AS/A level specification | AQA
Introduction Great Britain is part of the European Community and more and more large companies need competent linguists to work, undertake some training abroad or deal with non-English speaking clients. Many large companies consider a second language to be an asset for professional development and a passport for working abroad. The advantage of speaking another language is that it will open doors for you across Europe. An A level in French would be an ideal addition to a mainly business course and would also keep options open for scientists and mathematicians. A level French will give you a deep understanding of French culture as well as a confident command of the French language. It is hoped that you will participate in an exchange visit or work abroad to give you hands on experience of using your language. Communication is at the heart of language learning. You will be expected to use private study periods to carry out much of your research and to read around topic areas widely.
Content & Breakdown
The course will build on the skills you have already learned at GCSE. You will be expected to develop your communicative skills fully through a variety of techniques. By the end of the course you will be able to discuss issues in French and express your ideas with confidence in the spoken and written word. The approach will be a thematic one and you will be required to research different aspects of French life by using authentic material from French newspapers, magazines and literary texts, as well as developing an appreciation of French cinema.
Social issues and trends.
Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends.
- The changing nature of family.
- The ‘cyber-society’.
- The place of voluntary work .
Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues.
- Positive features of a diverse society.
- Life for the marginalised.
- How criminals are treated.
Political and artistic culture.
Artistic culture in the French-speaking world.
- A culture proud of its heritage.
- Contemporary francophone music.
- Cinema: the 7th art form.
Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world.
- Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment.
- Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
- Politics and immigration.
Literary texts and films.
Either one literary text and one film or two texts.
Individual research project.
You will identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to you and which relates to a country or countries where French is spoken. You will select relevant information from a range of sources including the internet and will demonstrate your ability to initiate and conduct individual research by analysing and summarising your findings, in order to present and discuss them in the speaking assessment. You may choose a subject linked to one of the themes studied or to a literary text or film.
- Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing. 2 hours 30 minutes. 40%.
- Paper 2: Writing. 2 hours. 30%.
- Paper 3: Speaking. 6-18 minutes (plus preparation time). 30%.
French at Advanced level will enable you to apply for a wide range of degree courses and extend the potential for working or studying abroad. More and more universities are offering courses where a foreign language is part of the degree course. For example, have you considered engineering with French?