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French A-Level

The Bedford Sixth Form Library

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.

Law A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

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.

Spanish A-Level The Bedford Sixth Form

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.

Additional information

What does this course prepare me for?

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.

Course support and enrichment

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.

Assessment

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.

How to apply

Applications for the academic year 2022/23 are now open. You will only need to make one application and will be asked to select the subjects you wish to study within the application.

If you need help you can call us on 01234 291291 or email us. You should also look at the financial support we offer.

Apply now