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French A level at St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College

Course description

Around the world, there is a total of 7,102 known languages. French is the 2nd most widely learned foreign language after English, with 75.9 million native speakers spread across 51 countries. An ability to communicate in French and English puts you in the lead on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking countries. French is the language of culture (literature, fashion, architecture, visual arts and France is the world’s number-one tourist destination with 70 million+ visitors a year & it is just across the Channel. Learning French can help tremendously with your career prospects, your college education and experiences, travel, and personal enjoyment of the arts and culture. Come and join us! Bienvenus!

Course content

Linear  2 year A level course: themes:

  1. Social issues & Trends
  2. Aspects of French –speaking society: current issues
  3. Political/Intellectual/Artistic areas of interest

1 book (No et moi- Delphine de Vigan)

1 film (Un long dimanche de fiancailles-J-P Jeunet)

  1. Grammar

Entry requirements

Entry requirements: Minimum 6 GCSEs at grade A*- C (including English Language) for A Level study programmes, and French GCSE grade C

AQA board assumes that students have acquired the knowledge, understanding and skills for GCSE at Higher Tier.

Knowledge of other languages welcome

Success requires:

  • Regular Attendance (5 hours of tuition per week), Punctuality, 5 hours of private study per week, an interest in current affairs, good organisation & self-discipline
  • Students, whose mother tongue is not French, are strongly advised to spend time in France and to listen to French programmes as often as possible.


  • At both levels, learners are assessed regularly using past question papers with a range of exercises. 
  • Progress is recorded in the college markbook system and is accessible by all students, on the portal.
  • Mock exams take place in the spring. 
  • Home work is provided every day and AQA standardisation is used for marking. There is no coursework for French.
  • We work using authentic material, extracts from magazines, reports and books. Essay questions are based on the book & the film (2 essays of min.300 words).  All questions will require a critical appreciation of the concepts & issues covered in the work as well as the technique of presentation (eg the effect of narrative voice in the book or camera work in the film)

Future opportunities

The benefits of being multilingual in an international career are obvious: Hiring trends are changing and multilingual professionals are preferred. Institutions like the United Nations require English language fluency plus proficiency in at least one additional language. Linguists have a competitive edge for positions in Travel & Tourism, business, finance, accountancy, journalism, marketing, international trade, law, and education as well as fields including the diplomatic service and the security service.

If you choose to study French at university, your studies will usually involve some time abroad.  The first year focuses on building language skills.  The 2nd gives you a range of options to focus on aspects of the francophone world (literature -embracing medieval and modern), film and visual culture, history, politics, business and science, to name a few.  The 3rd year can be spent abroad in a French-speaking country, at university, working as a teaching assistant in a school or on work placement (See Erasmus+, the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport - between three and twelve months)

Further information

A school trip to France which also covers all areas of the National Curriculum (French, art, history, technology, science and geography) usually takes place before the end of the year.

We participate in the placements of students in the 4 days Languages & Law summer school run by the Capital L – (Routes into Languages consortium)

A few schemes of voluntary work abroad for 10-12 weeks are offered.  These are opportunities which give young people the chance to work with local volunteers, to make an impact, practising the language(s) they study at college.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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