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Canon Slade School

Canon Slade School As a Church of England School, we seek to provide
an excellent education within a Christian environment
to fulfil individual potential and to prepare pupils
for life and service in a rapidly changing world. Ora et Labora
Pray and Work

Spanish - A Level

What does the course aim to do?

The A Level in Spanish introduces learners to advanced language studies and provides an engaging and inviting opportunity for learners to build on previous study.

You will:

  • 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 Spanish
  • 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:

  • Modern and traditional values
  • Cyber-space
  • Equal rights
  • Immigration
  • Racism
  • Integration
  • Modern-day idols
  • Spanish regional identity
  • Cultural heritage
  • Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens
  • Monarchies and dictatorships
  • Popular movements

Students will also study one film and one literary text.

How will I be assessed?

The A-Level in Spanish 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 Spanish.

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?

Ideally you should have achieved at least a grade 6 at GCSE in the subject to be successful at A Level. 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 Spanish-speaking countries. You should be passionate about Spanish and really keen to develop your confidence, language skills and fluency. Spanish 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. 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 Spanish speakers wherever possible.

Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Spanish?

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 Spanish Study Days provided by local universities and other educational organisations.