French A Level at Birchwood High School
Most students will normally be required to have achieved at least the equivalent of GCSE Grade B in French before taking this course. Students will need to feel confident at this level in the four language skills of Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Students must also have some knowledge and understanding of the culture and way of life of the target-language country. Students need to be interested in developing this understanding and in exploring in much more depth the topic areas that students will have covered at GCSE.
What will the student learn on this A Level course?
The course will help students to develop their general study skills, but most of all students will learn to communicate at a higher level in the language. Students will also learn much more about a wide range of aspects of the society or societies in which French is spoken. Students will develop their ability to work independently, to research effectively, be able to approach issues from multiple perspectives and become sensitive to different cultural contexts. Students will also study two authentic works; one film and one play or short novel.
What kind of student is this course suitable for?
If students are interested in languages and communication and enjoy learning about other cultures and ways of life, then the French course could be suitable for them. Similarly, if students are interested in the business world, in travel or tourism, in literature, in journalism, in history and politics, then students are also likely to find the course appropriate. There are a number of options in the course where students can choose a topic or question to suit their interests and passions. Whether students want to use language for work, for further study, training and for leisure, this course will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge.
French is an exciting and diverse subject which offers students the opportunity to follow their interests as well as developing great knowledge about France and French speaking countries. At A Level, great importance is placed on the ability to communicate and by the end of the course it is expected that linguistic skills will be highly developed. Students will have access to a wide variety of authentic French media in order to enhance their language skills and develop intercultural awareness. Students will be exposed to authentic texts: newspaper and magazine articles, brochures, blogs, websites and up to date articles, originally designed for native speakers. All materials will be firmly rooted in the culture of France and French speaking countries. Various cinema, theatre and external revision sessions are arranged from time to time as the opportunity for such cultural language activities occurs in this area. A great deal of emphasis is placed on independent learning. Consequently, students are expected to be pro-active in developing their language skills; reading around the subject and learning vocabulary is an integral part of the A Level course.
What examinations will students have to have to take to get their qualification?
This is a two year linear course; examinations will take place at the end of Year 13.
Career and Progression Opportunities
It is very popular to combine languages with non-language subjects at university. Examples include: French with Science, French or Spanish with Media Studies, Engineering with Spanish, Architecture with German, French with Politics or International Studies, French with International Business or Law; the range is infinite. Previous A Level students of MFL have combined Spanish with Maths, French with English Literature, French and Spanish with Italian. Many non-language programmes allow optional study of language modules which may be tailored to the professional requirements e.g. French for Scientists. Specialists will be able to take a year abroad to study their language of choice. Languages at A Level really do make people highly employable with such an advanced skill set.
Grade 6 in GCSE French or the ability to study French to the equivalent level.
Two year linear A Level—100% exam
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and
Paper 2: Written response to works and translation.
Paper 3: Speaking.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Birchwood High School directly.