French A level at Esher College
This course aims to give you a thorough understanding of the French language, developing skills in reading and listening comprehension, translation, essay-writing, oral skills and grammar. It also aims to foster an appreciation of Francophone culture.
In the first year the topics studied are: the changing nature of families, education, the workplace, music and media, festivals and traditions. We will also be studying a French-language film. The course will be taught via a range of media, including online materials, current affairs reports, and TV/film clips. Learning of grammar and vocabulary will be integral to the course. Weekly conversation sessions with our native speaker language assistant are mandatory to prepare you for the oral examination.
The second year builds on and expands skills covered in the first year, extending the topics to cover integration and multi-culturalism, and the Resistance movement in occupied France. We will also be studying a literary text. You will be further developing your translation and comprehension skills and keeping up to date with French current affairs. As with the first year, weekly conversation sessions with our native speaker language assistant are mandatory to prepare you for the oral examination.
The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English). We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.
Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, you will also need to achieve at least a B grade at GCSE in French, including the Higher Writing Paper, and at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
If you do not have a grade 4 in either GCSE English Language or Maths and you qualify to follow a study programme at the College, you will be required to retake one or both of these subjects in your first year. A lack of GCSE English Language at grade 4 will significantly restrict study programme options.
Assessment is by written examination (70%), covering listening, reading and writing, and an oral examination (30%).
It is well documented that language graduates have one of the highest employment rates and that employers value the transferable skills which study of a language provides. Language graduates are often employed in international banks, journalism, law, marketing, tourism, industry and a variety of other professions. Being proficient in a language gives you broader career options. According to the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s education system is failing to produce enough people with foreign-language skills to meet a growing need from business. Some 41% of businesses said knowledge of a foreign language was beneficial, with French identified as one of the most useful languages.
Please note that this subject is in the process of being reformed. The current information reflects what is known about the new course and further details will be available on the website when the specification (syllabus) has been finalised and published.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Esher College directly.