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“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
In an increasingly globalised world, learning a second language will open many doors. Not only will you become a confident speaker of Spanish but you will also develop an understanding of a different culture and understand the importance of challenging stereotypes and prejudices. The breadth and depth of the A-level, which includes literature, film, politics and culture, will also equip you with communication and critical thinking skills which are in demand by employers.
A language A-level opens many doors. This course is focused on the study of Hispanic culture, including social issues, artistic culture and politics. During the course, you will also make an in-depth study of a novel or play and a film. This is a great opportunity to gain the confidence to speak and write freely in Spanish, on a variety of topical issues in addition to acquiring transferable research and analytical skills. You will improve your ability to problem solve, to be creative and above all to communicate well.
You will study topics based on the themes of technological and social change, looking at the multicultural nature of Spanish-speaking countries. Within this, you will study highlights of Hispanic artistic culture, including regional identity and heritage, and will learn about contemporary political aspects of the Spanish-speaking world.
You will explore current issues in Spanish-speaking society, including multiculturalism. Throughout your studies, you will learn the language in the context of the Hispanic countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. You will study texts and film and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of your choice, to be presented in the speaking exam.
You will have the opportunity to gain confidence in speaking and writing effectively on a variety of topical issues, understand and use Spanish grammar accurately, develop reading and listening abilities and practise translation.
At least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above all from the core subjects including Grade 6 in Spanish. If you have not completed GCSE Spanish but have an equivalent or higher command of the language, you may be eligible to enrol on this course.
The course includes a variety of activities and assignments aimed at developing useful specific and transferable skills that will prepare students for the A-level exam as well as university and the world of work. These include understanding spoken and written Spanish, communicating orally and in writing on the topics covered, conducting independent research in Spanish, collecting and summarising information, oral presentations, discussions, translating from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish, and writing analytical-critical essays.
Regular grammar and vocabulary work, alongside helpful study and learning strategies, will underpin these skills. There will also be plenty of test practice geared to train students for the final examination. The students are expected to read aloud on the topics from texts in Spanish for 20 minutes daily in order to gain fluency, grammar, vocabulary, idiomatic expression and content knowledge. Weekly investigation tasks are aimed at expanding topic knowledge, developing research and summary skills and are evaluated through oral presentations.
- Assessment tasks are varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
- Assessment is through exams at the end of the second year, consisting of three papers, one of which is the speaking test.
- There is no coursework, but the speaking exam includes a discussion of the Individual Research Project which students will have worked on throughout their second year.
Spanish A-level students at Cirencester College will be offered the chance to take part in a class trip to Spain in order to improve their language skills and cultural knowledge. There may also be the opportunity to attend a study day or a theatre trip.
Students are also encouraged to look for work experience opportunities both at home and abroad and we can help with applications.
- Students may wish to purchase their own copy of the textbook (although this is available as a free ebook).
- There may be some small costs for course booklets
- Students will have to purchase a copy of the set text for use in the course.
- You will need a set of headphones for use in class
- Cultural trips will have an extra cost, although we do aim to keep prices as low as possible.
It is important that you immerse yourself in Spanish, so you will hear the language spoken throughout the lesson and you will soon become familiar with commands and questions. Some explanations will be given in English, where necessary. Students are also encouraged to speak as much Spanish as possible both in and outside of the classroom.
Classroom textbooks and online resources including ebooks will be provided. A revision and grammar workbook will also be useful.
All enrolled students will have access to online course materials for audio, video and study resources.
You may wish to purchase your own DVD or download of the chosen film and you will need to buy a copy of the play in the second year. There are study guides on the film and play available to borrow from the library or you may choose to have your own.
The library offers a range of books and DVDs that students can take out on loan, and there will be a list of resources in the yearly handbook.
There will be a number of booklets available from reprographics for a small charge throughout the course.
You will need access to a bilingual dictionary or a good dictionary app (do not rely on translation services such as Google Translate).
"With the globalisation of industry and commerce, graduates with a good command of modern languages are sought after for numerous roles in a variety of organisations and sectors," says Margaret Holbrough, careers adviser at Graduate Prospects. The Guardian
Here are some jobs where an A-level in Spanish can help
- Broadcast Journalist
- Diplomatic Service Officer
- English as a Foreign Language Teacher
- International Aid/Development Worker
- Logistics and Distribution Manager
- Marketing Executive
- Patent Examiner
- Sales Executive
- Tour Manager
- Translator and Interpreter
No, the exam specification covers all of the Hispanic countries and during the course, we look at many examples from other countries. Your Individual Research Project gives you the opportunity to explore an interest in any part of the Spanish-speaking world.
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