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Modern Foreign Languages: French, German, Spanish

What will I learn?

Learning a language at this level is demanding; however, your increasing degree of fluency will be highly rewarding. You will be expected to express yourself in the target language during lessons and to dedicate a significant amount of time out of school for independent learning. This level of independent study will be highly useful in your future life and as you look towards study beyond school. You will understand the importance of spending some time in the target language country during the course; for example, work experience or a homestay visit. You will read widely in the language and develop a thorough understanding in the culture and current events.

Who should choose French/German/Spanish?

This course has been designed for anyone who has enjoyed studying a language at GCSE. The course will inspire, motivate and challenge you to think of the deeper issues in the society of the language you are studying, and many of the skills that you will develop are transferable. For example, the independent research project is an excellent way of developing your critical thinking skills, and you will learn to make confident presentations in the target language. The topics studied will broaden your horizons and knowledge.

Having a language at A Level will certainly set you apart when making university applications and is looked upon favourably in job interviews.

What other subjects go well with Modern Foreign Languages?
  • Humanities
  • Science
  • Psychology
  • Music
  • Religion and Philosophy
  • Business Studies
Course details

During the course, you will develop your linguistic skills alongside your understanding of the culture and society of countries where the target language is spoken. You will study a range of topics dealing with contemporary issues, in addition to learning grammatical structures and acquiring translation skills. Through the study of these topics, you will develop your reading, writing, listening and oral competence.

A Level topics differ depending on which language you study. Examples of topics include:

  • Current trends in the country of study (for example: The Changing Nature of Family/The 'Cyber' Society/Youth Culture)
  • Current issues in the country of study (for example: Positive Features of a Diverse Society/How Criminals are Treated)
  • Artistic Culture in the country of study (for example: Music/Cinema/Cultural Heritage)
  • Aspects of Political Life in the Country of Study (for example: Politics and Immigration/The Right to Vote/ Politics and Youth)

You will study either one text and one film or two texts from a prescribed list by the exam board over the two year period.

You will also undertake an individual research project on a subject of your choice, the discussion of which will constitute a large part of your oral examination.

How will I be assessed?

There is no coursework in the A Level course and all modules are externally assessed. Students will sit three papers. Paper 1 comprises of Listening, Reading and Writing. Paper 2 is a Writing Paper based on either two literary texts or a literary text and a film. Paper 3 is a Speaking assessment which includes a presentation of an Individual Research project.

Beyond the classroom

In the modern world, it is increasingly important to be fluent in at least one foreign language, either to specialise in at university or to combine a language with another subject such as Business Studies or Law. In a competitive global market, the ability to speak another language with confidence will be an important asset. Learning a foreign language at this level is exciting, demanding and could open up many opportunities in the future.

For further information, please contact Mrs Murphy:

Quotes from current Sixth Formers

"This year I have enjoyed immersing myself in the culture and learning more about the country. I have really enjoyed the French homestay as it helped me improve my conversational French but also I now understand more about the daily way of French life, it was an unforgettable and incredible experience. I think it is also really important to remember that if you do struggle with anything there is always someone available to help and having a native French speaker to work with in small groups will really help you improve as well." 

"I have really enjoyed studying literature for the first time as it has allowed me to look at the language in an entirely new way."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed studying Spanish at A Level; the breadth and depth of the topics we discuss is so inspiring and fascinating. I love the variety that comes with learning a language, as well as the myriad of opportunities I am confident it will present me with in the future."