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. Films and literature are studied for one of the modules.
The exam board we use is AQA and all our course books are topic-based and are supplemented by a wide range of materials, for example: newspapers, magazines, literature, Kerboodle (an electronic course book which contains reading and listening files), videos and language drills. Students now have the possibility to access authentic material via their iPad, as a wealth of material is available to download and view online.
You will be expected to use the target language as much as possible in class and as well as pair and group work, you will be assigned study sessions on a weekly basis. It is expected that you complete some tasks and research topics with the aid of your iPad and class colleagues. 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 to rent from iTunes, DVDs and listening to radio (Tunein Radio is available on iTunes for free).
Homework is set regularly and may consist of grammar exercises, vocabulary learning accounts and essays, translations, 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 work room for use by all A level students. It is also important to use the iPads for Internet access to foreign language material.
The A Level consists of three papers:
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing. (100 marks)
Paper 2: Writing (80 marks)
Paper 3: Speaking (60 marks)
The Languages Department offers French. It is strongly advised by AQA that a student spend some time in a country where the target language is spoken. French will complement any choice of subject and is a useful tool even if you don’t plan on using it in your future career. It especially complements all the Sciences, Psychology and History.
A 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 A level standard would be very useful.