A Level French (Reformed 2016)

What is French?

Through a multitude of topics, you will learn to communicate at a sophisticated level in the language. At GCSE level, the emphasis is on knowledge of vocabulary and everyday transactions such as buying or ordering food and drink or telling your doctor about your aches and pains. In addition there are the various skills such as writing letters to pen-friends and understanding short texts and listening to brief, recorded items. At A level, the emphasis shifts to a much higher level where you are expected to offer opinions, to evaluate and to comment on key aspects of the country in which the targetlanguage is spoken. The vocabulary is accordingly at a more demanding level. French is an undoubtedly enjoyable course which enables students to explore in depth various aspects of the recent history, society, culture and, of course, language of the country.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

This qualification offers a suitable progression route from GCSE, focusing on the development of all four language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar and the mastering of linguistic features are key elements of this qualification as is the inclusion of authentic written and spoken sources, responding through writing to literature and film, and independent research. Any student who has an interest in the language, culture and society of France and other French-speaking countries and communities, would be highly suited to this subject. Through preparations for the oral examination, students find that their debating and interview skills are greatly enhanced. Linguists are highly regarded by employers for their confidence in communicating ideas and presenting themselves; it is therefore a sensible choice if you are targeting Law, Medicine, Business Administration amongst many other degree courses. A qualification in French offers a suitable progression route to further study at university level. The
study of one language at GCE can facilitate and help promote the learning of other languages – skills which are lacking in the UK’s workforce. The qualification may also add to an individual’s employability profile, particularly for UK organisations trading overseas as well as with international companies based in the UK and globally. Students can progress to a wide range of careers in areas such as journalism and media, education, science, medicine, the civil service, sales, marketing, retail, and charities.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

We will study a wide variety of social issues and trends according to themes set out in the Edexcel specification, such as education, the world of work, media, politics and cultural festivals and traditions. You will receive guidance on using a wide range of resources including the Internet, newspapers, TV programmes, tapes and books and all four language skills will overlap and complement each other with continuous reinforcement of grammar to increase confidence in accurate communication. In addition, you will be encouraged to visit France at some point during the course; trips to see French films or plays may be arranged. Students who study a language always grow in confidence and become more aware of the issues in the world around them and develop a broad understanding of current affairs. The personal enjoyment of being able to speak another language is immeasurable, as well as being able to enjoy the fruits of that cultural heritage.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8FR0

 

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation. 40% of final qualification. 2 hours.

  • Section A: Listening – A listening assessment based on a recording, featuring male and female French speakers. Students will respond to comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources.
  • Section B: Reading – A reading assessment based on a variety of text-types and genres where students will have to respond to comprehension questions.
  • Section C: Translation into English – An unseen passage to be translated from French to English.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation. 30% of final qualification. 1 hour 40 mins.

  • Section A: Translation (20 marks) – Students translate an unseen passage from English into French.
  • EITHER Section B: Written response to works (literary texts) - Students select one question from a choice of two for their chosen literary text. If a student answers a question in this section then they do not complete section C.
  • OR Section C: Written response to works (films* – likely option) – Students select one question from a choice of two for their chosen film. If a student answers a question in this section then they do not complete section B.

Paper 3: Speaking. 30% of final qualification. 21-23 minutes, including 15 minutes’ formal preparation time.
Students complete two tasks.

  • Task 1 (discussion on a Theme) – Students discuss one Theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing two different statements.
  • Task 2 Part 1, (independent research presentation) – Students present a summary of at least two of the written sources they have used for their research and give a personal response to what they have read.
  • Task 2, Part 2, (discussion on independent research) – Students answer questions on their presentation and then have a wider discussion on their research.

*The film to be studied for AS level will be taken from one of the following:
Au Revoir les Enfants, dir. Louis Malle (1987)
La Vie en Rose, dir. Olivier Dahan (2007)
Les Choristes, dir. Christophe Barratier (2004)

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Humberstone P Mot à Mot Hodder Education

Students should own a large Collins or Oxford bilingual dictionary.

Edexcel authorised text book. At the time of publishing this is as yet unavailable. As this is a new qualification and all exam boards are still finalising their draft specifications and related published materials, specific textbooks to be advised.

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

This will be a continuation of the approaches in the first year of study. Grammar will continue to be practised as well as the linguistic structures. Much of the lesson will be conducted in the target language to develop listening skills. Both oral and essay skills will be developed through regular presentations, debates and discussions. The choice of topics and texts will be made by the tutor from the broad range offered by the board. Students will be encouraged to listen to radio broadcasts, watch films and TV programmes and read magazines and newspapers in the target language. It is essential that students take an interest in the culture and society of France and French-speaking countries and communities as this underpins their study of the language as well as prepares them for the examination papers.

A Level Specification Number
Edexcel 9FR0

 

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation. 40% of final qualification. 2 hours.

  • Section A: Listening – A listening assessment based on a recording, featuring male and female French speakers. Students will respond to comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources.
  • Section B: Reading – A reading assessment based on a variety of text-types and genres where students will have to respond to comprehension questions.
  • Section C: Translation into English – An unseen passage to be translated from French to English.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation. 30% of final qualification. 2 hours 40 mins.

  • Section A: Translation – Students translate an unseen passage from English into French.
  • Section B: Written response to works (literary texts*) – Students must write an extended response on either one or two of the literary texts chosen by the tutor. Students select one question from a choice of two for each of their chosen literary text(s). If a student answers questions on two literary texts then they do not complete section C.
  • Section C: Written response to works (films**) – Students who answer only one question from a literary text in Section B must now write an extended response on one film. Students select one question from a choice of two for the chosen film.

Paper 3: Speaking. 30% of final qualification. 21-23 minutes, including 5 minutes’ formal preparation time.
Students complete two tasks.

  • Task 1 (discussion on a Theme) – Students discuss one Theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing two different statements.
  • Task 2 Part 1, (independent research presentation) – Students present a summary of at least two of the written sources they have used for their research and give a personal response to what they have read.
  • Task 2, Part 2, (discussion on independent research) – Students answer questions on their presentation and then have a wider discussion on their research.

*The literary text to be studied for A level will be taken from one of the following:
Les Mains Sales, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1948 (play)
Le Tartuffe, Molière, 1669 (play)
L’Étranger, Albert Camus, 1942 (novel)

**The film to be studied for A level will be taken from one of the following:
Entre les murs (also known as La Classe), dir. Laurent Cantet (2008)
Intouchables, dirs. Oliver Nakache, Eric Toledano (2011)
La Haine, dir. Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)
Le Dernier Métro, dir. François Truffaut (1980)

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Humberstone P Mot à Mot Hodder Education

Students should own a large Collins or Oxford bilingual dictionary.

Edexcel authorised text book. At the time of publishing this is as yet unavailable. As this is a new qualification and all exam boards are still finalising their draft specifications and related published materials, specific textbooks to be advised.