A Level French
Languages, Literature and Culture
We are only accepting one application per candidate.
What will you be working towards?
||GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
This course is designed for you to:
• derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning;
• acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and/or employment;
• communicate with speakers of the language;
• take your place in a multilingual global society.
Over the two years, you will study a variety of aspects of French-speaking society.
In year 1 (AS Level), you will learn about social trends and artistic culture through the following sub-themes:
- The changing nature of family
- The “cyber-society”
- The place of voluntary work
- A culture proud of its heritage
- Contemporary francophone music
- Cinema – The 7th art form
In year 2 (A Level), the topics studied focus on social issues and political culture:
- Positive features of a diverse society
- Life for the marginalised
- How criminals are treated
- The right to vote and political commitment of teenagers
- Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
- Politics and immigration
You will also study two pieces of work: a film and a novel. These will form the basis of the essays you will have to write in the writing paper.
In your final year, you will complete an Independent Research project of your own choice. You will present your findings in the speaking exam and discuss them with the examiner.
It goes without saying that as part of the areas listed above, you will continue to develop your knowledge of the French grammar and language per se.
This course will be taught in a small group with a teacher. You will be expected to participate actively in class discussions in French. You will develop strong skills which will help you cope with the demands of the course, as there is a huge amount to learn in Languages at A-Level: not only will you be studying the French language but you will also learn to provide a critical analysis of the sub-themes covered (the Content). This will be achieved through classwork (sometimes in pair or group work) and through home study. You will be given access to our digital textbook. Your teacher(s) will set assignments under the form of written tasks, online tasks and oral presentations to the class. A significant amount of your time will be spent re-writing your class notes neatly as well as completing further independent study and research. Your teachers will expect your work to be kept organised in your “French folder”, which they will assess at regular intervals to ensure you are keeping up with the pace of the course.
You will be expected to learn a huge amount of vocabulary and structures, but you are probably already pretty successful at this!
Finally, it is worth knowing that every year we aim to organise a trip to France (last year we went to Normandy). This is a great opportunity to practise your spoken French in real life situations and get a better insight into French culture.
How will it be delivered?
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing (2h30, 50% of the qualification). Section A (Listening and Writing) is worth 15% and Section B (Reading and Writing) 35%.
Paper 2: Writing (2 hours, 20% of the qualification). You have to write two essays of approximately 300 words, answering a question each on the cinematographic and literary works studied.
Paper 3: Speaking (21-23 minutes including 5 minutes’ preparation time). The test lasts 16-18 minutes and consists of a discussion around a stimulus card based on one of the sub-themes studied as part of the two year course (5-6 minutes). This is followed by a presentation of your individual research project (2 minutes) and a follow-up discussion of your research project (9-10 minutes). The speaking test is conducted either by your teacher or by an external examiner and is worth 30% of the A Level.
All three papers are externally assessed.
GCSE Grade 5 in French. If you have not studied this subject at GCSE level you will be required to take a spoken test.
Your next steps...
There will be a range of opportunities open to you, where you can continue to use and further develop your communication skills, your language skills and knowledge of contemporary society.
Some students choose to do degree courses in languages; others choose to pursue a higher education course in another subject, but choose a language option alongside it. Such courses will often give you the opportunity to study a year abroad.
Having a language at AS or Advanced GCE will improve your employability, in particular with companies which have international branches.
Whether you are interested in continuing your studies or working at home or abroad, a language course at AS or Advanced GCE is an excellent step towards achieving your goals.