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Modern Languages

Three Modern Languages are offered for Advanced level study: French, German and Spanish. From September 2016 the study of modern languages will be changing once more and these new A level specifications will apply to all exam boards with first A level assessment taking place in the summer of 2018. The new A level will be a two year linear course and, as such, all exams will take place at the end of year 2, consisting of two written exams and a speaking test. The new revised MFL content seeks to integrate communication skills and intellectual skills, emphasising the critical and analytical thinking needed for successful A level language study, aiming to better equip students for university progression or employment. This revised content will require students to engage critically with literary works and consider cultural and social concerns in the
countries where the target language is spoken. Students will be trained to use their language spontaneously and there will be a greater emphasis on linguistic accuracy.

We shall be following the AQA specification in all three languages at Advanced level because we feel that these recently updated AQA specification will be more relevant to our students and more in line with the aims and objectives of MFL at the Grange.

COURSE STRUCTURE AQA

The specification content is defined by the following list of topics on which the examinations will be based:
AQA Advanced Level :
¬ Aspects of society of the target language to be studied
¬ Artistic culture in the world of the target language
¬ Multiculturalism in the society of the target language
¬ Aspects of political life in the world of the target language
¬ Optional content: students study two books or one book and one film as listed in the specification
¬ Individual research topic: students conduct individual research on a subject of personal interest, relating to any country where the target language is spoken

ASSESSMENT COMPOSITION

AQA Paper 1 (TL1)
Listening, Reading and Translation
40% of A level
2 hours 30 minutes
Written examination
160 marks

AQA Paper 2 (Tl2)
Writing based on set texts
(2 books or 1 book & 1 film)
30% of A level
2 hours
Written examination
90 marks

AQA Paper 3 (Tl3)
Oral Examination
30% of A level
21-23 minutes of speaking test
(including 5 minutes preparation)
60 marks

WHY STUDY MFL?

In language work, formal translations and grammatical exercises will now involve the language you are likely to meet in newspapers, magazines and books and the sort you are likely to hear on radio or television. In this way it is hoped to increase your ability to talk about issues which interest and affect you and your fellow Europeans. The differing registers of language you will be using include, therefore, newspapers, magazines, CD’s, DVD’s and cartoon strips. In addition to these materials, visits to the theatre to see modern works are an essential part of the course, combining as they do a literary and linguistic function.

The school boasts two Sanako 300 language laboratories: a 28 booth laboratory for mainly lower school use and a smaller 12 booth laboratory for sixth form use, both with full IT interactive audio capability, thereby enabling students to hone their oral/aural skills, at their own pace, and so improve their fluency. We can now provide authentic listening material at the click of a mouse and, of course, the visual element assists in the understanding of the spoken language, thereby aiding comprehension.

These facilities are an invaluable resource for MFL, aiding thematic work, cultural awareness, enjoyment and stimulation for both student and teacher. As oral fluency and aural comprehension are of such importance at sixth form level, it is hoped that all students would take advantage of the contacts the school enjoys in Europe. Over the years our sixth form linguists have participated in University courses in Salamanca and Valencia in Spain, participated in exchanges in both Austria and France offering students the opportunity to live in France, Germany and Spain and to use their languages in a practical situation.

The study at this level of one or two Modern Languages will open the door to many varied career options. French, German and Spanish combine well with many other courses such as Maths, History, Economics, Business Studies, the Sciences and English, to name but a few.

PROGRESSION OPPORTUNITIES

The importance of learning a language has never been higher than it is now. Therefore, our aim is to prepare our linguists not only for success at examination level but to give them a lead over others in what is a very competitive job-market, one where the knowledge of other cultures and languages will be, as it always has been, a very valuable asset.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Since the cultural topics vary for each of the three languages offered, details of these are outlined on the individual subject pages that follow.