The studying of Modern languages at A Level will develop your linguistic skills far beyond GCSE. The focus will move away from transactional language such as ordering, shopping and talking about your hobbies, routines and lifestyle, towards the analysis and evaluation of current political and social events and trends. In addition, you will look at the artistic impact and legacy of French societies on the modern world through the study of film and literature.
You need to be interested in developing both your linguistic ability and your understanding of the cultures and societies which have given us this language in order to get the most from a Modern Languages A Level.
Why study Modern Languages?
Modern Languages is a “Facilitating Subject”, one of those preferred or even required by many universities, and as such, is a well-respected option to take up.
Whilst the lingua franca for such diverse career paths as Finance, Law, Science and the Performing Arts is English, the ability to understand and to express yourself in a foreign language, is a distinct advantage, and one held in high regard by prospective employers.
How are Modern Language A Levels Assessed?
You will sit the following three papers at the end of your A Level:
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing – Written paper, 2½ hours, worth 50% of the A Level.
Listening and Reading
Comprehension texts are drawn from written and spoken passages from different contexts and sources. Material will include complex factual and abstract text and questions will target main points, gist and detail.
All questions are in the target language and are answered either in the target language or with non-verbal responses.
Students will have individual control of the recording.
Paper 2: Writing – Written paper, 2 hours, worth 20% of the A Level.
- You will study one film or two texts from the list in the specification. The paper requires two essays to be written in French in the region of 300 words each in which you must show a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues raised in the film or text.
Paper 3: Speaking – Oral exam 21-23 minutes (including 5-minute preparation time), worth 30% of the A Level.
Discussion of one of four sub-themes which relate to aspects of culture, society or politics in the target language society, based on a stimulus card which you will be able to prepare beforehand.
Presentation and discussion of a research project that you will have studied during the course.
To study this course, you should have at least a Grade 6 in GCSE French. Also, at least Grade 5 in GCSE Maths and English.
You could take this course to complement other Advanced Level courses, which could lead onto Higher Education in French, Languages or more general Higher Education courses. The qualification will help you to develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for, especially in the Travel and Tourism sector. With further training, you could go into a job related to French or Languages such as a Teacher, Translator, or you may wish to use your French to study or work over in France.