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A Level French at Newquay Tretherras School

Course description

A Level languages build upon your existing knowledge gained at GCSE, giving you a sound understanding of using your language in a variety of different situations – at home, abroad, with friends or in the workplace. Taking an A Level language course gives you the opportunity to focus on improving communication in the foreign language and developing your key skills. This is achieved through the study of interesting contemporary issues in a cultural context. French is a facilitating A Level that is highly regarded by Universities and employers. Languages are the key to the new, exciting multinational world we live in- don’t miss out!

Course content

Year 1 and 2 Topics studied
At AS there are four key themes studied which are broken down into three sub-topics as follows: Media: TV, Advertising and Communication Technologies, Popular Culture: Cinema, Music and Fashion.  Healthy Living and Lifestyle: Health and Wellbeing, Sports and Holidays.  Family and Relationships: Relationships within the family,marriage and friendships.

At A2 three key topic areas are studied: Environment: Pollution, Energy and Protecting the Planet. Multicultural society: Immigration, Integration and Racism. Contemporary Social Issues: Wealth and Poverty, Law and Order and the impact of science and technology. In addition there is a cultural element to the course in which students study the work of a director (Amelie: Jean-Pierre Jeunet) and a French speaking region. 

Both courses give students the opportunity to build on the key skills they have begun to develop at GCSE with a strong emphasis on the ability to use the language more independently.

In both AS and A2 there are 2 units, the first testing reading, listening and writing skills, and the second testing the speaking element of the subject.

Entry requirements

Students are required to achieve a grade B at GCSE to be able to study languages at A level.


Unit 1: 70% of A S / 35% of the overall A2 mark
A 2 hour paper which tests Listening, Reading and writing skills
Listening: Students have individual control of materials. Questions involve English comprehension, short answers in French, multiple choice and True/False questions
Reading and writing: Similar question styles to listening, but also vocabulary linked exercises and grammar questions
Writing section: Answer 1 question from a choice of 3 titles linked to 3 of the 4 themes. Essay question responses need to be a minimum of 200 words.

Unit 2 Speaking: 30% of A S  / 15% of A2
A 15 minute exam broken down into 3 parts with 20 minutes preparation time before the exam.
Discussion of a stimulus card, conversation on a chosen theme from the course and then general conversation on the remaining themes.

Unit 3: 35% of the overall A2 mark
A two and a half hour paper which tests Listening, Reading and writing skills
Questions are of a similar style to AS however grammar exercises are replaced by translation from French to English and from English into French.
Writing section: Answer 1 question from a choice of 2 titles per theme linked to the culture aspect of the course. Response to the essay question 250 words minimum.

Unit 4: 15% of A2 Speaking
15 minutes (with 20 minutes preparation time prior to the exam)
The first part of the exam sees students choosing a topic stimulus card to debate a key theme and the remaining ten minutes are general conversation based on the 2 different cultural themes.

Future opportunities

Skilled linguists continue to be in demand in a nation where learning a language is still not always seen as a priority. There are a wide variety of courses that you can study at university which either major in the language of your choice, are a joint degree, or allow you to do a language as a minor. Knowledge of a language is useful in a vast range of careers and the skills acquired through language learning are invaluable.

Further information

In addition to set tasks, students will be required to complete regular independent study throughout the course to boost vocabulary and key skills required for the subject.  This could include independent reading and listening practice and certainly regular learning of vocabulary and grammar practice.

Outside of the Classroom
In Year 12 students have the opportunity to participate in the County Mini Assistants scheme which involves them completing work experience in a primary school in Brittany whilst staying with a French family.  Most students choose to participate and thoroughly enjoy the experience and are pleased with the impact that it has on their speaking skills in particular.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newquay Tretherras School directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information


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