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INSIGHT for parents

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What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

  • I enjoy communicating in the foreign language
  • I am open minded and keen to experience the life and culture of other countries, for example through reading foreign literature, watching foreign films and travelling.
  • I am sociable and enjoy meeting people of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • I take a keen interest in the world around me, in particular current events and global issues which affect young people in society.
  • I am interested in language and in how language works so that I can use it creatively and independently to express myself.
  • I want to develop independent study skills so that I will have the necessary attributes to be  a successful student at university.
  • I want to learn more about French society and culture.

What will I learn about?

The first year of the course will focus on how French-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. You will develop your language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the study of a range of contemporary topics such as the changing nature of the family, the ‘cyber-society, the place of voluntary work, culture, contemporary francophone music and cinema. Your course will include an in-depth study of grammar with translation to and from French. You will also study a French film. You will have the opportunity to participate in group and class discussions on these topics as well as listening to and reading authentic texts. You will write critical and analytical essays about the film that you study.

In the second year of the course further aspects of the social background of French-speaking countries are covered as well as studying aspects of the political landscape. You will continue to develop your language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the study of a range of topics such as the positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, the treatment of criminals, political engagement of young people, the role of demonstrations and strikes and politics and immigration. You will also continue to study a French film as well as a literary text in French. Activities will include listening to a range of spoken texts and reading a wide variety of texts, in-depth study of more advanced grammar with translation to and from French, pair and class discussion as well as writing critical and analytical essays on the film and the text that you have studied.

How will I be assessed?

Paper One will assess listening, reading and writing. For the listening component you will have individual control of the recording. The reading section will comprise of texts written for different purposes with comprehension questions that will target main points, gist and detail. You will also have to translate a passage into English and another into French.

Paper Two will assess your writing skills and you will be expected to write two critical, analytical essays on the text and the film that you have studied.

Paper Three will assess speaking. There will be a discussion of a sub-theme that you have studied with the discussion based on a stimulus card. You will also present and discuss your individual research project.

In Year 12 your mock exam in reading and listening will be based on the topics covered in the first year of the course. The speaking exam will just consist of the two stimulus cards and the writing exam will just be based on the film. 


What minimum qualifications will I need to start the course?

GCSE grade 5 in French.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

You can take a traditional language course at university or a degree combining language modules with subjects, such as business, law, science, European studies or tourism. Competence in French is an asset in the workplace. As well as export links, major British firms have partnerships with French companies and welcome graduates with language skills.

Work Experience in French

During the course you will be encouraged to spend some time in France at our partner school in Gap. As well as attending the lyceé with your partner, you will have the opportunity to teach English in a French primary school. This visit will give you valuable insights into French culture as well as improve your fluency.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions please contact Ms Clarkson in the Modern Foreign Languages Department.