French (A Level)


WHY SHOULD I STUDY A LEVEL FRENCH?

First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussion and negotiation.

More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world.

The ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (E.g.: Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and the continent of Africa).

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs.

Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government grants to enrol in postgraduate courses in France in the discipline of their choice and qualify for internationally recognised degrees.



COURSE CONTENT 

Students will normally be taught by two teachers and also include a session once a week with the French assistant. Students will learn to communicate confidently and clearly in French through the medium of the spoken and written word.

The first year of the AQA course consists of two themes: Social Issues and Trends and Artistic Culture. In practice, this means that students will be studying topics such as the changing nature of families and the place of information technology in society, as well as the sorts of things that young French people really like such as music and films. Students will study many interesting aspects of life in society e.g. cultural heritage, cinema as the 7th art, the role of volunteering and how to protect the French culture.

All students are issued with a vocabulary book and there are weekly vocabulary tests. Students have found that sites like Quizlet and Memrise have greatly helped them to memorise the volume of words required. There is a great emphasis on grammar and there will be regular tests on the major grammar points throughout the course. Dictionaries are available for reference in the Library and in teaching classrooms and we show students how to make the best use of sites like Wordreference. Students have access to our virtual learning environment system (Moodle). Here they can see all sorts of useful information including course outlines, vocabulary lists, grammar explanations and advice about the examinations. Students will be expected to complete 4 or 5 hours of homework a week.

PROGRESSION ONTO YEAR 2

Progression to the second year of this A Level course will be dependent on having made satisfactory progress in the first year of the course, including achieving at least an E grade in a formal late spring assessment, as well as the maintenance of a good level of attendance and commitment throughout the year.

In the second year of the A Level course, we revise basic grammar and introduce more complex grammatical structures. We ensure that students continue to widen their vocabulary and teach them to be even more accurate and idiomatic in their spoken and written work. In particular, we will help them to develop their powers of analysis when writing an essay. In the second year, all students must study a book and themes include topics such as cultural diversity, law and order and the right to vote. There is also the opportunity for students to research a topic related to France or French - speaking communities that is particularly interesting to them.


Minimum Entry Criteria

Standard College entry requirements (as detailed on page 12 of the Prospectus) and a minimum of:    

 

Grade 6                   

 

GCSE French

   

Assessment

You will sit 3 papers: 

Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing (translations) – 50% of the A Level.

 Paper 2: Writing on one book and one film – 30%. 

Paper 3: Speaking (discussion of a sub-theme and presentation of an individual research project) – 20% of the A Level. 

WHAT CAN I DO AFTER STUDYING A LEVEL FRENCH? 

The A Level course forms a sound basis for studying French in higher education and many students continue with it either as a single subject degree or in combination with another subject such as European Studies, Business Studies, Marketing, Law, Politics, History, etc. Some French graduates use their language skills as translators, interpreters or teachers. Others embark on careers in areas ranging from banking to tourism.

FURTHER INFORMATION 

Students who need extra support are invited to attend support classes/ offered a second-year mentor. More able students will be issued with extension reading packs, and there may be the opportunity to attend extension classes. There may be an opportunity to take part in a language trip to France during A Level studies.

The Modern Languages Department (MFL) also offers A Level courses in German, Italian and Spanish, one-year GCSE courses in Italian and Spanish, possibly leading to an A Level course in the second year, and Additional Studies in Japanese, Chinese and Latin. We also offer many other enrichment opportunities such as the European Day of Languages and Christmas Carols in all languages.