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French A Level at Waddesdon CofE School

Course description

The course will help you to develop your general study skills, but most of all you will learn to communicate at a higher level in the language that you have chosen. You will be able to read, understand and extract information from written passages in the target language that are taken from authentic sources, such as magazines and newspapers, reports or books.

You will be able to listen to, and understand contemporary spoken language and answer questions on what you have heard. The passages that you will learn to listen to will be taken from a range of sources such as news reports on the radio or TV, weather forecasts, announcements, interviews and discussions.

You will learn how to write essays or longer pieces and to hold conversations and discussions in the target language.

Course content

This is the first half of the A-Level course and consists of the two units described below:
Unit 1: Listening, Reading and Writing
Here you will be tested on your Listening, Reading and Writing skills. You will have to answer questions in the target language and in English.
Unit 2: Speaking Test
You will have to respond to a stimulus card. Having conducted some research on a topic of your choice, you will then be questioned on this.
The full A-Level qualification is made up of the AS units plus two more units which are studied at a higher level. The two units are described below:
Unit 3: Listening, Reading and Writing
The listening section consists of approximately 6 minutes of material. There are 5 sections of questions to complete. The reading involves translations from English to French. In the writing section, students answer one question from a choice of two. The writing is discursive in nature.
Unit 4 Speaking Test
You will be asked, in advance of the examination, to prepare an issue that relates to the target-language culture or society. The examiner will then initiate a spontaneous discussion on two further unpredictable issues.


Entry requirements

Students will normally be expected to have achieved the equivalent of GCSE Grade B in French before taking the course, and to have taken a Higher tier Listening or Reading paper. However, we find that the students who achieve a Grade A* or A at GCSE adapt more easily to A level studies.
You will need to feel confident at this level in the four language skills of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You must also have some knowledge and understanding of the culture and way of life of French speaking countries. You need to be interested in developing this understanding and in exploring in much more depth the topic areas that you will have covered at GCSE.
There will be a full assessment within the first half term, in order to assess students’ advancement in the course. Students who fail to achieve 40% or more in this assessment will not be allowed to continue the AS course. We will only be able to offer this course if a minimum of four students apply for it.

Future opportunities

There will be a range of opportunities open to you, where you can continue to use and further develop your language skills and knowledge of contemporary society. Some students choose to do degree courses in languages; others choose to pursue a Higher Education course in another subject, but choose a language option alongside it. Having a language at AS or A-Level will certainly improve your employability, in particular with companies which have international branches.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Waddesdon CofE School directly.

Last updated date: 09 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years