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Modern Languages

Why study languages?

It is becoming increasingly important to be able to communicate in more than one language. Learning a Foreign Language creates opportunities to gain a greater understanding of other cultures and to broaden horizons. Your studies will be both academically challenging and an important first step into the international world of work. Fortismere offers A-Level courses in French and Spanish, and the Cambridge Pre-U qualification in Mandarin. Qualifications in Modern Languages are highly valued by University Admissions Offices.

Students will need to be aware that A-Levels are advanced courses and that there is a considerable gap between Advanced level and GCSE. Students will need to be prepared to work hard and to commit themselves fully to the course, which will entail some tutorial work during either study periods, during the lunch hour or after school. Students must be prepared to try to speak their chosen language spontaneously during lessons, as teaching is done primarily in the foreign language.

How will I study?

In addition to gaining a thorough knowledge of grammatical structures and concepts, students will be taught to communicate in the target language in a wide range of situations through a variety of teaching and learning styles. The department subscribes to many online resources and students will find these an invaluable research tool.

Students have 11 lessons per fortnight, taught by two very experienced subject specialists.  Extra native speaker support is provided weekly in the run up to exams. Our class sizes range typically from 6 students to 18, which allows us to give a lot of personalised support. Our exam results are consistently excellent with many of our students going on to study languages at top universities.

Trips

The courses incorporate a wide range of enrichment opportunities such as cinema trips, workshops and residential trips abroad. In recent years we have taken pupils on very successful trips to Marseille, Paris, Granada and Xi’an, and we are planning more trips for the future.

What will I study?

For French and Spanish we follow the AQA specifications (information on Mandarin below), and over the 2 year programme we will study four aspects of French or Spanish culture:

French:

Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

Spanish:

Aspects of Hispanic society

Artistic culture in the Hispanic world

Multiculturalism in Hispanic society

Aspects of political life in Hispanic society

On top of the programme above we will also be reading a novel. This year we have studied L’étranger in French and La casa de Bernada Alba in Spanish. We also study a film and this year we have chosen Les 400 coups in French and Volver in Spanish.

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing

What's assessed:

Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

Or

Aspects of Hispanic society

Artistic culture in the Hispanic world

Multiculturalism in Hispanic society

Aspects of political life in Hispanic society

 And Grammar

How it's assessed

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

100 marks

50% of A-level

Questions

 Listening and responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources covering different registers and adapted as necessary. Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail. Studio recordings will be used and students will have individual control of the recording.

All questions are in French/Spanish, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French/Spanish (30 marks)-Reading and responding to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary. Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail.

All questions are in French/Spanish, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French/Spanish (50 marks)

-Translation into French/Spanish; a passage of minimum 100 words (10 marks).

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Paper 2: Writing

What's assessed:

One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the specification

Grammar

How it's assessed

Written exam: 2 hours

80 marks in total

20% of A-level

Questions

Either one question in French/Spanish on a set text from a choice of two questions and one question in French/Spanish on a set film from a choice of two questions or two questions in French/Spanish on set texts from a choice of two questions on each text.