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A Level French

Head of Department: Mrs S. Hankin

Examination Board: AQA

Specification Code: 7652

Course Entry Requirement: GCSE French grade 7 or A

A level French helps students develop confident, effective communication skills in French and a thorough understanding of the culture of countries and communities where French is spoken. It develops an interest in, and enthusiasm for, language learning and encourages students to consider their study of the language in a broader context. The course aims to enable students to develop and build on the skills acquired at GCSE, to develop their ability to write and speak in French with accurate grammar and syntax for a range of purposes and to understand written or spoken French in a variety of contexts and genres.

Course Content:

The course is designed to inspire all students who have an appreciation of the language, literature, film and culture of the French-speaking world. The engaging themes are closely linked to the most interesting aspects of France and French-speaking communities. The range of films and books which can be studied is wide and includes contemporary and more classical titles. They have been selected to facilitate the linking to a theme such as France during the occupation.


The four themes address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political and artistic culture of France and French-speaking countries. Theme One, for example, considers changes in French society, education and the world of work. Theme Two, however, requires students to broaden their knowledge across francophone countries through the study of music, media, festivals and traditions.

Texts and Films

Students study one film and one text. We have selected Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles (A Very Long engagement) by the award winning director Jeunet. The book which we study is Un Sac de Billes (A Bag of Marbles) by Joseph Joffo. Both fascinating in their own right, they also provide an extraordinary insight into French life in both the First and Second World Wars.

Who should study French?

Students need to show real enthusiasm for communicating in French. Classes will be conducted in French and students must be willing to use their French as the main means of communication. They should have a sound grammatical awareness, including tenses and key structures. A willingness to learn by rote is important, as is a curiosity to find out more about France through independent research.

Higher education and careers:

Languages combine well with a range of social science, humanities and science subjects. The range and combination of courses available is very wide from French with Music at Liverpool to Biochemistry with French at Imperial.  Languages are increasingly in demand by businesses that operate in Europe and those wishing to break into new markets. The most recent CBI survey shows that French remains the language in highest demand by British business at 50%.

Course Assessment:

Terminal assessment takes place at the end of the second year.

Paper 1: Listening comprehension, Reading comprehension and translation into English/2h 30 Mins/50% of A level

Paper 2: Essay paper on film and texts, translation into French/2h 00 mins/20% of A level

Paper 3: Oral: discussion of a theme and independent research project/20 mins/30% of A level

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