If you have enjoyed studying French/German/Spanish at GCSE, then why not continue to develop your linguistic skills at A-level. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a life- long skill for education, employment and leisure purposes. It helps to discover new cultures and gain a broader view of the world as a whole as well as being an integral part of globalization.
In today’s business market employers look favourably upon prospective employees who can offer a foreign language. Many universities are now starting to ask for a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE level or above as part of their entrance requirements, even if you are not planning to study languages. They feel that proof of a language shows great aptitude and flexibility.
This MFL A-level course is best suited to students achieving at least a grade B in either French, German or Spanish at GCSE. In addition, students need to enjoy communicating in the target language as well as reading, writing and sharing ideas. The course will enable students to build on their GCSE speaking, reading, listening and writing skills and broaden their linguistic skills. For progressing to A2, you need to have completed units 1 and 2 of the AS course and have achieved a good grade.
The specification we follow is the AQA Syllabus. It consists of 4 units – unit 1 and 2 for AS and units 3 and 4 for A2. All 4 units are required for the completed MFL A-level.
AS Level (one year):
Unit 1: Listening/Reading/Writing 35% of the total A-level marks. You will have control of your own individual CD for the listening element.
Speaking 15% of the total A-level marks. There are two sections in this exam, the first is a discussion of a prepared stimulus card and the second is discussion of a nominated topic plus questions on the remaining AS topics. Topic areas covered include: Media (TV, advertising, internet, mobile phones) Popular Culture (cinema, music, fashion), Healthy Living/Lifestyle, Family/Relationships
A2 Level (one year after completion of AS):
Listening/Reading /Writing 35% of the total A-level marks. You will have control of your own individual CD for the listening element.
Speaking 15% of the total A-level marks. There are two sections in this exam, the first involves the discussion of a topic card where the candidate is expected to offer a differing view and defend their own ideas, and the second part involves the discussion of the cultural, historical or literary topics studied at A2. Topic areas covered include: The Environment, Multicultural Society (immigration, integration, and racism), Contemporary and Social Issues (wealth and poverty, science and technology) and 2 cultural topics chosen from: History, Literature, Fine Arts or the study of a region.
|Examinations and no coursework|
|There is no coursework element at either AS or A2
AS (one year):
Unit 1: Examination in June – 2 hours Unit 2: 15 minute oral examination with 20 minutes preparation time
A2 (two years):
Unit 3: Examination in June – 2 ½ hours Unit 4: 15 minute oral examination with 20 minutes preparation time
Where does it lead?
Students who wish to study languages at university have a wide variety of options such as BA Honours, Joint Language Honours or the possibility of combining MFL with either Art studies, Business, Marketing, Law, International Politics, Technology, Philosophy, Linguistics or Media.
Students have also combined a MFL with Chemical Engineering or Biochemistry. Some universities offer the opportunity to study at an Erasmus partner university. Most MFL language degrees offer a work placement or English Language Assistant post in a school in the MFL country. Careers linked to Modern Foreign Languages have included Translating and Interpreting, Teaching, Tourism, Civil Service, Marketing, Journalism, Industry and Finance and Banking to name but a few.
It is vital to buy a good sized dictionary (not a pocket sized) e.g. Collins Robert for French. Also a good grammar revision book is needed e.g. Mille et un points. Students are also advised to read newspapers and magazines in the language that they study such as Landeskunde Deutschland and Bravo in German, Phosphore and Le Journal des enfants in French and El Pais in Spanish.
Many resources can be found on-line and these include songs, interviews and vocab practice.