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French AS / A Level

French AS takes you to the next level of learning and communication after GCSE. It pushes you to master the grammar and vocabulary to manipulate complex language orally and in writing, as well as to understand increasingly sophisticated reading and listening passages. You learn to listen, speak, explain, interpret, read, write and analyse a wide range of themes and issues. Above all, you learn to feel at home with the French language, French life and culture, and, hopefully, you begin to feel a little French yourself!

French A Level pursues the challenge even further both linguistically and intellectually. Command of language both orally and in writing is further extended. Your feeling of being 'almost French' is further intensified. You explore issues, have debates, analyse more in depth, write longer passages and write essays.

Exam Board: Eduqas

STARTS IN SEPTEMBER

  • What will I study and learn?

    AS

    You will increase your command of grammar and vocabulary and be increasingly proficient in listening, speaking, reading and writing. You will develop translation and essay writing skills.


    The AS year comprises topics on the French way of life which include:

    Leisure and lifestyles:

    • travel and tourism
    • sports, hobbies and entertainment
    • customs and traditions
    • healthy living: health and nutrition, diet and exercise
    • unhealthy living: drugs, aids, smoking, alcohol, etc

    The individual and society:

    • relationships, responsibilities and gender issues
    • youth culture: values, peer groups, fashions and trends, etc
    • education, technical training and future careers

    You will be taught using a variety of methods to include pair and group work and debates. All teaching is in French: 4 sessions with your teacher, and one session per week with a French assistant for oral work. At the end of your AS French year, you will have the opportunity to take part in a study week in Paris and/or participate in privately arranged work experience in France via a specialist educational agency.


    A Level

    The second year of A Level French further develops and strengthens your communicative skills, sharpens your accuracy and manipulation of language and increases your knowledge both of French culture and of issues which affect contemporary France and the French-speaking world.


    Environmental issues:

    • pollution, global warming
    • transport
    • nuclear and renewable energy
    • conservation, sustainability and recycling

    Social issues:

    • role of the media
    • racism, immigration, social exclusion
    • terrorism
    • world of work (employment, commerce, globalisation...)

    Cultural topic:

    • the world of French cinema
    • 'Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain' by Jean Pierre Jeunet
    • 'La Haine' by Mattieu Kassovitz

    The level of language is higher, more sophisticated and the issues more complex in the second year of the course. In addition, you will be asked to write an essay on a film in French under examination conditions.

  • How is the course assessed?

    AS

    • Oral exam – 20 minutes – 20% (40% of AS only)
    • This includes a short discussion on visual stimuli (15 minutes to prepare/ 5 minutes to perform); and a general conversation on personal interests, studies and plans/aspirations for the future.
    • Listening, reading and writing – 3 hours – 30% (60% of AS only)
    • Listening and reading exercises based on 15 themes followed by a translation exercise (French into English)

    A Level

    • Oral exam – 20 minutes – 20%
    • The first part of the oral exam is a structured discussion based on a short written stimulus (15-20 minutes preparation / 6 minutes discussion). In the second part, the candidate will give an oral presentation based on either, a book, a film or a region of France from the list of prescribed texts and topics.
    • Reading, listening, writing – 3 hours – 30%
    • This unit covers topics from both the AS and the A Level syllabus. The unit includes an essay in French on the prescribed text and topics.
  • What skills will I need for the course?

    You must enjoy French and have an interest in learning about the French language, life and culture. You must like discussing a wide range of themes and issues, listening to what others have to say, improving how you say and write things. You must also like learning in general. You should be willing to work hard and take pleasure at the thought of becoming bilingual or near bilingual.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    You will need an average GCSE points score of 5.5 including GCSE English at grade 5 and French at grade B.

    Points calculation

    The average points score for entry to an A Level programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points).

    From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).

    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    French at AS/A level would be a valuable asset to candidates for most university courses and could enhance job prospects in many areas. French may be studied in conjunction with a wide variety of other subjects - business, management and economics; humanities; the arts and science. A second language will enhance job prospects in many areas.


    In your future career having an A level in a language will make you stand out from the crowd. Prestigious and Russell group universities now require a good grade in a language at GCSE level. Languages are considered as facilitating subjects to get into top universities.


    Studying languages develops skills highly valued by employers. Speaking another language not only means that you can communicate with people from another nationality, it also means that you are more tolerant, more attentive to details and better at problem solving.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    You should budget about £60 per year for books, booklets and past examination papers and photocopying. You are encouraged to buy a good dictionary. Students will be able to participate in an externally organised work experience week in France which usually takes place on February half term.


    An optional study week in Paris is arranged for the final week of June in the AS year. It will cost approximately £400-£500. Costs may vary and will depend on location, activities undertaken and currency exchange rates. Meals and spending money are extra. There are various activities organised in London such as theatre, cinema, exhibition visits and conferences. You should budget £30 per year for these.

To Apply or Enquire

If you are interested in applying please fill out an application form. If you require more information please do not hesitate in sending us your queries via our enquiry form. We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

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