The A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at French GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or further study, including a modern languages degree.
The approach is a focus on how French-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of French-speaking countries. In the second year further aspects of the social background are covered, this time focusing on issues such as life for those on the margins of French-speaking society as well as looking at the positive influences that diversity brings. Students also study aspects of the political landscape in a French-speaking country, looking at immigration from the political perspective and at the way in which political power is expressed through action such as strikes and demonstrations. Teenagers and the extent to which they are politically engaged looks towards the future of political life in French-speaking society.
We would expect students to have a minimum grade 5 in French to start the French A Level course, and we may request you undertake an entry assessment at enrolment.
Learning & Assessment
Modules / Topics
The specification has been designed to be studied over two years. The suggestions below relating to content for year one and content for year two are based on the knowledge that the course will generally be taken over two years. Schools and colleges are free to choose how and when to cover the content.
Students following this specification will develop their language knowledge, understanding and skills through:
- using language spontaneously to initiate communication; ask and answer questions; express thoughts and feelings; present viewpoints; develop arguments; persuade; and analyse and evaluate in speech and writing, including interaction with speakers of French
- applying knowledge of pronunciation, morphology and syntax, vocabulary and idiom to communicate accurately and coherently, using a range of expression – including the list of grammar in this specification
- using language-learning skills and strategies, including communication strategies such as adjusting the message, circumlocution, self-correction and repair strategies
- listening and responding to spoken passages including some extended passages from a range of different contexts and sources, adapted as necessary, covering different registers and types, including authentic communication involving one or more speakers
- reading and responding to a variety of texts including some extended texts written for different purposes and audiences drawn from a range of authentic sources, including contemporary, historical and literary, fiction and non-fiction texts, adapted as necessary
- understanding the main points, gist and detail from spoken and written material
- inferring meaning from complex spoken and written material, including factual and abstract content
- assimilating and using information from spoken and written sources, including material from online media
- summarising information from spoken and written sources, reporting key points and subject matter in speech and writing
- translating an unseen passage from French into English
- translating an unseen passage from English into French.
Trips / Visits / Enrichment
Examinations are currently used to assess the qualification, utilising 3 examination papers as follows:
Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation into English
40% of qualification. Written examination: 2 hours
Paper 2: Response to written works and translation into TL
30% of qualification Written examination: 2 hours and 40 minutes
Paper 3: Speaking
30% of qualification Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time
Internally conducted and externally assessed