Why choose French A-Level?

Learning French at A-Level extends your communication skills from GCSE, including speaking, listening, reading and writing in this fantastic language. The course also helps to immerse you in French culture, current affairs and history.

The English language has a lot of French influence, as do many others, so studying French A-Level can greatly enhance your wider language skills, equipping you to learn more languages or have a greater understanding of English. Not only this, but French is a giant among international languages:

  • Over 120 million people around the world speak French fluently, either as a native or adopted language and who use it on a regular basis.
  • It is the 11th most common first language in the world, with 77 million first language speakers and another 51 million second language speakers and is, after English, the most commonly taught second language in the world.
  • There are many French-speaking-countries – French is the major or an official language in over 30 countries, second only to English.
  • French, with English, is the only language spoken as a native language on 5 continents and the only language taught in every country in the world.

The French A-Level Course

Year one

We follow the AQA specification for A-Level French. In the first year of Sixth Form (Year 12), students study the culture, society, politics, world of work, tourism, festivals, music and media of France and French–speaking countries. They also study a French film in detail.

A firm understanding of grammar is essential in Year 12 and dedicated grammar lessons are an integral part of the course. This enables girls to use French independently and creatively. Increased contact with our foreign language assistant helps girls with their oral work and keeps them on top of current affairs.

Year two

In Year 13, students study immigration, integration and multiculturalism, both within France and the French-speaking world. They also study the history of France, including the Second World War, and a French novel.

At the end of the course, students are assessed on their listening, speaking, reading, writing, translating and research abilities.

Further Study

The skills developed during the course will prepare students thoroughly for academic life at university - whether that’s studying French or using skills you’ve learnt in the study of another subject. Many of our students go on to combine French with another subject at university, such as other modern languages, English, Economics, Marketing, History, European Studies, Politics, Law and Medicine.

Extra-curricular

  • We offer trips to France at all key stages. In Sixth Form, there’s an opportunity to spend 5 days in Montpellier, staying with host families and attending language classes in the mornings. It’s a fantastic way to experience France and extend your language skills.
  • We can help girls to arrange work experience in France to accompany their Sixth Form studies.
  • The use of film is becoming increasingly prominent in our curriculum and we study films in every year group. We have an extensive French DVD lending library that’s available to our Sixth Form students.
  • Our foreign language assistant helps to run clinics to support girls at all stages of their learning. This provides targeted and personalised help in whatever area you find difficult.

Any questions? Please contact Mrs Barker, Head of Languages, on k.barker@she.gdst.net