What does the course involve?
You will find that the course is essentially a progression from the GCSE course, enhancing the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. It is based on contemporary issues. At A2 level films and literature are studied for one of the modules.
The principal coursebooks Elan 1 and Elan 2 are topic-based and are supplemented by a wide range of materials, for example newspapers, magazines, literature, MP3 players, videos and language drills. You will be expected to use the foreign language as much as possible in class and as well as pair and group work, you will be assigned a listening session on a weekly basis. It is hoped that you will be able to complete some tasks and research topics with the aid of a computer. Extra work on a regular basis regarding grammar and vocabulary acquisition is strongly recommended. In addition, further practice for listening skills in particular can be achieved by watching films shown on television or available on video, DVD and listening to MP3 players and the radio.
Homework is set regularly and may consist of grammar exercises, vocabulary learning accounts and essays, (translations at A2 level), preparation of an oral task, reading comprehension, in fact, exercises practising all the skills required for a competent performance in the examination.
What qualifications do I need?
We would advise a grade B or above at GCSE level as a minimum requirement.
The Languages Department has a listening room for use by AS/A2 level students. It is also important to use the School’s computer network for Internet access to foreign language material.
The AS level consists of two papers:
- Paper 1 : FN1 – speaking exam
- Paper 2 : FN2 – listening, reading and writing
The A2 option also consists of two papers:
- Paper 1 : FN3 – speaking exam
- Paper 2 : FN4 – listening reading and writing
The Languages Department offers courses in both French and German at AS/A2 level. If you wish to specialise in languages you will probably choose both courses but either subject can be studied alongside other courses. It is strongly advised by AQA that a student spend some time in a country where the target language is spoken. French will compliment any choice of subject and is a useful tool even if you don’t plan on using it in your future career. It especially compliments all the Sciences, Psychology and History.
A2 levels in a language can lead to a wide variety of degrees because any degree can have a language as a subsidiary and therefore if you did Law or Science you could spend your 4th year studying in a French speaking country. It is now also possible under the EU’s Erasmus programme to study a part of one’s degree in Europe where language skills of A2 level standard would be very useful.