The course aims to develop an understanding of up to date language and contemporary issues from authentic sources, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, songs and the Internet. The target language is used most of the time, in the classroom and in conversation with an Assistant. ‘Taking part’ is vital for success. Students are encouraged to visit a country where the language is spoken and to take part in the county sixth form exchange programme. In addition, A level linguists are encouraged to apply for the county work experience scheme, whereby you can spend 2 weeks working in a French firm. In previous years, Biddenham students have worked in offices, factories and banks gaining tremendous experience and giving themselves a most interesting CV.
Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing
What is assessed:
How it is assessed: Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
Paper 2 writing
How it’s assessed: Written exam: 2 hours, 80 marks in total, 20 % of A Level
Paper 3: Speaking
What is assessed:
How it is assessed:
No access to a dictionary during the assessment (including 5 minutes preparation).
Students may take the assessment only once before certification.
Assessments will be conducted by either the centre or a visiting examiner and marked by an AQA
For further details please email
It cannot be denied that there is quite a leap between GCSE and the AS level course, but no more in Languages than with any of your subjects. A-level courses demand a greater level of self-motivation and an ability to act on your own initiative; if you possess these qualities then we would welcome you to the Languages Department to discuss your plans. We will be happy to show you the course books and would encourage you to chat to students who are currently following the course.
Successful completion of AS level. Pupils achieving Grade D or below at AS should contact the
Department to discuss the possibility of retaking AS units whilst following the A2 course.
You are expected to have a good, sixth form-standard, bilingual dictionary and a grammar workbook (the title of which you will be told at the start of the course).
It is anticipated that students will travel to the target language country either through trips arranged by the Department or via the country run exchanges or work experience. Costs will vary depending on the nature of the trip. Day trips to language immersion conferences take place in Year 13. The cost of this is usually less than £20, plus travel into London.
Statistics show that students of foreign languages have access to a greater number of career possibilities and develop a deeper understanding of their own and other cultures. The benefits to society are many: individuals fluent in other languages enhance our economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, and, some would add, maintain our political and security interest.
Universities offer not only degree courses in one or more languages. Some degrees integrate the study of a language with other subjects such as European/ International Studies, Business Studies or Leisure and Tourism. Other courses combine language study with another subject e.g. Marine Sciences with French, Spanish and Computer Science. You may even take specialist language options which relate directly to your main course of study e.g. French for lawyers, German for Engineers.