A level French
QUALIFICATION AS / A2
EXAMINATION BOARD WJEC
COURSE DESCRIPTION More than 200 million people speak French on the five continents. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English. An ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. Knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world such as Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and North and sub-Saharan Africa. French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. France is the world’s number-one tourist destination and attracts more than 70 million visitors a year. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.
French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English, since fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French.
The course is taught with topic booklets for reading and listening, leading to class discussions in the target language. Students practice essay questions from past papers; use the internet (relevant articles studied and discussed, used for research, and for language exercises. Students also study books and films in the target language and have exam practice using past papers.
AS/A2 UNITS The first year is the AS course and covers topics such as:
Unit 1: leisure and lifestyles – looking at themes such as travel and tourism, sport, hobbies, entertainment, customs, traditions, healthy living- health and nutrition, diet and exercise; unhealthy living – drugs, aids, smoking, alcohol etc.
Unit 2: The individual and society – looking at relationships and responsibilities, gender issues, youth culture (values, peer groups, fashions and trends etc) education, vocational training and future careers.
Also at AS: students will have opportunities to visit France and experience the culture, cuisine, history and language.
During the second year, the A2 students complete the following topics:
Unit 3: environmental issues – looking at technology, pollution, global warming, transport, energy, nuclear energy, renewable energies, conservation, recycling and sustainability.
Unit 4: social and political issues – looking at the role of the media, racism, immigration, social exclusion and integration, terrorism, the world of work (employment, commerce, globalization etc.)
Also at A2: students are required to complete a guided study – The World of Cinema. This includes the study of French language films from this selection ‘La Haine,’ ‘Les Choristes’ or ‘Au Revoir les Enfants’.
ASSESSMENT at AS there will be a 15 minute oral exam including a topic-based conversation and a general conversation and a 2½ hour listening, reading and writing exam.
At A2 there will be a 20 minute oral exam including a structured discussion and an exposé and a 3 hour listening, reading and writing Exam.
Entry 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C including French, English and/or Welsh language.
PROGRESSION Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government scholarships to enrol in postgraduate courses in France in any discipline and qualify for internationally recognised French degrees.
Many apply for university places in Britain to study French with law, business, politics, an additional language. Students who have successfully studied a foreign language at A level are looked upon favourably by universities and employers. French is an analytical language that structures thoughtand develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations. These skills are essential within any work place.