The French A Level course builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills, including communication, critical thinking and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and to society.
This course is ideal if you enjoy communicating with other people and discover new cultures. Students also learn about the language, arts, history and customs of the language studied. This cultural knowledge transforms our students into World Citizens, empowering students to be open-minded and adaptable to new experiences.
The following topics will be studied with reference to French as well as in a wider global context as appropriate:
AS Level (year 1)
Being a young person in French-speaking society
Family structures, traditional and modern values, friendships / relationships
Youth trends, issues and personal identity
Educational and employment opportunities
Understanding the French-speaking world
Regional culture and heritage in France, French-speaking countries and communities
Literature, art, film and music in the French- speaking world.
A Level (year 2)
Diversity and difference
Migration and integration
Cultural identity and marginalisation
Cultural enrichment and celebrating difference
Discrimination and diversity
France 1940-1950: The Occupation and the post-war years
In addition, AS students will study one of the set films and A2 students will study one of the set novels.
Updated October 2021
GCSE profile to include French and English at grade B (Recommended).
The course is delivered through four sessions that make up 4.5 hours a week.
You will learn using a variety of methods including group work, debates, role-play, and interactive listening activities. One session per week will be spent in the language laboratory.
We believe learning a language can only be learnt in its cultural environment, therefore we use authentic materials such as literature, films, music and the media to understand the historical, cultural, social and artistic contexts of French speaking countries. The students will also benefit from spending an extra 30 minutes per week with the French Assistant to practice their oral skills.
Examinations for both AS and A Level are sat in the summer. This course can be combined with other courses to make a full programme. It goes well with another foreign language and with A Levels in English Language, English Literature, Film Studies, Geography, History, Sociology or any other subject which may lead to an international career.
You could go on to study at university, whether you specialise in French or combine the language with another subject.
A Level languages are always attractive to university admissions tutors. Languages are also useful in many careers such as leisure and tourism, teaching, journalism, business, politics and international law. The knowledge of a foreign language will be a valuable asset in the workplace of tomorrow.
Among the universities to which students have progressed are Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, Bath, Exeter, London (King’s, UCL, University of London Institute in Paris), Oxford and Cambridge.
Studying a language can open up many opportunities for career progression. Employers increasingly value languages because they demonstrate a wide cultural experience as well as other highly regarded transferable skills such as communication, problem solving and spontaneity.
The department runs a partnership with a college in France each year and students are given full opportunities to practise their oral skills. We have also visited the University of Swansea to take part in A Level Language conferences. Many students pursue work experience opportunities during the summer vacation or before going to university. Students are encouraged to attend relevant cultural events in the local area e.g. French language films at the Taliesin.