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A Level Spanish

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. Where possible we will undertake cinema, music and theatre trips/arts exhibitions and lectures in Spanish. There also exists the possibility of becoming a full member of Cambridge University’s CU Hispanic Society.

The Spanish A level will introduce you to real Spanish in real situations. You will look at the media, literature and film to acquaint you with and develop your knowledge of Spain, her language and culture from past to present.

Lower Sixth
Upper Sixth

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?

A 7 grade or higher in Spanish GCSE is desirable with a 6 as a minimum as the jump from GCSE to A level is considerable. 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?

A level

For the A level, there are three exams that cover all four general topic areas together with the film and literary text. Unit 1 (Listening, Reading and Writing) will check your comprehension of a variety of texts and extracts, with all the questions being in Spanish. You will also have two translations of 100 words each: one into Spanish and one into English. Unit 2 (Writing) consists of two 300-word essays in Spanish with questions set on the film and the text studied. Unit 3 (Speaking) will be a discussion of a theme based on a stimulus card followed by a presentation and a discussion of an individual Hispanic research project. Unit 1 lasts 2 hours 30 minutes and is worth 40% of the A level. Unit 2 lasts 2 hours and is worth 30% of the A level. Unit 3 lasts 21-23 minutes and is worth 30% of the A level.

Core Texts and Suggested Reading

To be confirmed at the start of the course

AQA A Level Year 1 Spanish Student Book
By M. Bond, I. Kendrick, F. Mejias-Yedra and F. Villatoro
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0198366904

AQA A Level Year 2: Spanish Student Book
By M. Bond, I. Kendrick, F. Mejias-Yedra and F. Villatoro
Published by OUP, ISBN 978-0198366874

AQA A Level Spanish: Grammar & Translation Workbook
By V. Everett
Published by OUP, ISBN 9780198415558

Ocho apellidos vascos: Film Study Guide for AS/A-level Spanish
By T. Weston and J.A. Garcia Sanchez
Published by Hodder Education, ISBN 978-1471891908

El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba
By Gabriel Garcia Marquez
ISBN 978-8497522352

Exam Board and Specification Codes

A level: AQA 7692

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Grades achieved at MPW: A*AA Progressed to: Exeter University (International Relations)

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Mark

Grades achieved at MPW: AAB Progressed to: Southampton University (Business Innovation)

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Matthew

Grades achieved at MPW: AAA Progressed to: Warwick University (Chemistry)

"As a dyslexic student who initially got CCEE for my AS, I was convinced that I could not achieve any higher. My time at MPW proved me wrong. Initially I was reluctant to move from my local school in York to a college so far away from home, my parents, and friends. At the end of my first year I was overjoyed to find that many hours of hard work and renewed revision techniques had resulted in me achieving three A's in my subjects. I wanted to continue at A2 as I knew it would greatly improve my university prospects and encourage me to work even harder. After two fantastic years at MPW I can emphatically say that going to MPW was the best decision I ever made."

Gabriel

Grades achieved at MPW: AAA Progressed to: Nottingham University (Philosophy)

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Andrew

Grades achieved at MPW: A*AA Progressed to: University of York (Law)

"Honestly, I could not imagine when I joined MPW that, due to language and adaptation barriers, I would achieve top grades in my first A-level exam sittings. This view changed completely after only a few weeks in the college’s supportive and motivational environment; with teachers who aimed at finding a personal touch with each student and with my Personal Tutor who made my adjustment to the UK education system not only an easy step in my life but, more importantly, an enjoyable one."

Anastasia

Grades achieved at MPW: A*A*A* Progressed to: University College London (Economics)

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Akmaral

Grades achieved at MPW: A*A*A* Progressed to: University College London (Mathematics and Statistics)

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Julia

Grades achieved at MPW: A*AABB Progressed to: King's College London (International Relations)

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