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 globalisation.
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 5/6 or above 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.
The A-level course is a 2-year linear one with examinations at the end of this period. The AS course is a stand-alone course with examinations at the end of the year.The AS exam is taken at the end of year 12, but it does not count towards the full A-level qualification. The A-level and AS specifications are co-teachable as the course content is the same for both in year 12. The specification we follow is the AQA Syllabus.
AS Level content:
Paper 1: Listening/Reading/Writing: 40% of total AS level marks. You will have control of your own individual CD for the listening element. This paper includes translation into English (minimum of 70 words)
Paper 2: Writing: 30% of total AS level marks. One question from a choice of two on a set film. 250 words approximately for the essay. Translation into MFL (minimum of 70 words)
Paper 3: Speaking: 30% of total AS level marks. Discussion of 2 stimulus cards, 12 to 14 minutes plus 15 minutes preparation time
Topic areas covered for AS level:
Social issues and trends: Family, cyber society, voluntary work. Artistic culture: music, cinema, heritage of country. Grammar. A film in the MFL from a set list will be studied at AS level in preparation for the written paper.
Paper 1: Listening/Reading/Writing: 40% of total A-level marks. You will have control of your own individual CD for the listening element. This paper includes translation into English (minimum of 100 words) and translation into MFL (minimum of 100 words)
Paper 2: Writing: 30% of total A-level marks. One question to be answered on the set text and one on the set film or two questions to be answered on the two texts studied from the set list. Approx 300 words per essay
Paper 3: Speaking: 30% of total A-level marks. Discussion of a sub-theme based on a stimulus card. Presentation and discussion of an individual research project. 21 to 23 minutes plus 5 minutes preparation time
Topic areas covered for 2-year A-level:
Social issues and trends. Political and Artistic culture. Grammar.
|Examinations and no coursework|
There is no coursework element at either AS or A-level
Paper 2: 1 hour 15 minutes
Paper 3: 12 to 14 minutes preparation time for stimulus cards
Paper 2: 2 hours
Paper 3: 21 to 23 minutes including 5 minutes preparation time for stimulus card
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.