Why learn French?
One good reason to learn French at A-level is because it is a giant among international languages.
- There are over 120 million people who 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 second 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.
We follow the new AQA specification for A-level French. In the first year of Sixth Form (Y12), students study the culture, society, politics, world of work, tourism, festivals, music, media and 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.
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. The skills developed during the course will prepare students thoroughly for academic life at university. Indeed, 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.
- We offer trips to France at all key stages. In Key Stages 4 and 5, we offer 5 days in Montpellier, staying with host families and attending language classes in the mornings.
- We can help girls to arrange work experience in France to accompany their 6th form studies.
- The use of film is becoming increasingly prominent in our curriculum and we study films in every year group. This year we are running a Key Stage 3 French Film Club and also offering a Key Stage 4 and 5 French DVD lending library.
- Our foreign language assistant helps to run clinics to support girls at all stages of their learning.