Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages – French/German/Spanish

  “If I want to sell you something, then I'll speak your language. If you want to sell me something, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.” Willy Brandt

  “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

Entry Requirements

GCSEs should include a minimum of Grade B in your chosen language, although a student with a GCSE grade C with an excellent attitude and desire to want to study languages may be considered.

Subject Overview

Studying a language at Advanced Level is an excellent choice. Languages are more important in today’s modern world than they have ever been because we live in a multilingual global society.  Languages have a solid reputation with universities and employers alike.  A level language courses tackle interesting and varied topics, developing a broad range of knowledge alongside your language skills.  You should be interested in current affairs and enjoy working with a language (e.g. learning grammar and new vocabulary/structures on a regular basis).  You must also have an interest in communicating your opinions to others as well as justifying and countering arguments across a wide range of themes.

Syllabus

Students will study the A-Level syllabus from the start and in a change to previous years there will no longer be an AS Level option. We have therefore chosen an excellent, engaging, varied and interesting exam board as our A-Level languages’ Awarding Body in AQA

Students will study a broad range of exciting topics based on current trends and issues in the French, German and Spanish-speaking world. Issues from Youth Culture to The Digital World among others will be discussed and students will have the opportunity to study French, German and Spanish film and literary texts. Students will be assessed across three papers.

A-Level   French/German/Spanish (Target Language) Awarding Body AQA

Paper 1

Listening, reading and   writing

What’s assessed?

• Aspects of the Target Language-speaking society: current trends

• Aspects of Target Language-speaking society: current issues

• Artistic culture in the Target Language-speaking world

• Aspects of political life in the Target Language-speaking world

• Grammar

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

• 160 marks in total

• 40% of A-level

Questions

• Listening and responding to spoken passages from a range of   contexts and sources covering different registers and adapted as necessary.   Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will   target main points, gist and detail. Studio recordings will be used and   students will have individual control of the recording.

All questions are in the Target Language (French, German or Spanish)   and are to be answered with non-verbal responses or in the Target Language   (60 marks)

• Reading and responding to a variety of texts written for different   purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary.   Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will   target main points, gist and detail.

All questions are in the Target Language, to be answered with   non-verbal responses or in the Target Language (60 marks)

• Translation into English; a passage of minimum 100 words (20 marks)

• Translation into the Target Language; a passage of minimum 100   words (20 marks).

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Paper 2

Writing

What's assessed?

• One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the   specification

• Grammar

How it's assessed

• Written exam: 2 hours

• 90 marks in total

• 30% of A-level

Questions

• Either one question in the Target Language on a set text from a   choice of two questions and one question in Target Language on a set film   from a choice of two questions or two questions in the Target Language on set   texts from a choice of two questions on each text.

• All questions will require a critical appreciation of the concepts   and issues covered in the work and a critical and analytical response to   features such as the form and the technique of presentation, as appropriate   to the work studied (e.g. the effect of narrative voice in a prose text or   camera work in a film).

No access to texts or films during the assessment.

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Students are advised to write approximately 300 words per essay.

Paper 3

Speaking

What's assessed?

• Individual research project

• One of four sub-themes i.e. Aspects of the Target Language-speaking   society: current trends, Aspects of the Target Language-speaking society:   current issues, Artistic culture in the Target Language-speaking society,   Aspects of political life in the Target Language-speaking world

How it's assessed

• Oral exam: 21–23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)

• 60 marks in total

• 30% of A-level

Questions

• Discussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus   card (5–6 minutes). The student studies the card for 5 minutes at the start   of the test (25 marks).

• Presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (9–10 minutes) of   individual research project (35 marks).

No access to a dictionary during the assessment (including 5 minutes   preparation).

Students may take the assessment only once before certification.

Assessments will be conducted by either the centre or a visiting   examiner and marked by an AQA examiner.

  

Activities and trips

There may be the opportunity to take part in a trip abroad to support the development of the students’ language skills.

Expected Costs

Students are encouraged to subscribe to a foreign magazine and to read online Target Language newspapers. Students are also advised to watch foreign films regularly for independent study. DVDs are available to borrow from school or Warwick Arts screen foreign films.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

A language will complement and enhance many other A level courses, whether you are orientated more towards Maths and Science or alternatively English, Business, Law or Art. 

Subject Resources

Past Papers

  • AQA Website

  • Online Resource Packs on the school's network to download.  These packs are tailored to the AQA exam all designed to support your progress in your languages' A level

Other information

Students will be expected to communicate in the target language at every opportunity.  Regular group and individual sessions with the Language Assistant will enhance fluency. Grammatical accuracy is equally important with the extensive grammar course starting right from the beginning.

Lessons will be shared by two language teachers and you will have a session a fortnight with the Language Assistant (if available).