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Spanish A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

Spanish is a major world language and Spain is an important holiday destination and trading partner for us. Those who have a knowledge of this language are in great demand!

Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are developed by progression through a series of topics which explore aspects of presentday life, current events and important issues. Spanish culture and civilisation are studied through documentary and video material, along with a range of practical activities. Students have one additional lesson per week with our Spanish Assistant.

AS Level

Those wishing to take this course will normally have at least the equivalent of a grade C in GCSE Spanish, though, in special circumstances, students with no previous qualifications in the language will be accepted on the course. Anyone contemplating joining the course without a GCSE qualification must contact the department prior to enrolment. The expectation would be that such students, if accepted, will study GCSE alongside the AS course, in their first year.

A2 Level

This course follows on from the AS course, allowing students to progress to a full A Level qualification in the language.

Course content


  • Conversation: General and topic-based conversation.
  • Grammar: An in-depth look at how the language works.


  • Media (including Television, Advertising and Communication technology)
  • Popular Culture  (including Cinema, Music and Fashion/trends)
  • Healthy Living/Lifestyle  (including Sport/exercise ,Health and well-being and Holidays)
  • Family/Relationships (Including Relationships within the family, Friendships and Marriage/partnerships)
  • Conversation: General and topic-based conversation.
  • Grammar: An in-depth look at how the language works.


  • Environment: (including Pollution, Energy and Protecting the planet
  • Multicultural Society: (Including Immigration,  Integration and Racism)
  • Contemporary Social Issues: (including Wealth and poverty, Law and order and the Impact of scientific and technological progress) Plus two Cultural Studies Options:
  • Regional Study: Andalusia
  • Film Study: The films of  Icíar Bollaín,
How it is taught

The course is delivered in 5 hours a week. The language is taught through a wide range of activities which include:

  • Speaking Spanish in class or conversation group
  • Grammar exercises
  • Translation work
  • Reading comprehensions
  • Listening exercises
  • Vocabulary-building activities
  • Background reading
  • Watching videos/films/satellite TV
  • Reading a short story or play
  • Using the library and internet to do research
  • Independent listening programme

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific


The normal minimum entry requirement is a C grade in Spanish at GCSE (or equivalent). However, a formal entry qualification is not always required:

  • Those who have spent time living in Spain will be considered for direct entry to the course
  • Those who have not had the opportunity to study Spanish at school but who are confident that they want to study the language to AS or A2 may be accepted, but would be required to study GCSE alongside the AS Level


The normal entry qualification is AS Spanish.



AS Level is achieved on the successful completion of units SPAN1 and SPA2/V, set by the AQA examination board. The examinations are held in May/June.

SPAN 1 (Listening, Reading and Writing) 2 hours 70%

You have 2 hours to complete all 3 sections of the examination.

Listening: Using individual computers you listen to approximately 5 minutes of material and complete a number of tasks, which include questions and answers in English and Spanish and no verbal responses.

Reading: 3-4 items requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses and a cloze test, testing grammar

Writing: 1 essay (from a choice of 3) of a minimum of 200 words in Spanish, based on the topics studied.

SPA2/V 1 (Oral) 15 minutes (plus 20 mins preparation time) 30%

a) Discussion of one AS of the topics, based on stimulus material prepared in the 20 minutes immediately prior to the examination. (5 mins)

b) A conversation covering the other 3 AS topics  (The first chosen by you and the other 2 by the examiner) .  (10 mins).


A2 is gained by adding units SPAN 3  and SPA4V/4, set by the AQA examination board. The examinations are in May/June.

SPAN 3 (Listening, Reading and Writing) 2 ½  hours 35 % of A Level

You have 2 ½  hours to complete all 3 sections of the examination.


Using individual computers, you listen to about 6 minutes of material in Spanish  and complete 3-5 tasks requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses.


2-4 items requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses

Translation from Spanish to English

Translation Transfer of meaning (prose) from English to Spanish


One essayfrom a choice of 4 on the region or director. You must write a minimum of 250 words.

SPA4/V (Oral) 15 minutes 15% of A Level

The examination is in 2 parts:

A discussion

A discussion based on a short written stimulus linked to one of the A2 topics and studied during a preparation period of 20 minutes.

You choose one of the two points of view expressed on your chosen card and

a) Present the point of view you have chosen (max 1 minute)

b) Defend / justify your point of view, as the examiner ‘argues’ the opposing view .

A conversation

A conversation covering both Cultural Topics you have studied.

(Approximately 5 minutes on each)                

Future opportunities

A number of our students have progressed through our courses to from Beginners’ Level to A Level and beyond. Some have found work in Spain or have participated in voluntary projects in Spanish-speaking countries. Others are putting their Spanish to good use in this country in business or education.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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