French - A Level
What does the course aim to do?
The A Level in French introduces learners to advanced language studies and provides an engaging and inviting opportunity for learners to build on previous study.
- learn more about social, intellectual, historical, cultural and political themes
- develop your linguistic knowledge, cultural understanding and awareness
- have the opportunity to study literature and film
- undertake a deeper analysis of language structures and grammar
- focus on gaining confidence, fluency and spontaneity in French
- research an area of personal interest to enhance your cultural appreciation and develop your awareness of intercultural differences
What will I be studying?
During the two-year AQA course you will study the two wider themes of ‘Social issues and Trends’ and ‘Political and Artistic Culture’. These are divided into the sub-themes below:
- The changing nature of family
- The ‘cyber-society’
- The place of voluntary work
- Positive features of a diverse society
- Life for the marginalised
- How criminals are treated
- A culture proud of its heritage
- Contemporary francophone music
- Cinema: the 7th art form
- Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
- Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
- Politics and immigration
Students will also study one film and one literary text.
How will I be assessed?
The A-Level in French is linear which means that all exams will be taken at the end of the two year course. There are three separate exams:
PAPER 1: Listening, Reading and Translation (50%)
– Listening/reading and responding to a variety of spoken/written passages from a range of contexts and sources.
– Translation into English and translation into French.
PAPER 2: Writing (20%)
– Two essays: one based on a literary work and the second on an additional literary work or film studied in class.
PAPER 3: Speaking (30%)
– Presentation and discussion of independent research project.
– Discussion of a previously studied theme based on a stimulus card.
Am I suited to this subject?
Highly motivated and hard-working students will enjoy the variety of challenges which this course provides. We hope to encourage a high level of interest in, and enthusiasm for, the language and culture of French-speaking countries. You should be passionate about French and really keen to develop your confidence, language skills and fluency. French at A-Level is challenging so you must be committed and prepared to undertake lots of independent study.
Where will it lead in the future?
Languages open doors to a very wide range of interesting careers: Languages are not just for translators and teachers. Many people, doing many different and interesting jobs across all different sectors, use languages in their professional lives and most respondents (70%) believe they have been able to apply for a wider range of jobs because of their language skills. Languages can give you the edge in the job market. Knowing how to meet and greet people from other countries and cultures is a valued skill.
Speaking a foreign language can help career progression: Two thirds (66%) of respondents agreed that their language skills gave them an advantage when they applied for their current job and three quarters (75%) agreed that their language skills have given them an edge in applying for jobs during the course of their career.
In addition, learning languages gives you greater opportunities to travel and work abroad. There are many opportunities to travel or work with organisations abroad where some knowledge of a foreign language is a clear advantage.
Languages also combine well with virtually any subject for further study at university.
How will I study?
You will participate in small group work, pair work and individual study. The Languages department has full access to an ICT suite and a range of web-based programmes and digital textbooks. You will study a wide range of advanced grammar alongside the exploration of political, cultural, social and historical issues and themes. Students will work on all four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening on a regular basis.
What will I need to do myself?
All students can expect to receive a piece of home learning following each lesson. It is vital that students are committed to undertaking approximately 5 hours of independent study each week in order to make good progress. Students are provided with a wide range of study materials and links to available resources to support independent study. Students are also encouraged to establish and maintain links with French speakers wherever possible.
Why should I come to Canon Slade to study French?
We are an experienced team of specialist linguists, who are enthusiastic about our subject and committed to motivating and supporting students so that they achieve their full potential. Many of our students go on to study languages at university. You will benefit from small group teaching, a wide range of up–to-date resources and one-to-one support as required. In a course review, a student recently wrote “I think we are made to feel very important by the Languages Department and we receive as much help as we need.” We actively encourage and organise visits to French Study Days provided by local universities and other educational organisations.