Sixth-form a-level-languages-2

A Level



Pearson AQA Advanced Subsidiary GCE & Pearson AQA Advanced GCE.

Please note these details are based on a draft specification and may be subject to change.

We currently offer A Level courses in French, German and Spanish, with the AQA examination board. Recent years have seen these languages increasing in popularity at A Level in conjunction with students’ increasing awareness of the need for a higher Level language qualification in the modern world of work. We also offer the opportunity for native speakers of other languages to take AS and A Level examinations in their own language outside of timetabled classes but with teacher support where necessary.

GCSEs required

At least a grade 6 in the relevant language.

What will I be studying?

The advanced Level course aims to encourage students to: 

  • Develop and interest and enthusiasm for language learning
  • Develop understanding of the language in a variety of contexts and genres and to communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in the language for a range of purposes
  • Develop knowledge about matters central to the society and culture, past and present, of the country or countries where the language is spoken
  • Engage critically with intellectually stimulating texts, films and other materials in the original language

This Qualification is intended to lead students to:

  • Derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning.
  • Acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and or employment.
  • Communicate with speakers of the language and to take their place in a multilingual society.

What could this course lead to?

AS Level (after one year of study).

What will I be studying?

The core content comprises of:

  • Social Issues and Trends (eg how criminals are treated?/ the changing nature of the family).
  • Political & artistic culture (eg Immigration / Should teenagers have the right to vote?).
  • Grammar.

Are there any trips or extracurricular activities linked to this course?

Students are encouraged to take part in an arranged home stay in the country where their language is spoken. There are several pre-existing trips and proposed trips to Spain, France and Germany.

What benefits does this subject have for university entrance?

It is well established that universities, the Russell Group in particular, like candidates who have studied a language to a higher Level, even if their chosen field of university study is not Modern Languages.

Study of languages gives proof of higher order thinking skills. If you wish to attend a European university, then the study of a foreign language will be of obvious benefit. It is also of great benefit for applications to future employers as many major companies now operate in several different countries and like their personnel to be equipped with more than just their native language.

What skills or learning approach do I need for this subject?

You need to be methodical and well organised. ‘Little and often’ is the maxim for effective language learning, as you will need to practise your written and oral skills on a frequent basis. We offer one-to-one weekly sessions with our native speaker language assistants for all A Level candidates.

Will I have to do coursework?


How is it examined?

The A Level exam is based on three tests:

  • Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing (including translation into English and into the target language (2hrs 30 mins. 50%).
  • Paper 2: Writing (2hrs 30%) Written response about a film and a literary text – grammar and translation.
  • Paper 3: Speaking (21-23 mins- including 5 mins prep time- 30%).
  • Section A: Discussion based on a stimulus card.
  • Section B: Presentation and discussion on student’s Independent Research project.


Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset

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