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A Level French

What is French A level?

It is a course that helps students develop confident, effective communication skills in French and a thorough understanding of the culture of countries and communities where French is spoken. It develops an interest in, and enthusiasm for, language learning and encourages students to consider their study of the language in a broader context. Students will develop their ability to write and speak in French with accurate grammar and syntax for a range of purposes and to understand written or spoken French in a variety of contexts and genres. They will also study a literary text and a French film.

Why study this course?

French is one of the most spoken languages in the world. It is spoken in Europe, Quebec, the Caribbean, parts of Africa, and areas of Oceania and Asia. Very few languages have this much coverage. Language students and graduates are highly sought after. Employers need staff who can communicate effectively and show attention to detail, as well as having the specialist ability to deal with overseas contacts in their native tongue. Learning French will give you an invaluable linguistic base on which to build your fluency, and once you have ‘learnt how to learn’ your first foreign language, the second one is so much easier to pick up. 

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed using the AQA specification.

AS: There are 3 exam papers:

  • Paper 1: Listening, reading & translation (Themes 1 & 2*)
  • Paper 2: Writing (critical analysis of a French movie)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (Themes 1 & 2*)

A2: There are 3 exam papers:

  • Paper 1: Listening, reading & translation (Themes 1,2,3 &4*)
  • Paper 2: Writing (critical analysis of a French movie and a French novel)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (Themes 1,2,3 & 4*)

Who is the course suitable for?

It is suitable for students who have a strong interest in French and French speaking countries, and must enjoy discussing politics, making presentations, reading, research and essay writing in the target language. They must be resilient in order to face the challenges of the more complex grammar structures, especially for translation skills.

Progression options

A-Level French combines well with most subjects, as it will give students an extra edge in all professional areas in the future.  Some students find a useful overlap with social science subjects such as Government and Politics, History, Psychology, or English.  Other students find that French complements Business or Science subjects well. A joint degree also allows students to take a year abroad as part of their studies. Those who study language degrees combined with another subject such as Law, Business, Journalism or Tourism (there are many more) find that they are valued higher than colleagues who do not have a skill in a language. Universities are responding to employers’ demands and there is enormous growth in the number and type of combined courses available to study. These students also often have an opportunity to spend a year abroad in a French speaking country.

* Themes covered in A level French:

- Theme 1: Aspects of French Speaking Society

- Theme 2: Current issues and trends in French Speaking Society (film study)

- Theme 3: Artistic culture in the French Speaking world (literature study)

- Theme 4: Aspects of political life in the French speaking world