LEVEL: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA
TYPE OF STUDY: FULL-TIME, SIXTH FORM
This course aims to raise your Spanish to a stage in which you will be able to communicate effectively both in writing and speaking. It equips you with the language skills to appreciate the rich culture of Spain and the Spanish speaking world.
You are constantly encouraged to use the language through a variety of activities and you are exposed to a wide selection of authentic Spanish sources. There is also the opportunity to go on a residential trip to Spain.
The topics are entirely different from GCSE and the approach is probably different too. You will split your time between the classroom and the language lab and will also benefit from a weekly 20 minute oral session with a native speaker.
Typical topics studied over the course include cinema, literature, the digital world and various aspects of culture specific to Spain. There is also an in-depth study of one book and one film and you will carry out independent research on a topic of their choice.
On this course you will cover the following topics:
- Spanish media, culture, lifestyles, family and relationships
- Current affairs such as the latest film craze or a political crisis
- Contemporary social and environmental issues
- Los valores tradicionales y modernos
- El ciberespacio
- La igualdad de los sexos
- La influencia de los ídolos
- La identidad regional en España
- El patrimonio cultural
- La inmigración
- El racismo
- La convivencia
- Jóvenes de hoy, ciudadanos del mañana
- Monarquías y dictaduras
- Los movimientos populares
Standard College entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English Language or Literature.
You will also need a GCSE in Spanish at a minimum grade 5 or be a competent speaker.
What additional facilities are available outside class?
You will be encouraged to borrow a range of foreign books, DVDs and other resources for use outside the classroom to extend your learning.
The more you read, listen and engage with the language, the more progress you will make. For maximum challenge you can take extra classes to prepare you for the UK Linguistics Olympiad or the EU Young Translators competition, where the department has an excellent record of success.
Is Spanish for me?
If you are interested in working abroad, meeting people from different cultures or working in an international company there is a big advantage in knowledge of a foreign language.
How is the course assessed?
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing
Paper 2: Writing
Paper 3: Speaking (oral exam)
Spanish is a challenging course and the opportunity for extended study is limitless. Many of the topics are modern and focused on current affairs but Spanish culture is an underlying theme. Also, you study Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America. You learn from a teacher born in Spain and also benefit from a one-to-one speaking session every week.
Andrew Power, Spanish student
I know that taking a language at A Level is quite a daunting idea, but the places it can take you and the opportunities it can provide for you in the future are like no other subject. I personally want to go into international politics when I am older and I know that languages, especially Spanish because of how widely it is spoken in the world, can help me do that. It is also just genuinely a fun and enjoyable subject rather than a lesson that you don’t want to be at.
Mimi Lecompte, Spanish student
It is intriguing learning about all Spanish speaking countries, and being able to compare backgrounds. Having assumed the course was entirely focused on Spain it was a nice surprise to include all Spanish speaking countries. With Spanish and Hispanic friends in my class I have gained great new contacts and learnt new global perspectives. There’s nothing like first-hand experience! We have had the privilege to help out in local schools, which has really benefited our linguistic skills. Similarly the splendid trip to Salamanca gives us a true taste of life in Spain; from classroom life to salsa dancing and tapas tasting.
Kester Welch, Spanish student