GCSE Spanish

Communicate with 350 million native Spanish speakers worldwide. Spanish is spoken by at least an estimated 400 million people around the world and is currently the 4th most commonly spoken language worldwide. Spanish is an official language on four continents and is the mother tongue in 21 countries.

What will I learn?

The course is AQA GCSE Spanish Specification code 8698.. The course will help you to communicate in the language, as well as helping you to understand Spanish in speech and writing. You will benefit when you come into contact with Spanish speaking people both at home and abroad. You will learn about the culture of countries where Spanish is spoken and will be able to communicate with young people in these countries.

Key features of this course are:

      • Development of language skills in a variety of contexts.
      • Flexible, unitised structure allows students to maximise achievement.
      • Choice of contexts and purposes for writing and speaking units.
      • Development of ability to provide and understand information and opinions on a variety of topics relating to both own country/community and those where Spanish is spoken

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based:

      • Theme 1: Identity and culture.
      • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest.
      • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.

What are the entry requirements?

An interest in Spanish and the cultures of Spain and Latin America, communicating with others and a desire to break down language barriers are very important. You are expected to have achieved at least level 5 in Key Stage 3 in order to access GCSE Spanish. We try to accommodate anyone with a genuine interest and strong work ethic. If you want to study for a GCSE in a Modern Language ab initio, then please come to talk to us in the Department first.

How will I be assessed?

GCSE Spanish has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

There are 4 areas of assessment:

      • Paper 1 Listening exam (25% of GCSE). Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.
      • Paper 2 Speaking Non-exam assessment (25% of GCSE). Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes.
      • Paper 3 Reading exam (25% of GCSE). Understanding and responding to different types of written language.
      • Paper 4 Writing exam (25% of GCSE). Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.

What are the costs?

You will be expected to have your own bilingual dictionary at home and use your Chromebook to access different online dictionaries and useful websites for learning Spanish. You are also advised to buy a revision guide to support your studies. There are good revision guides that can be purchased in high-street bookshops (e.g. Waterstones or WH Smith) at a reasonable price. A trip to Spain may take place in the summer, where numbers permit. Costs are likely to be in the region of £650 (to include all expenses: travel to and from school, accommodation, food, language activities and excursions – 6 nights/7days).

Is there anything else I need to know?

Please come to see us in the Department, or contact us by telephone or email if you would like to know more.

Future opportunities

It is worth considering the study of a foreign language at GCSE level as some universities now insist that applicants have a modern foreign language qualification (even if not immediately relevant to the course of study being applied for).

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. Some evidence also suggests that children who receive second language instruction are more creative and better at solving complex problems. 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 interests.

Exam board: AQA

Who should I contact for extra information?

maria.tavera@biddenham.beds.sch.uk