French is undoubtedly challenging but a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding AS/A Level subject. As with GCSE, focus will be on all four skills: listening, speaking reading and writing. However, you will learn to respond more spontaneously to reflect everyday life situations as well as build up an array of sophisticated opinions and ideas on current affairs. You will be not only exposed to the French language but also too many elements of its diverse and fascinating culture. This adds an extra dimension to the enjoyment of this subject.
AS Unit 1: A listening, reading and writing 2 hour examination (70% of AS, 35% of A Level) based on AS Level topics of Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living/Lifestyle and Family/Relationships.
AS Unit 2: A 15 minute speaking test conducted by an External Examiner (30% of AS, 15% of A Level). You will have a 20 minute preparation period during which you will choose a stimulus card to work on and prepare. You will engage in a conversation with the Examiner on the AS topics which you will have prepared over the course of the year.
A2 Unit 1:
A listening, reading and writing examination (35% of A Level) on the A Level topics of Environment, Multicultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues. You will read and listen to a variety of authentic materials and answer questions accordingly, complete two translation tasks (English to French and French to English) and write an essay based on a cultural topic studied over the course.
A2 Unit 2:
A 15 minute speaking test conducted by an External Examiner (15% of A Level). You will have a 20 minute preparation period during which you will choose a stimulus card to work on and prepare. You will engage in a conversation with the Examiner on the AS topics which you will have prepared over the course of the year.
It will be expected that a student achieve at least a B grade in GCSE French in order to continue with the AS Level French course. It is desirable that a student sits the Higher Reading and Listening papers at GCSE. However, each student will be considered on an individual basis. In order to ensure that students are appropriately prepared for A Level study, AS students will be expected to achieve a minimum of a D grade at AS and where this is not the case will need to re-sit AS modules alongside the A2 course.
For AS Level, prior to the beginning of the course, you will be expected to independently revise all GCSE. Students will also have to research and prepare a presentation on an element of French culture at the beginning of September. Over the course of the year, additional independent study will be encouraged and logged. This may include listening to French news, reading an article from a French newspaper or magazine as well as making sound use of the numerous French online resources available. Regular noting of new vocabulary from independent study is essential as well as weekly learning of set vocabulary.
For A2 Level students will be expected to do a number of tasks over the summer prior to commencing in September. For example, research into the A2 language topics and familiarisation with current issues relating to these topics as well as preparation for the cultural topics that will be studied.
Extra-Curricular Activities / Independent Learning Opportunities:
Students will be able to act as mentors for the Year 11 students. We are currently working with the Creative Studies Faculty to set up a trip to Paris where as well as visiting the famous cultural buildings in Paris, students will practice their French. When they are available, we organise trips to the Cinema, Art Galleries and to revision courses. Some of our past students always make a return visit to the school to offer their help and support in the run up to the AS and A2 Speaking examinations and they like to offer an insight into studying Languages at University.
Independent Learning Opportunities:
At the end of Year 11, AS French students will be given an extensive list of online resources which they can use and exploit to develop their linguistic and grammatical skills as well as their cultural awareness.
Studying French at degree level A Level can open several doors to you in the world of work. Interpreter, Translator, Law, Journalism, Tourism, Engineering, Central Government (the Foreign office or the Ministry of Defence), Marketing, Retail, Event Management, the Voluntary and Charitable Sector. The list is extensive!
Good combinations of other subject to study with French are:
Other Languages, English, History, Business Studies, Mathematics, Science.
I enjoy my French classes and feel that my teachers are very supportive and want me to achieve my very best.
French is challenging but enjoyable and I have made a lot of progress over the last two years. I really enjoy French conversation and speaking French.