Why should I study French?
Studying French increases your understanding of the language and your ability to write and speak with greater accuracy and confidence in a range of situations. It develops your understanding of how languages, including English, work and improves your attention to detail. It also offers you the chance to find out more about French culture and society and develops your capacity to see the world through other people’s eyes and understand their point of view.
Languages are regarded as some of the most academic subjects so universities and employers value them. Many students go on to study French or another language as part of their degree, often in combination with another subject such as History, Law or Business; languages go well with every other subject. Fluency in French can allow you to work or study in France or other French speaking countries, during your studies or later in life.
What will I study ?
In Year 12 and Year 13, students will study topics from a range of political, social and cultural themes, for example schooling in the French speaking world, French TV, the French Revolution or New Wave cinema.
In Year 12 students will study a French film and in Year 13 at least one novel or play. There will also be a study topic of individual choice in Year 13 to prepare for the oral examination. Throughout this time students will develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through comprehension, speaking practice (including small group sessions), grammatical exercises and translation from English into French and French into English.
What are the entry requirements?
Level 6 English Language and B in French with a minimum average GCSE point score of 4.9 (or 7 in French).
What skills do I need?
- Well developed listening and speaking skills and a willingness to contribute to discussion.
- An ability to understand and apply grammatical concepts.
- An ability to analyse and express opinions coherently.
- An interest in France and Francophone countries and French speaking culture and society.
- An awareness of correct English usage and a wide English vocabulary.
How will I be taught?
Lessons will involve listening, speaking, reading and writing and will take place in our language laboratory which will also be available for individual study. We use pair work, group work, computer based listening, reading and grammar work as well as regular short tests and small group speaking sessions.
How will I be assessed?
There will be terminal examinations in all skills, including an oral exam, at the end of each year. This is likely to include an individual research project in Year 13, which you discuss in the oral exam.
What will the course prepare me for?
You could combine French at university with Business Studies, Law or Economics, for example, or study one or two new languages with French to degree level. Teaching, the world of commerce and the civil service are professions which French students have entered. You will acquire greater confidence in the language and A-Level of fluency which will be useful in your career and for future leisure opportunities.
How much private study should I expect to do?
You should expect to study for at least four hours a week, and attend a private study session and a speaking session every week.
What materials will I need to purchase?
You are encouraged to provide your own bi-lingual dictionary and will need to borrow a copy of the book or play you study.
What is the exam board?
This subject is for you if…
you like speaking French, are interested in how French language and culture work and are willing to learn new material regularly.
This subject is not for you if…
you are not willing to try to speak, don’t like independent learning or struggle to remember material accurately.
“French requires hard work, motivation and lots of determination. French is the lesson where I leave the classroom feeling as though I’ve achieved something every lesson. If there’s one thing you gain from taking A-Level French, it’s confidence, and confidence is the key to success”
Alix Gelder, Shafton ALC
“I feel that both my confidence and ability have improved significantly. I am able to speak more rapidly with clarity, and can understand spoken French much more easily. I would encourage any students who are interested in a language to give it a go.” Jack Thompson, Kettlethorpe High School