Course Title AS/A Level French
Level: 3
Code MS020

Overview of the Course

Studying modern languages at Bury College will give you the opportunity to develop your ability to express yourself in your chosen language and to improve your communication, both written and oral. You will build on all four skills covered at GCSE: listening, speaking, reading and writing and these will be rooted in the target-language culture of the language you have chosen. There is a strong emphasis on grammar and translation at AS Level and you will be expected to write and speak confidently and accurately.

What are the career opportunities?

A foreign language at A Level will allow you to use that language in the workplace (in a multinational industry for example) or to travel abroad to work. A good grade at A Level is a requirement if you wish to continue studying the language in higher education, or you may wish to combine your language with another subject such as Law or Business. Achieving a language A Level can also allow you to study a new language such as Russian or Chinese from scratch at university. Graduates with foreign languages are highly sought-after and valued in a variety of fields of employment.

What are the entry requirements?

The minimum entry requirements for access to an A Level Study Programme will be two subjects at grade B (or grade 5) including GCSE English and four subjects at grade C (or grade 4). You must also have a minimum of grade C (5) in the language taken at Higher level.

How long is the course and when can I start?

1 year for AS or 2 years for the full A Level, starting in September.

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

In your first year, you will develop your grammar skills via topics including Families and Citizenship; Youth Trends and Personal Identity; Education and Employment Opportunities; Regional Culture and Heritage; Media, Art, Film and Music. You will also study a piece of literature or a film from the target language culture. The first year examination is taken in the summer and involves three elements. Component 1 is an oral exam, which takes place in late April/early May and involves spontaneous discussion on two topic-based cards with an external oral examiner. At A Level, there is also an oral module, which involves the presentation and discussion of an individual research project. The topic for this is chosen by the student and gives them the opportunity to research their own area of interest based on the target language culture. Furthermore, second year students will also be expected to discuss a more complex topic-based card and debate with the examiner. Component 2 assesses listening, reading and translation skills through a variety of different language tasks. Component 3 examines your critical writing skills through analysis of the prescribed film/ literary text. At A Level, Components 2 and 3 assess the same skills as the first year papers, but with more focus on critical and independent analysis. There is no coursework.

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

A Level language students make very attractive prospects for universities and employers, due to integral transferable skills such as written and verbal communication, self-motivation, time management and the ability to work individually and as part of a team. To be a successful linguist you must show dedication to the language of study and have an interest in its cultural, historical and political context.

Work experience

All A Level students will be offered the opportunity to complete subject-specific work experience in related industries.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

You will be invited to take part in trips abroad as well as language conferences to ensure that your experience of languages is up to date, lively and fun. There will also be the opportunity to attend guest speaker sessions from universities.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

You will be expected to keep a vocabulary and grammar book with you for frequent reference and to be able to check your vocabulary at all times. You are also encouraged to use the language lab outside of scheduled class time, for homework or extension activities. The digital language laboratory allows you individual access to internet and the virtual learning environment as well as exciting new ways to work on your listening and speaking skills in class. You will also be expected to make the most of the additional facilities and the Foreign Language Assistants, outside class time so that you quickly gain confidence in your chosen language and further insight into the culture and background of the country or countries where it is spoken. Our state of the art digital language lab at Bury College offers you exclusive access to: Fully computerised language learning facilities, hundreds of online language games and activities for learning and enjoyment, access to tailor-made revision activities and discussion forums, drop-in access for all modern language students and a full range of HD touch-screen technology.

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