The syllabus followed and outlined below is AQA. The course aims to encourage students to develop their enthusiasm for language learning, to communicate confidently and effectively in their chosen language(s) and to develop an awareness of the contemporary society and cultural background of the countries where these languages are spoken. Courses starting in September 2016 will be linear. To achieve the full A level, all exams will be completed in Year 13. A stand-alone AS is available at the end of Year 12.
AS Level Topics
> Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends, the changing nature of family, the ‘cyber-society’ and the place of voluntary work.
> Artistic culture in the French-speaking world: a culture proud of its heritage, contemporary francophone music, cinema: the 7th art form.
> One book from the list of set texts or one film from the list of set titles.
A Level Topics
Students study the following contemporary topics in addition to those above:
> Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues, positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated.
> Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world: teenagers and their right to vote and political commitment, demonstrations and strikes, politics and immigration.
> A further book from the list of set texts.
> An independent research project for the speaking examination.
A minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade 5 and above is preferred, with at least a grade 6 in French.
Examination arrangements and weightings
Paper 1 A two hour thirty minute examination in listening, reading and translation. Weighting 40 %
Paper 2 A two hour written examination assessing the study of the book(s)/film. Weighting 30%
Paper 3 An oral examination assessing the topics and independent research project. Weighting 30%
Recommended support materials and revision guides
At the start of the course students are encouraged to purchase a good quality and up-to-date bi-lingual dictionary. In addition, they should compile reference materials in the target language such as magazine and newspapers and watch/read the news on the target language news websites. They should also read quality English newspapers in order to improve their awareness of current affairs.
A Level languages equip students with skills that are increasingly in demand in many employment sectors. They combine with a wide range of subjects from tourism and interpreting to engineering and agriculture!