Students studying for an A Level qualification will be tested on all subject content in terminal examinations at the end of Year 13.
Language-learning in Key Stage 5 moves from the purely personal (my school, my family etc.) into the study of more abstract topics, which demand an extensive range of topic-specific vocabulary and a broader range of ideas. There is a clear focus on aspects of life in French-speaking society. Knowledge of grammar is consolidated and extended to allow for effective delivery of ideas in writing and orally. There are two written papers at the end of the course, one of which tests listening and reading skills and ability to translate into and out of French and the other focuses on essay writing. Speaking is tested through an interview in French.
Year 12 subject content is as follows:
- Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends (e.g. the changing nature of the family, the cyber-society)
- Artistic culture in the French-speaking world (e.g. cinema, contemporary francophone music)
- One literary text or film chosen from a prescribed list
In addition to the content above, students study the following in Year 13:
- Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues (e.g. life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated)
- Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world (e.g. teenagers, the right to vote, political engagement)
- Grammar (extended)
- A second literary text or a film (if a film is not studied during Year 12)
It is expected that students will have achieved at least a grade 6 in French at GCSE.
Progression Routes and Careers
Modern Languages are a real asset on your CV as they are one of the facilitating subjects at Advanced level for entry to the Russell Group Universities. They can be combined with a very wide range of different subjects for university level study, from science-based subjects to engineering and from law to drama. Knowledge of a modern language is a sought-after skill in employment, where your language skills can make a difference of between 10-15% to your salary.
“Companies particularly value an employee’s ability to communicate conversationally with potential business partners, customers or clients in their own language: this can help break the ice, deepen cultural understanding and open access to new markets.”
CBI/EDI Education and Skills Survey
French is the official language of the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, and the Olympics. French has long been a key language for diplomacy. Both the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office report that French is an important language for their work. French is important for NATO as well as for the British Army working with coalition partners in Africa in partnership with forces not only from France but also from Francophone African countries where French is the common language (e.g. Chad, Mali). French is a key language for both inward and outward tourism since France is the second most popular destination for people from the UK travelling abroad and the UK’s biggest market for incoming tourists. (Languages for the Future – British Council 2017)
“Language competence is far more than just one tool in the box. It’s necessary for a wide spectrum of other vital capabilities and attributes” Ann Carlisle, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Linguists.