What is AS/A Level Spanish?
If you are interested in the way of life of Spanish speakers; if you enjoy speaking Spanish and want to be able to express yourself in sophisticated, accurate Spanish, if you are fascinated by Spanish 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 Spanish is spoken.
Is Spanish suitable for me?
Students tell us they find AS Spanish really interesting because you can learn about the culture. On the other hand, having to do independent work has proved a challenge and there is a lot of vocabulary to learn. Furthermore, grammar becomes more important than at GCSE but constant reinforcement of the grammar has improved their accuracy and they enjoy feeling more confident and competent in oral skills. They also like the use of the language laboratory to work at their own pace.
How will I learn?
In lessons you will use Spanish constantly to understand and to communicate your own reactions and views. You will learn about people and society in Spanish-speaking countries from a variety of Spanish 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 Spanish at university or combine Spanish 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.
Suzzie successfully completed her Spanish A Level and is now at the University of Edinburgh where she is combining Spanish with Art History.
Richard is now studying Spanish and Greek at Cambridge University having obtained high grades in his A Level examinations.
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.
All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer discs and calculators (where appropriate). Any further costs are outlined below:
Essential: over 2 years up to £45 for textbooks. £20 for other materials e.g. on-line login
Desirable: good quality Spanish-English dictionary (£15-£30) to use at home
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.