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French A level at Ursuline College

Course description

A level French


Course content

AS Themes and sub-themes

Papers 1 and 3 will be based on content from the following themes. The themes address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political and artistic culture of France and French-speaking countries. Theme 1 focuses on aspects of society of France only. Theme 2 requires students to broaden their knowledge across any French-speaking country/countries and/or community/communities.

Each theme is broken into three sub-themes (highlighted in bold). These sub-themes are each exemplified further.

Theme 1: Les changements dans la société française

Theme 1 is set in the context of France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

• Les changements dans les structures familiales Les changements dans les attitudes envers le mariage, les couples et la famille.

• L’éducation Le système éducatif et les questions estudiantines.

• Le monde du travail La vie active en France et les attitudes envers le travail; le droit à la grève; l’égalité des sexes.

Theme 2: La culture politique et artistique dans les pays francophones

Theme 2 is set in the context of francophone countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

• La musique Les changements et les développements; l’impact de la musique sur la culture populaire.

• Les médias La liberté d’expression; la presse écrite et en ligne; l’impact sur la société et la politique.

• Les festivals et les traditions Les festivals, fêtes, coutumes et traditions.

A2 Themes and sub themes

The above two themes and Theme 3: L’immigration et la société multiculturelle française

Theme 3 is set in the context of France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

L’impact positif de l’immigration sur la société française Les contributions des immigrés à l’économie et à la culture.

• Répondre aux défis de l’immigration et l’intégration en France Les activités des communautés; la marginalisation et l’aliénation du point de vue des immigrés.

• L’extrême droite La montée du Front National; les leaders du Front National; l’opinion publique.

Theme 4: L’Occupation et la Résistance

Theme 4 is set in the context of France only. This theme covers political culture.

• La France occupée La collaboration; l’antisémitisme.

Le régime de Vichy Maréchal Pétain et la Révolution nationale.

• La Résistance Jean Moulin, Charles de Gaulle et les femmes de la Résistance; la résistance des français.

Entry requirements

Five GCSE 9-4 grades including English Language

A minimum grade 6 in French GCSE


Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation (40%) Content

Students will be assessed on their understanding of spoken and written French from a variety of types of authentic texts and listening material, as well as their ability to translate accurately from French into English. Texts and recordings vary in length to include some extended passages. All spoken and written materials are culturally relevant to France and French-speaking countries and are drawn from the two themes Students should be able to:

• understand main points, gist and detail from spoken and written material

• infer meaning from complex spoken and written material

• assimilate and use information from spoken and written sources, including material from online media

• summarise information from spoken sources, reporting key points and subject matter

• translate from French into English.

Listening The listening section will be made up of spoken passages covering different registers and types, including authentic communication involving one or more speakers. Sources will include material from online media.

Reading The reading section will be made up of texts containing both factual and abstract content and will be authentic or adapted from authentic sources. The texts will include contemporary, historical, literary, fiction and non-fiction, written for different purposes and audiences.

Translation into English The content of the translation will be taken from one of the two themes.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation (30%) Content

Students should be able to:

• develop a detailed understanding and appreciation of the works studied, by writing critical responses in the language of study to the works taken from the prescribed list given (see Appendix 2: Prescribed literary texts and films)

• produce responses that relate to aspects such as the form and the technique of presentation, key concepts and issues and the social context, as appropriate to the work studied

• present view points, develop arguments, persuade, and analyse and evaluate in writing

• manipulate language accurately through translating an unseen passage from English into French.

Students must study one discrete French work: either one literary text or one film. The work must be taken from the list in Appendix 2: Prescribed literary texts and films.

● The literary texts listed include a range of novels and a series of short stories.

● All of the films are feature length.

● The content of the translation will be a passage based on one of the two themes.

Paper 3: Speaking (30%) Content

Students should be able to demonstrate:

• their ability to summarise information from the written source provided

• their ability to respond in speech to the written language in the two texts provided

• their knowledge and understanding of the cultural context, demonstrated by giving examples and information on two Themes

• their ability to express view points, justify opinions and develop informed arguments relating to the cultural and social context

• their ability to interact and hold a natural discourse

• their skill in manipulating the language accurately.

Future opportunities

Knowing a second language is an asset in any job.

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

• Interpreter

• Secondary school teacher

• Translator

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

• Broadcast journalist

• Diplomatic Services operational officer

• English as a foreign language teacher

• International aid/development worker

• Logistics and distribution manager

• Marketing executive

• Patent examiner

• Sales executive

• Tour manager

Further information

Trips are often taken to France and Germany

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 07 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years