Phone icon

SPANISH

LEVEL 3: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA

Hola! Bienvenido. Are you interested in learning about the language, Hispanic society, culture, history and current affairs of the Spanish speaking world? If so, studying Spanish at A level is for you!

If you already study Spanish at GCSE or have the equivalent experience and wish to take it further, you will find this course stimulating and varied. You study a range of topics through the practice of the four skills; listening, reading, speaking and writing.
 
You learn about the world around you whilst you develop your research and analytical skills. You will split your time between the classroom and the Language Lab and will also benefit from an individual 20 minutes oral session with a native speaker every week. The Spanish residential trip to Salamanca is well established and is designed to develop language skills and to enhance your experience of learning a foreign language.
 
Lessons are conducted mostly in Spanish and you will have numerous opportunities to develop your communication skills through written and verbal expression of your own ideas in whole class, small group and one-to-one situations.
 
We have many resources to support your learning, such as a wide library of DVDs and magazines you can borrow to read/watch further around the topics we study. Use of information technology and independent study are an integral to the course.
 

Year 1

You will study:

  • one theme from social issues and trends – los valores tradicionales y modernos, el ciberespacio, la igualdad de los sexos
  • one theme from political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture – la influencia de los ídolos, la identidad regional en España, el patrimonio cultural
  • a film
  • grammar

Year 2

You will study:

  • a further theme from social issues and trends – la inmigración, el racismo, la convivencia
  • a further theme from political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture – jóvenes de hoy, ciudadanos del mañana, monarquías y dictaduras, los movimientos populares
  • a book
  • grammar
  • an individual research project

Both years include an element of translation both ways.

You will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4/C or above
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
  • GCSE Spanish grade 5 or above*
  • plus two more GCSEs grade 4/C or above

*If you have not studied GCSE Spanish you will need to be a competent speaker and must have five GCSEs (including Maths and English) grade 4/C or above.

There are three exams:

  • Paper 1 – Listening, Reading and Writing (two hours and 30 minutes in duration, worth 50% of the qualification)
  • Paper 2 – Writing (two hours in duration, worth 20% of the qualification)
  • Oral Exam (21-26 minutes in duration including five minutes preparation time, worth 30% of the qualification).

Many students go on to study Language at university, often combined with another course (Law, Business Studies, Maths, Politics, English etc.). With a Language A Level you will also have the choice to study any other language at degree level. Study at degree level usually involves time spent working or studying abroad. 

In recent years, the ability to use languages is highly prized by employers. Modern languages graduates are in demand with 96% of students finding employment. Whatever you decide to do, your language skills will be an invaluable asset to you.

Popular career fields include diplomacy, national security, medicine and engineering.  You will develop key skills such as the ability to build relationships in and across borders, critical thinking and problem solving, a global outlook and intercultural confidence. Businesses and organisations not only want to recruit people who talk a language, but who have a deeper understanding of foreign environments and practices and are first-class communicators.

How does the A Level compare with the GCSE?

It starts at a similar level, looking at GCSE grammar and topics. However, we move on quickly to more sophisticated topics, studying and working with texts, translating and analysing, so you can start producing your own written language and spoken opinion. We will train you to be independent and you will develop ways of thinking that you have never explored before!

Is Spanish spoken at all times in the classroom?

We will train you to answer in Spanish as soon as you can, and we will speak in Spanish at all times during lessons, except when studying grammar. We will make sure all of you understand what is said and will use methods to ensure none of you get lost, so don’t worry! For most students, you will be very used to hearing and understanding Spanish in the classroom after just a few weeks!

Will there be opportunities to visit other countries?

We aim to run trips to Spain every year and offer opportunities to stay with families in order to experience the language and culture.