Why study this course?
By studying A Level French you will develop and deepen your language skills and you will widen your appreciation of cultural aspects of France and other French-speaking countries. You will become a sought-after member of the international community as a direct result of your enhanced language skills, there being a national shortage of competent linguists.
French is a major language of both the EU and the UN and it is widely spoken across the world in more than 60 Francophone countries. You will have opportunities to put theory into practice and you will come into contact with native speakers of the language. There may be an opportunity for travel to France. If you are keen on language study, enjoy new social situations and you are prepared to speak, then A level French is for you.
What will I study?
Theme 1: The changes in French society.
- Changes in family structures: changes in attitude towards marriage, couples and family.
- Education: The school system and university life
- The world of work: Working life in France and attitude towards work; strikes; gender equality
Theme 2: Political and artistic culture in French-speaking countries
- Music: changes and developments, the impact of music on popular culture.
- Les médias: freedom of expression, paper and online newspapers, the impact on society and politics.
- Festivals and traditions: festivals, customs and traditions. Film – La Haine, Mathieu Kassovitz
Theme 3: Immigration and the French multicultural society.
- The positive impact of immigration on French society: the contribution of immigrants to the economy and culture.
- Facing the challenges of immigration and integration in France: community life, marginalisation, and alienation from the point of view of the immigrants.
- The far right: the rise of the far right; leaders from the Front National; public opinion
Theme 4: Occupation et the Résistance
- Occupied France: collaboration, antisemitism
- The Vichy regime: Maréchal Pétain et the National Revolution
- The Résistance: Jean Moulin, Charles de Gaulle et the women in the Résistance; the contribution of French people to the Résistance
How will I be assessed?
You will sit three papers at the end of Year 13, but you will have plenty of practice tests and mocks:
Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation (**Paper code: 9SP0/01)
- Written examination: 2 hours 40% of the qualification 80 marks
- This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all four themes.
- Assessment overview
- Students are not permitted access to a dictionary during the examination.
Paper 2: Written response to works and translation (**Paper code: 9SP0/02)
- Written examination: 2 hours and 40 minutes 30% of the qualification 120 marks
Paper 3: Speaking (**Paper code: 9SP0/03)
- Internally conducted and externally assessed
- Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time
- 30% of the qualification
- 72 marks
Where can it lead?
There are many possibilities for able, qualified linguists in number of fields. Here are some careers directly linked to languages: translator, interpreter, languages teacher, tourism and international charities.
There are also a number of fields where having a language will give an internal dimension to your work: journalism, law, politics, management, engineering, architecture, computing and finance to name a few. There are a number of degrees that combine languages with another subject (ie- law and French).
Even you decide not to pursue languages after A level, this will be an undeniable asset to your CV, and broaden your university choices and career prospects.