and coming from the themes listed below (30% of total GCE)
Papers 1 and 3 are based on the study of four themes:
The changes of French/Spanish society (Family structure; Education - French only; The world of work; The impact of tourism – Spanish only) The political and artistic culture in French/Spanish-speaking countries (Music; Media; Festivals and traditions) Immigration and multiculturalism in French/Spanish society (Positive impact of immigration, Responses to the challenges of immigration and integration; The far-right – French only; The social reaction to immigration – Spanish only)) Study of a historical period including its political impact on French/Spanish society (Occupation and Resistance in France during WW2; Franco’s dictatorship and transition to democracy)
Entry Criteria: GCSE grade 6 in Spanish
Plus: GCSE grade 5 in English (Language or Literature) and GCSE grade 5 in Mathematics