A Level Russian
What is it about at sixth-form level?
Learning a modern language for GCSE is a matter of taking your first steps. You learn rudimentary grammar and vocabulary that enable you to get by but real conversations are still beyond your reach. It is at the sixth-form level that you will deepen your grammatical competence and broaden your vocabulary so that you can converse about and debate real-world issues, and immerse yourself into the culture, literature and arts of the country. Even though we live in an age where it seems English is spoken everywhere and where Google Translate will help you where it is not, there is nothing like the experience and satisfaction of being able to step inside a different way of speaking and seeing the world.
The Russian A level will introduce you to real Russian in real situations. You will look at the media, literature and film to acquaint you with and develop your knowledge of Russia, her language and culture from past to present.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
Knowledge of a foreign language is ever more valuable in an increasingly connected world. Many employers look for knowledge of at least one other language across a wide range of jobs. Understanding a language is a first step to understanding a people and a culture. Another language enables you to enjoy everything from a casual conversation to a classic novel as it was meant to be read. It also provides a means by which to reflect upon your own culture and gain a deeper understanding of your mother tongue. An A level is typically a prerequisite for studying the language at university.
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You should ideally have a 7 grade or higher at GCSE. If it is your mother tongue or a second language, you will need to be able to speak and write it proficiently. You will also need an interest in other cultures and a logical mind to cope with the grammar.
How is the course assessed?
There are three exams at A level, all testing your competency on the topics learned. Paper 1 (Listening Reading and Translation ) tests your comprehension, your ability to respond to a variety of texts and to translate an unseen passage into English in a 2-hour exam worth 40% of the A level. Paper 2 (Written response and translation) examines you in Russian on ‘The Queen of Spades’ and a second text (or film ) that you will have studied, as well as translate an unseen passage into Russian, in a 2 hour 40 minute exam worth 30% of the A level. Paper 3 (Speaking) is an oral exam consisting of a thematic discussion, plus a presentation and further discussion on independent research, in a 21-23 minutes exam worth 30% of the A level.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
A Comprehensive Russian Grammar
By T. L. B. Wade
Published by Blackwell, ISBN 978-1405136396
Ruslan Russian 3
By J. Langran
Published by Ruslan Ltd, ISBN 978-1899785407
Compact Oxford Russian Dictionary
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0199576173
Details of the text(s) to be purchased will be specified at the beginning of the lower sixth.
Exam Board and Specification Codes
A level: Pearson-Edexcel 9RU0
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