Spanish is the official language in 20 countries and spoken in more than 30. Studying Spanish at A level is the natural way to further your knowledge enabling you to use it in its spoken and written form and acquire an insight into how language is learnt. You will also gain considerable contacts with and insight into the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of the countries where Spanish is spoken. Spanish links well with many other subjects. Occupations in which students can use Spanish include: journalism, business, tourism, government services, teaching, engineering, marketing and law.
In addition to developing and extending the vocabulary and grammatical concepts studied at GCSE, you will also study and acquire specific knowledge of contemporary society with topics such as the ‘cyber space’, the changing role of the family, monarchies and dictatorships in Spanish speaking countries, multiculturalism, the influence of idols and the importance of Spanish heritage. You will also explore Spanish film and literature by studying films such as ‘Volver’ as well as a book such as ‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’. You will also have conversation time with the Foreign Language Assistant.
The A-level is comprised of three exams, sat at the end of your second year.
Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing. This paper includes listening and reading comprehension questions as well as summary writing and translation both from and into Spanish. It is 2 hours 30 minutes and makes up 50% of your final A Level grade.
Paper 2: Writing. In this paper you will write two essays – one about a book and one about a film that you have studied in lessons. This paper is 2 hours and makes up 20% of your final A Level grade.
Paper 3: Speaking. In your speaking exam you will discuss one of the sub-themes studied throughout the two years of the course. You will also present a research project that you have carried out and will discuss this further with your examiner. This test lasts 25 minutes (including preparation time) and makes up 30% of your final A Level grade.
You need to have a minimum of a 6 at GCSE in Spanish.
You should also have an active interest in Spanish and the Spanish speaking world.
You will be asked to buy a grammar book (approx. £10), a vocabulary book (approx. £5) and a copy of the novel and film that you are studying. Any visits that are arranged will be priced as they come up.