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French

Would you like to improve your French skills to a near-fluency level? Would you like to improve your confidence in speaking in public? 

 Would you like to boost your annual salary by £48,000?

The Economist, March 2014

Then French A-level is for you!

Your listening, reading and writing skills will be developed by reading articles and online magazines and accessing videos on the topics of current trends of French-speaking society (family, education and work) and artistic culture (music, media and festivals) as well as the in-depth study of one novel, No et Moi (2007) and one film, Intouchables (2012). Your speaking skills will be developed to almost fluency level by group discussions, debates, as well as one-to-one weekly conversations with native speakers in the department. We regularly run cross-curricular trips to France in conjunction with the Food and Nutrition department, and these have been highly regarded by participants as a way of enhancing their studies in an enjoyable way.

In today’s world, the need for language speakers remains as high as ever. Recently, Russell Group universities have indicated a strong interest in pupils with a language at A-level for theirmedicine course. Law and journalism also remain popular combinations with an A-level in French.

German

German is spoken by around 100 million people worldwide and is, as such, the most widely used language in the European Union.

It is spoken natively by people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and there are fairly large German-speaking communities in parts of the USA and Australia. Given the amount of trade that British companies do with their German-speaking counterparts, employees who have a good knowledge of German are highly sought after – this will be even more true in post-Brexit Britain.

Studying German at A-Level offers you the chance to develop a wide range of transferable skills.

By the end of the course, you will be able to communicate confidently in spoken German, as well as having gained a deeper understanding of cultural topics. As an A-level, it is extremely well regarded by higher education institutions and employers. The topics we study at AS are: the environment, education, work, music, media and festivals, as well as the in-depth study of the film Goodbye Lenin, which is set in post-soviet Germany. At A2, we will also tackle literature and a wider range of topics, following the Edexcel exam board.

All aspects of grammar will be taught through authentic, topic-based materials, enabling pupils to produce accurate and complex pieces of writing.

Spanish

Spanish is a wonderful language with a rich cultural heritage. It has roughly the same number of first language speakers as English and is continually growing. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 530 million Spanish speakers in the world, 38 million of whom will be living in the USA.

The AS and A-level courses aim to develop in greater depth the four communication skills studied at GCSE (listening, speaking, reading and writing) by studying topical issues through the medium of Spanish.

Topic areas studied at AS are: family, work, tourism, music, festivals and media, as well as the film El laberinto del fauno.

All pupils will be encouraged to participate in the week long language and culture course in Salamanca during the Easter holiday.

In addition to the language-based professions such as teaching, interpreting and translating, there are many other disciplines in which knowledge of Spanish is secondary to other skills, but is an added bonus to employers: travel and tourism, sales, purchasing, marketing, banking, journalism, medicine, engineering… the list is endless. In fact, many university courses (including Medicine) welcome a languages qualification at A-level.