Spanish *FEES PAYABLE* at Clifton College
With over 300 million native speakers, Spanish is spoken in 21 countries and is the third most widely spoken language in the world. The increasing importance of Spanish as a world language makes it a good choice for those who wish to gain real competence, as they will find their skills are in demand.
Pupils continue to build on the four GCSE skills, with an emphasis on listening, understanding and speaking. Spanish is the normal means of communication in the classroom, and discussion on a wide range of topics is encouraged.
Spanish is available at both AS and A2 levels. For pupils to benefit fully from this course, we recommend that they have an A grade or A* in this language at GCSE.
Topic areas studied at AS level are broadly: media, popular culture, lifestyle and relationships. Topic areas studied at A2 include Environment, Multicultural society and Contemporary Social Issues. Two cultural topics are also studied, for example a period of the 20th century history of a target-language country; the work of an author, film director, architect, musician or painter from the target-language country; a region of a target-language country.
Units 1 and 3 are taken in the department’s state-of-the-art language laboratory. Comprehension questions will be largely familiar from GCSE, and there will be questions involving careful use of language and writing at greater length. Unit 4 includes an essay on one of the cultural topics. Units 2 and 4, the orals, start with a discussion based on a card on a topic in the specifications which is prepared for 20 minutes beforehand. The candidate then has a conversation with the examiner (usually the Head of the language) ranging over three of the four topic areas (AS) or both the cultural topics studied (A2).
Students take the AQA qualifications and study four units over two years. The layout of the exams is as follows:
Unit 1: Listening, Reading and Writing
Examination, 2 hours, 70% of AS, 35% of A Level
Unit 2: Speaking
Examination, 15 minutes, 30% of AS, 15% of A Level
Unit 3: Listening, Reading and Writing
Examination, 2 hours 30 minutes, 35% of A Level
Unit 4: Speaking
Examination, 15 minutes, 15% of A Level
Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.
Over the past five years, the department has expanded rapidly, reflecting the increasing interest in the Spanish language throughout the world. We have five Spanish teachers at Clifton and a Spanish assistant, who takes conversation classes in small groups. The department is well resourced, with books on Spanish and Latin American literature, artists, history and geography. We subscribe to El Pais newspaper and other magazines and there is a wide collection of films, video and audio material and satellite television to support pupils in their everyday language learning.
The Modern Language department’s Language Laboratory is an exciting and easy-to-use resource for oral and listening tasks.
The importance of speaking fluently in a foreign language cannot be over-stressed. Pupils should therefore be prepared at some stage during their course to spend a period of time in Spain or Latin America, either as a “paying guest” with a Spanish-speaking family or by means of an exchange, such as the Clifton-Mexico exchange. We can also advise on a wide range of language courses in Spain. The prospects for young people with real competence in Spanish are excellent. It is not only the specialist linguist who can benefit, but also the banker, the insurer, the international lawyer, the engineer, the doctor, the economist, the journalist and many others. Spanish is therefore not only selected with other traditional Arts subjects, such as English, History, French or Latin, but also as an excellent back-up subject with Sciences, Mathematics, Geography or Economics. We would expect Lower Sixth Formers studying a language to take part in exchanges and trips organised by the school. Our experience shows that this gives a boost to students’ skill and confidence and helps them achieve their potential in exams.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Clifton College directly.