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.
The A-level courses are best suited to students achieving level 6/7 or above in 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 is demanding, but it 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 (Year 12) course is a one-year stand-alone course with examinations at the end of the year.
Topic areas covered for AS: social issues and trends, artistic culture, grammar and a film is studied from a setlist. Topic areas covered for A-level: social issues and trends, political and artistic culture, grammar.
AS Level (Year 12)
Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing – 1 hour 45 mins. This paper includes translation into English (minimum of 70 words).
Paper 2: Writing – 1 hour 30 mins. One question from a choice of two on the set film studied during the AS (Year 12) course. 250 words approximately for the essay. Translation into MFL (minimum 70 words).
Paper 3: Speaking – 14 mins plus 15 mins preparation. Discussion of 2 stimulus cards.
A-level (Year 12 and 13)
Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing – 2 hours 30 mins. This paper includes translation into English (minimum of 100 words) and translation into MFL (minimum 100 words).
Paper 2: Writing – 2 hours. 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. Approximately 300 words per essay.
Paper 3: Speaking – approx. 23 mins including 5 mins preparation Discussion of a sub-theme based on a stimulus card. Presentation and discussion of an Individual Research Project.
Where Does it Lead?
There are many job opportunities linked to a degree in a MFL such as teacher, interpreter, translator, journalist, diplomat, international aid worker, publisher, international marketing executive, banking or tour manager. As already mentioned, employers look favourably upon linguists as their skillset shows great flexibility.