The 1-year AS-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society.
The topics covered are identical to those covered in the first year of the full A-Level specification. However the oral exam is structured differently.
- Students may study all sub-themes in relation to any French-speaking country or countries.
- The changing nature of family (La famille en voie de changement)
- The ‘cyber-society’ (La « cyber-société »)
- The place of voluntary work (Le rôle du bénévolat)
- A culture proud of its heritage (Une culture fière de son patrimoine)
- Contemporary francophone music (La musique francophone contemporaine)
- Cinema: the 7th art form (Cinéma : le septième art)
Film– La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz
It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or further study, including a modern languages degree.
Students are taught to:
- Respond to (recorded) spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources, covering different registers and types (most based on the themes and sub-themes in the specification.)
- Infer meaning from abstract material such as opinions, views, emotional reactions and personal experiences
- Respond to texts including contemporary and historical material, and covering material based on literature.
- Summarise in French what they have understood from a recoded or written passage, using their own words.
- Speak 'fluently' and develop ideas and opinions without relying on prompts.
- Produce (in spoken and written forms) language that is accurate.
- Demonstrate a secure grasp of grammar, and the ability to manipulate language accurately.
- Demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary and complex language.
- Respond appropriately to unpredictable questions.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the topics studied.
- Translate a passage of at least 100 words from French into English, and from English into French. (not the same passage!)
- Write critical and analytical essays of 300 words on a film (La Haine)
Each class will be taught by 2 teachers. In addition, each student will be timetabled for weekly individual oral preparation and practice with the French assistant.
Experience has shown that it is difficult to cope with sixth form work in languages without an A or A* at GCSE. Students without a sure command of the grammar and structures as taught up to GCSE are very unlikely to be successful at AS or A-Level.
There will be 3 exam units at the end of Year 12 (AS level): Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation Paper 2: Written response: target language essay on 1 work ( i.e. a film or a book) and a translation Paper 3: Speaking on 2 sub-themes (on from each AS theme). This exam is conducted by an external examiner. For more detail visit: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/as-and-a-level/french-7651/specification-at-a-glance
We aim to develop awareness of various aspects of the societies in which the language is spoken, to develop study skills as a preparation for further study, the world of work or leisure and to provide an interesting course relevant to the needs of our students.
Languages are assuming an ever-increasing importance in today’s international world and many of our students are going on to university to study a language (often alongside a new language, economics, law etc.). Others are taking a language in the Sixth Form just out of interest for the subject or with a view to possibly using it later at their place of work.
Increasingly employers are asking for evidence of modern language skills. A recent pamphlet from Cambridge University states: “it is important both from a specific career point of view, and from a broader educational perspective, that our science graduates can communicate and are perhaps fluent in another language”.
Language graduates are more employable than those in computing, or science, or even business studies, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. According to the University Council of Modern Languages, surveys show that one in five respondents believe they have lost business because of language skill failures, and nearly half found languages and cultural issues were a barrier to international business.
To train our students to use their modern language skills in a real life context we take them on exchange trips in the 6th form so they can practice and apply what they have learnt with native speakers and have first-hand experience of the cultures of the country where the language they are studying is spoken. The ability to communicate with foreigners in their language is a valuable tool in this increasingly interdependent, global economy – as well as for helping with holidays!