What is AS/A Level French?
If you are interested in the way of life of French speakers, if you enjoy speaking French and want to be able to express yourself in sophisticated, accurate French, if you are fascinated by French and its differences from English, then more advanced language study is for you. Through listening, reading, speaking and writing the language you will gain awareness and understanding of the cultural and social background of the countries where French is spoken.
Is French suitable for me?
Our students appreciate working with up-to-date and relevant materials and enjoy the variety of activities presented. Although the transition from GCSE to AS, especially increased emphasis on accuracy and a wide vocabulary, does present a challenge, students feel well supported and have a sense of progress. They enjoy the many opportunities to speak the language.
How will I learn?
In lessons you will use French constantly to understand and to communicate your own reactions and views. You will learn about people and society in French speaking countries from a variety of French language sources, fact and fiction, using print, audio and video media. You will often work in pairs and small groups and can work at your own pace using audio, video, text and internet based resources in the multimedia language laboratory and via the College’s Moodle (Virtual Learning Environment).
In the first few weeks we help you make the transition from GCSE to more advanced work, starting with short texts and audio extracts for discussion and short pieces of writing. You will develop your personal study skills and start individual reading and listening programmes. To enable you to feel more confident about the language you can use there will be a strong focus on grammar understanding and grammar practice.
Constant practice and use of the language are the key to progress, so besides set tasks for homework you will be expected to spend time on guided independent study, including reading, listening, watching news reports and other video materials, whether paper-based or online.
How will I be assessed?
In each year there are 2 Units, one testing Listening, Reading and Extended Writing Skills, the other an individual oral examination.
In Year 2 Reading and Writing includes translation skills and formal essay writing.
Language study contributes to a broad general education and gives you invaluable practical and transferable skills for the future. You may choose to specialise in French at university or combine French with other subjects such as Engineering or History. In most careers nowadays language abilities are highly valued and most modern Higher Education courses encourage an element of language study as an extra module or additional skill. Recent A Level linguists have gone on to take, among others, Business Studies, European Studies, International or European Law.
Vicky, always an enthusiastic linguist, gained top grade at A Level in French, German and English Literature and went on to study Modern Languages at Oxford University. Tom, a highly successful mathematician, took a year studying Maths at a French university during his degree course.
Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades.
You should have at least grade B in French .
All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer discs and calculators (where appropriate).
Essential: Over two years, up to £45 for textbooks. £20 for other materials, e.g. on-line login
Desirable: good quality French/English dictionary to use at home (£15-£30)
Optional: Trips e.g. plays, conference days (£15-20 per trip); possible overseas visits £400-500
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.