Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Spanish)
Examination Board: AQA
Choosing an A Level language offers you an exciting range of career possibilities. The course builds upon existing GCSE knowledge and focuses on improving communication in your foreign language through different means, as well as helping you to use it practically in a variety of situations. All four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) are extended in contemporary and exciting topic areas. The department is fortunate to have native speakers and foreign assistants on the teaching staff and each student of modern languages is afforded an individual lesson with the assistant each week.
What you will study?
All four skills are extended in contemporary and exciting topic areas:
- Social issues and trends: the changing nature of family, the ‘cyber-society’, the place of voluntary work, positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated, women in the world of work.
- Political and artistic culture: a culture proud of its heritage, contemporary music, cinema: the seventh art form, teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment, demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?, politics and immigration, fashion, festivals and art.
- Literary texts and films
How is the course assessed?
Listening, reading and writing (translation):
2 hours 30 minutes (50% of A Level)
Writing (based on one text and one film, or two texts):
2 hours (20% of A Level)
Speaking (discussion based on a stimulus card and a presentation/discussion based on an individual research project):
21-23 minutes (30% of A Level)
What skills will I need and develop in this course?
An excellent communicator, you will have an interest in external topical events and an awareness in how MFL can be used in our society. A readiness to discuss and debate using the techniques that you will be taught will be essential for this course.
Subject combination advice
All combinations work well.
What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?
- Language and European studies courses at university.
- Combined language degree courses; e.g. a language with law, banking, business studies, chemistry, physics, engineering etc.
- It is possible to take modules in a language with almost any subject studied at university. Numerous career opportunities exist in the business world where, increasingly, there is demand for high-level language skills; e.g. within the insurance or legal sectors, the travel industry, publishing, translating, marketing, journalism, television and language services.
What are the formal entry requirements for this course?
A GCSE at Grade 7 or above in the relevant language is essential.
What activities enrich this subject?
You should have a lively interest in France, Germany or Spain and in topical issues (i.e. watching the news and reading the newspapers regularly) and you will be encouraged to spend some time in a French-/ German-/Spanish-speaking country. You will have the opportunity to apply for work experience abroad and attend language days at Southampton University.