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French Level 3 - AS Level/A Level at Exeter College

Course description

A good deal of speaking and writing practice will be done in small groups or in pairs. Listening will happen as much as possible individually, and you will take home some listening and reading texts as homework. In our learning resource centre you will have access to satellite, the Internet, magazines, films, documentaries and other listening and reading materials. This will help with practising your language skills. The AS and A Level courses are organised in modules, but you will take all assessment in a final exam at the end of the year. The papers cover two or more skills, for example you will be tested in reading, writing and listening in one exam. There is no coursework element any more.

You will use a wide selection of materials drawn from a variety of sources including TV programmes, magazines, recorded news items and books. Many of these materials are authentic originals produced in the country whose language you are studying. You will find out about many aspects of contemporary France and learn to express your own views on interesting matters.

Course content

AS Level: As for GCSE, you will learn your language through practising the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. There will also be regular vocabulary and grammar learning. The reading and writing materials are based on 2 different topic areas which at this level include:

  • Leisure and lifestyles, including travel and tourism, customs and traditions, hobbies and entertainment, and healthy living (sport, eating disorders, drugs, smoking etc.)
  • The Individual and Society, to include relationships and responsibilities, gender issues, youth culture and education and the world of work.

A Level: Learning the language at this level means that you will acquire much deeper cultural awareness of French-speaking communities. You will continue to practise reading, writing, speaking and listening and to build upon your grammar and vocabulary skills acquired at AS level.
A Level topics include: environmental issues, social and political issues including media, immigration, commerce and globalisation. The Guided studies option entails study of two or three cultural topics taken from either The World of Cinema, The World of Literature or The Regions of France.

Entry requirements

You need at least five GCSEs at Grade C including English Language and Maths at Grade C or above, plus French GCSE at Grade B or above. Other experience may be taken into account.

Assessment

The AS and A Level courses are organised in modules, but you will take all assessment in a final exam at the end of the year. The papers cover two or more skills, for example you will be tested in reading, writing and listening in one exam. There is no coursework element any more. There will be two externally assessed examinations at the end of the AS year. FN1 is an oral examination, worth 40% of the AS grade (and 20% of the full A Level.) It is approximately 15 minutes long. FN2 is a mixed-skill paper comprising Listening, Reading, Grammar tasks, Translation from French to English, and an essay. It lasts 2 hours 30 minutes and is worth 60% of the AS Level (and 30% of the full A Level).


As for AS, there are two examinations for A Level towards the end of the academic year. These are FN3 (oral), which lasts approximately 20 minutes and counts for 40% of A Level, and FN4, a mixed skill paper including listening, reading and essay writing. FN4 counts for 60% of the A Level examination.

Future opportunities

Careers which involve languages include leisure and tourism, teaching, business including banking, international law, politics, translating and interpreting as well as teaching. Language qualifications are always attractive to employers and university admissions tutors. AS level offers a qualification between GCSE and A level. Both AS levels and A levels offer you the opportunity to gain points for entry into Higher Education.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Exeter College directly.

Last updated date: 15 February 2016
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