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Spanish AS/A2 Level (EDUQAS) at The North Halifax Grammar School

Course description

Spanish A level Examination Board - EDUQAS

This specification enables learners to develop and build upon knowledge, understanding and cultural appreciation by using authentic spoken and written sources through a stimulating course of study. Students can opt for either an AS level qualification at the end of Year 12 or a full A Level at the end of Year 13.

Subject Content

AS Spanish This AS specification offers learners a rich and detailed insight into the social issues and trends, political, intellectual and artistic culture of the countries and communities where Spanish is spoken. Learners are expected to access authentic written and spoken material in Spanish including from online media, in their course of their language study.

The following topics areas are studied during the first year for A Level and AS level: Social issues and trends Political, intellectual and artistic culture Travel and exploration • Advantages of travelling, working and studying abroad. • Impact of travel on society (economic, social, physical and environmental) • Local culture and festivals in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. Contemporary youth culture • Entertainment, music and the arts. • Media and digital culture. • Youth sub-cultures, trends and personal identity. The exam is made up of three components: 1. Speaking assessment. 2. Listening, reading and translation paper. 3. Critical study of a film (essay).

Assessment Information: AS Spanish Component How tested Percentage Length of exam 1 Speaking 30% of total AS 12 -15 minutes (plus additional 15 minutes preparation time) 2 Listening, Reading and Translation 50% of total AS 2 hours 30 minutes 3 Critical response in writing (closed-book) 20% of total AS 1 hour 15 minutes

A Level Spanish All students follow the syllabus as outlined above for AS Spanish. Students do not sit any exams at the end of Year 12 as the final assessment is only at the end of Year 13. Students will build on the skills acquired during Year 12. The themes studied in the second year are as follows: Social issues and trends Political, intellectual and artistic culture Diversity and difference • Migration and integration • Cultural identity and marginalization • Cultural enrichment and celebrating difference • Discrimination and diversity The two Spains: 1936 onwards • El franquismo – origins, development and consequences • Post-Civil War Spain – historical and political repercussions • The Spanish Civil War and the transition to democracy (represented in the arts, cinema, literature, art and photography) • Spain – coming to terms with the past? “Recuperación de la memoria histórica” The final exam for the A Level course is made up of three components covering two years’ work. 1. Speaking assessment. 2. Listening, reading and translation paper. 3. Critical study of BOTH a film AND a literary work (essays):

The Examination Board is EDUQAS Assessment Information Component How tested Percentage Length of exam 1 Speaking 30% of total 21-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation) 2 Listening, Reading and Translation 50% of total 2 hours 30 minutes 3 Critical and analytical response in writing (closed book) 20% of total 2 hours What qualities do you need to be successful? To succeed in the subject, a number of skills are needed. Most basic of these is the enjoyment of using words. A capable student will find genuine interest in producing complex sentences and will analyse closely the various links with English, or alternatively the areas where the languages differ. In addition to having an interest in words and expressions, the successful student will show a willingness to undertake learning of the details. The vocabulary of A Level goes beyond basic ideas, extending into politics, sociology, character study and many areas of culture and the willingness to learn, for example, the technical vocabulary associated with the environment. As an extension to this point, students do need social awareness and the ability to argue and develop ideas of everyday concern. Underlying all these abilities is attention to detail, in particular, having the precision which makes ideas and expressions clearly understandable. To what career opportunities can the subject lead? The study of a language at A. level is highly valued by employers. In its own right, it has very good academic standing and provides evidence of intellectual stamina and clear thinking. According to a recent skills survey by the CBI, 74% of employers want to employ people with skills in a foreign language and due to the fact that over 400 million people speak Spanish around the world, in over 22 different countries, it is one of the most sought after foreign languages. There is increasing demand for language skills in jobs involving all kinds of customer service. The UK has a shortage of people who can combine language skills with other specialisms. Employers often say they don't just want specialist linguists, but people with skills such as engineering, law, chemistry etc. who also can speak a foreign language. Results 2012 62% A* - A and 100% A – C in A2 Spanish. 2013 78.6% of AS students achieved grade A-B in their speaking exam. 2014 80% A*- A and 100% A* – B in A2 Spanish. 2015 63.3% A*- A and 100% A* – B in A2 Spanish.

Spanish Language Assistant

All our Spanish students have an hour’s lesson every week either individually or in small groups with a Spanish Language Assistant. This is a compulsory aspect of the course and is greatly valued by our students. Extra- curricular activities for Spanish A level Students In 2014-15, all Spanish A level students from NHGS had the opportunity to: • Participate in the Juvenes Translatores European translation competition • Attend the Leeds Loves Languages and Linguastars conferences • Coach younger students at NHGS Which courses might the subject complement? Any.

Most universities offer combined courses which means you can study two subjects, and many of these combined courses involves studying a foreign language together with another, completely different subject. Through the Erasmus scheme most UK universities now offer students of all disciplines the chance of a funded year abroad.

To get ahead in Spanish: a) Know all your verb structures and tenses. This is essential! b) Establish a system for collecting new vocabulary. You may want to divide them into different topic areas. c) Learn vocabulary regularly and thoroughly. d) Aim to incorporate what you’ve learnt into your own written and spoken Spanish. e) After each lesson, reread any article you have studied and note down any further vocabulary. You may well find on the second reading that comprehension of the article is easier. f) Find other articles in Spanish relating to the same topic on the internet and get used to reading Spanish regularly on your own. g) Choose articles that interest you. h) Don’t worry if you don’t understand every word. With certain articles you find, it may be more worthwhile reading quicker and looking for gist. i) As you read, consider the grammatical structures being used. j) Try and listen to as much spoken Spanish as you can. Try for example listening to one of the Spanish radio stations through the internet. (see link of student AS Spanish resources) k) Every week go on the web and find out about what is going on in the Spanish speaking world (e.g. media, politics, sport, people…) l) Practise reading out loud and think about pronunciation and intonation. m) Try and find somebody else with whom you can speak Spanish. n) Keep to homework deadlines; don’t let your work mount up o) Don’t be afraid to talk to your teachers if you need more help. p) If you get the opportunity to visit Spain….do it! How can you find out more?

Further information is available from Mr J. Godoy or any other member of the Modern Languages Department. Please note that this new specification starting in 2016 has not yet been accredited by Ofqual. Further changes may be required and no assurance can be given at this time that the proposed qualification will be made in its current form.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The North Halifax Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years