A Level French

A Level French

From technology and heritage, to multiculturalism, crime, politics, film and music – this course is full of engaging topics, through which you will gain an in-depth knowledge of France, as you develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. As you progress, you will become a more independent learner, completing an Independent Research Project – perfect preparation for higher education.

Why St Mary’s

You will learn in our newly refurbished suite of language classrooms, with access to the latest French resources including online ActiveLearn tasks selected to complement each lesson.

In small class sizes, you will also gain plenty of support from our passionate, highly-qualified team of language teachers, and an experienced French Language Assistant.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Opportunities through Alliance Française de Cambridge
  • Cinema and theatre trips to see French productions
  • DuoLingo school competition
  • Translation competitions
  • Teacher surgeries at lunchtime
  • 1:1 extra sessions as required

Enabling your transition from GCSE

Towards the end of our Year 11 French GCSE course, we do some extension work which offers a ‘taster’ of our A Level French topics – which helps Senior School students to bridge the gap. We also encourage students to spend time in France, through a specialist travel company which arranges work experience for language students.

Before joining Sixth Form, you will also be encouraged to prepare report of French current affairs, and to watch some of the French films included in the A Level syllabus, as well as reading regularly in French.

Course overview

AS Level content

  • Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing: this paper covers two major topic areas with three sub-themes each:
    • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world (French culture and heritage/French music/French cinema)
    • Current trends of French-speaking society (family and relationships/role of technology/charity and volunteering work)
  • Paper 2 Writing: This paper consists of a translation into French (passage of minimum 70 words) and an essay either on a French film or a French book (both chosen by the teacher from set lists).
  • Paper 3 Speaking: This involves a discussion of two of the sub-themes above (6-7 minutes each) with the discussion based on a stimulus card for each sub-theme. You will study the cards for 15 minutes before the test begins.

A Level content

  • Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing: this paper covers four major topic areas with three sub-themes each:
    • Current trends of French-speaking society
    • Current issues of French-speaking society
    • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
    • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
  • Paper 2 Writing: you will write two essays in all either on one text and one film or two texts from the lists set in the specification and chosen by the teacher.
  • Paper 3 Speaking: this involves a discussion of a sub-theme based on a stimulus card (5-6 minutes, 25 marks) and a presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (9-10 minutes) of an individual research project (35 marks) chosen by you in advance.

Assessment

AS Level assessment

  • Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing: 1 hour 45 minutes (45% of AS Level)
    • There are assessments in:
      • Listening - students listen to material within their individual control (35 marks)
      • Reading - this section comprises three or four items requiring short answers (45 marks)
      • Translation into English - a passage of minimum 70 words (10 marks)
  • Paper 2 Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes (25% of AS Level)
  • Paper 3 Speaking: 12-14 minutes (30% of AS Level)

A Level assessment

  • Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing: 2 hours 30 minutes (50% of A Level)
    • There are assessments in:
      • Listening - students listen to material within their individual control (30 marks)
      • Reading - this section comprises three or four items requiring short answers (50 marks)
      • Translation into English - a passage of minimum 100 words (10 marks)
      • Translation into French - a passage of minimum 100 words (10 marks)
  • Paper 2 Writing: 2 hours (20% of A Level)
  • Paper 3 Speaking: 21-23 minutes (30% of A Level)
At a glance
  • Specification: AQA AS Level 7651, A Level 7652
  • Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing (50% of A Level)
  • Paper 2 Writing (20% of A Level)
  • Paper 3 Speaking (30% of A Level)
  • Small class sizes
You will enjoy this course if you...
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Like thinking analytically
  • Are keen to discuss topical issues
  • Are interested in French language and culture

What our teachers say...

“My European friends inspire me; I have gained so much from our friendships that I want the next generation to establish similar life-long connections abroad. And their mastery of our language drives me on to help the English gain a similar proficiency in their language.”

"One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way." Frank Smith, Psycholoinguist

On a personal level, studying French at IGCSE or A Level will increase your job opportunities and creates opportunities to enjoy a cultured and varied lifestyle. It also boosts your level of self-confidence and is incredibly rewarding.

On a more general level, the study of languages establishes deep connections and cross-cultural interactions resulting in a better understanding between groups, businesses and countries. Learning a foreign language helps promote cooperation between different countries, building a future of peace and collaboration.

At university, studying French can be combined with another language or it complements a range of other subjects including business studies, economics, law, politics, psychology or tourism.

Studying French opens up a diverse range of career paths, in fields such as translation, interpretation, diplomacy, journalism, education, film, politics and law.

 

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