A Level FrenchAQA (2 Years)
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By means of a thematic approach, you will get to study the contemporary society and culture, history, politics and everyday life of France and Francophone countries. You will learn to speak and write at length in French about these aspects of French-speaking heritage, cultures and societies. You should expect to engage in whole class discussion, small group work and pair work. You will develop analytical and evaluative skills and improve your level in the four basic language skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking, and you will also have the opportunity to visit France on the annual college study trip. Enthusiasm and a commitment to learning are essential to language acquisition at this level.
The practical, applied approach to the study of French at this level means that it is useful to students of the arts and sciences alike. The course will enable you to progress on to further study of languages, whilst being equally rewarding for those not intending to pursue the subject beyond A Level.
The course will move you on from GCSE covering the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will also gain a greater knowledge of grammatical structures and so develop accuracy in the language. Teaching is based on a thematic methodology and the language is taught through a variety of contemporary issues, using a range of authentic resources, to support your progress and build up your confidence in the use of language. A study of a film will also be a focus at this level.
The course will enable you to develop your linguistic skills further whilst continuing to enhance your knowledge of the target language, countries and cultures. You will use the language to present viewpoints, develop, analyse and evaluate arguments both when speaking and writing.
You will study aspects of the contemporary society and culture of France and other French-speaking countries. You will study four main themes at A level; the study of a book and a film will also be integral to the A level course.
Methods of Teaching
Lessons are taught mainly in French and students will be working individually, in pairs or in small groups on a variety of activities including reading, note-taking, making use of online resources to acquire a wider range of vocabulary, and grammar revision and extension will also be an integral part of daily activities in class. You will engage in many oral activities such as role-plays, discussions, presentations and debates. You will also have a weekly session with a French language assistant to further enhance your production of the spoken language. You will work in the Language Multi-media Centre to practise your listening skills. Learning through independent active study is crucial to your progress, and carefully monitored programmes will support you in this.
Methods & Patterns of Assessment
All four skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing will be assessed at the end of each course, with cultural content forming a key part of the assessment. The assessment methods will be varied, and will include translation, research, presenting and speaking, writing and listening/reading comprehension and grammar.
Students will have access to an online textbook and resources from the Learning Resource Centre. The French department can also loan some materials but students will need to purchase a work booklet and a novel at the end of the first year.
Study Visits Abroad – The oral examinations account for a high percentage of the total mark. We therefore strongly encourage students to visit a country in which French is spoken. An optional study trip takes place annually and the inclusive cost is approximately £710 for one week (excluding pocket money).
The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.
Where Could It Take Me?
French can be studied in combination with any other course in higher education. Many courses including those in the sciences will offer students with good language skills the chance to take part of their degree course abroad. Graduates in modern languages are in short supply and employers are increasingly keen to recruit people with language skills.
There are many good reasons to study French, and these include:
- French is not only spoken in France, it is also the official language in 28 other countries, and is spoken in many other countries
- Knowledge of a foreign language is highly valued by Universities and employers
5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Mathematics and English, and grade 6 or above in GCSE French. Students with a grade 6 in French GCSE will be supported by an extra grammar support session.