Qualification: A-Level | Exam board: Edexcel
The study of modern languages can lead to a variety of careers both in this country and abroad.
Modern language courses are designed to provide practical and enjoyable lifelong skills, whether used in the workplace or for leisure.
Speaking another language really makes you stand out from the crowd. You will study a range of social issues and political, historical and artistic culture within France and the French-speaking world. You will learn to speak, understand and write French in a range of situations and to express facts and opinions.
Year one course content
Year one will develop your grammatical structures to a high level of accuracy and complexity. It will cover three engaging topics, giving you a wealth of useful vocabulary and idiomatic phrases and the confidence to speak, write, read and listen to French.
Theme One: Changes in French society – This theme covers social issues and trends, in the context of France only.
- The Family: changes in the family structure.
- Education: the French school system and aspects of university life.
- Workplace: working life in France, attitudes towards work, and the French economy.
Theme Two: Artistic and political culture in French-speaking countries/communities
This theme covers artistic culture (through music, and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media) helping you to broaden your knowledge of life in these societies.
- Music: changes and evolution, impact on popular culture.
- Media: freedom of speech, written and online press, impact on society and politics.
- Festivals and traditions: customs, traditions, celebrations.
Literary Study: You will study a film in depth and produce written critical responses that relate to aspects such as literary technique, key themes, characterisation and social context.
Year Two course content
You will continue Themes One and Two from your first year and add two more central themes, together with a literary text. Year Two will enhance your linguistic skills and develop your capacity for critical thinking, in spoken and written French. You will also undertake an independent research project on an issue of your choice.
Theme Three: Immigration and multicultural society in France, this theme covers the impact on France of this century’s vast increase in immigration.
- Immigration: its history, the benefits of a multi-cultural society and its effect on the arts.
- Integration: problems in education, the workplace and accommodation.
- Solutions: attitudes and reactions from government and society, the problem of right-wing extremism.
Theme Four: The Occupation and the Resistance, this theme is set in the context of France only.
- France occupied
- Vichy France
- The Resistance
Literary Study: You will study a novel in depth and produce written critical responses that relate to aspects such as literary technique, key themes, characterisation and social context. Across the two years of an A-Level course, you will study a novel and a film.
Independent Research Project: You will carry out a research project to investigate a subject of your choice relating to French-speaking culture or society. This is assessed as part of the oral examination.
The French A-Level course is a rigorous and highly regarded option. It will help you prepare for Higher Education and enhance your employability profile.
It gives you the opportunity to learn and apply important transferable skills in critical thinking and analysis, communication and relationship-building, autonomy and resourcefulness. Students also develop an insight into language in general which enhances their confidence and accuracy in English.
In our global society, the study of a modern language can lead to an improvement in employment prospects in a wide variety of careers, both in this country and abroad. Even when not specifically a requirement for a particular post, a good standard of fluency in the language of one of our most important international business partners and customers can offer further career opportunities that are not available to the monoglot.
Students from the A-Level course will be expected to carry out a number of independent tasks and assignments.
You may also have the opportunity to take part in national conferences or be involved with guest-speakers or in trips abroad.
You will be assessed on the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in French. You will sit your French exams at the end of Year Two.
Paper One: Listening, reading and translation (40% of qualification)
A two hour written examination covering all four themes: a listening assessment with a range of comprehension questions; a reading assessment with a range of text and comprehension questions; a passage to translate from French into English.
Paper Two: Written response to works and translation (30% of qualification)
Two hours and 40 minutes written assessment: essay style questions on the two works studied (one film and one book), and a translation from English to French.
Paper Three: Speaking (30% of qualification)
23-minute assessment (including five minutes preparation): speaking examination based on one of the four themes, with a stimulus card as a basis for conversation; a presentation and discussion based on the student’s Independent Research Project.
Some of our subjects are subject to standard entry requirement and some have additional requirements. Please see below:
Subject specific entry requirements
- 6 in French
Standard entry requirements
- At least five GCSEs at grades 9-4 including English Language and Maths (one Vocational or Technical qualification at Merit or above may be counted)
- At least grade 4 (or Merit for Vocational or Technical qualifications) in any subject(s) that you have taken at GCSE and wish to continue studying at Level 3
- Average GCSE (best 8) of at least 4 (38 on the old points table)
- Grade 4 (or Merit), at least, in any subject previously studied
- Students will take either 3 A-Level subjects or 1 Diploma subject with 1 A-Level