Spanish A Level
A Level Exam Board: AQA
Candidates for A Level Spanish need at least a 7 at GCSE.
Spanish is a global language and it is growing fast. Of course we know that it is spoken by the 40 million people who live in Spain. You were probably aware that most Central and South American countries are also Spanish speaking. You may not have been aware that there are around 38 million Spanish speakers in the United States – a figure that is growing – and that many parts of America have Spanish as a first language. Being able to speak Spanish opens up a wealth of opportunities in this globalised economy in which we now live. Employers in sectors such as Banking, Accountancy, the Armed Forces, Law, Insurance, Publishing and the Civil Service are always looking for people with language skills. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly common to find that a second language is a pre-requisite for a job.
Structure of course:
Starting with principles familiar to a good GCSE candidate, the A Level course in Spanish aims to:
- Develop knowledge of the language to the point where the pupil can understand and communicate in the written and spoken language for a variety of purposes in the worlds of work and leisure;
- Foster an awareness and understanding of the background (cultural, social, commercial, historical, geographical and political) of countries in which Spanish is spoken;
- Offer the enjoyment, intellectual stimulation and challenge appropriate to an advanced course at this level;
- Enable students to pursue further learning of the language and/or to undertake the acquisition of other foreign languages;
- Complement their other studies through the pursuit of selected areas of interest in greater depth and the development of a personal and independent response to them.
You therefore need to enjoy the subject already and have a real desire to study it to a higher level.
What will the lessons be like?
Students start the course on topics which are familiar to them from the GCSE course and develop quickly their ability to speak, understand and write the foreign language using material from modern textbooks and authentic sources such as newspapers, websites, magazines, radio and television programmes, films and plays.
Most students say that they cannot believe how quickly their Spanish progresses from the GCSE level language they were using. This is partly because the scope of the course is so much wider.
The syllabus over the two year course is as follows:
- Aspects of Hispanic Society. This involves the study of modern and traditional values, cyberspace and equal rights.
- Multiculturalism in Hispanic society. Here students will study the issues of immigration, racism and integration.
- Artistic culture in the Hispanic world. This is a very wide ranging topic which includes: modern day idols, Spanish regional identity, cultural heritage or cultural landscape.
- Aspects of political life: today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens, political systems throughout the Spanish speaking world and popular political movements.
We also study a Spanish film and a Spanish piece of literature – both of which have proved very popular with students in the past.
A significant part of the exam (30%) is the oral. Here students discuss themes covering the above topic areas as well as the book and film that they have studied. To help with this, students will spend 25 minutes a week speaking with our language assistant on topics linked to the exam. Our philosophy is that we aim to teach the language in such a way as to enable students to speak as fluently as their ambition allows.