Studying a language gives you the chance to explore a diverse range of topics. From the musical styles to the finest foods; from the geographical features to the political structure; from the influence of social media to immigration-related unrest.

In this subject your mind will be stretched – not just linguistically but by the way you perceive another culture, identity and heritage. Many of our post-16 language students go on to spend time in the country whose language they are learning, not just to develop language skills but to experience the vibrancy of the country and live a different experience to their own at home through the medium of a different language.


A level French or Spanish

Awarding body AQA

Year 12

French and Spanish A level is split into several topics. Grammar, vocabulary and the skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking run through all the themes.

Aspects of French/Spanish speaking society – traditional and modern values, the family model, attitudes to marriage and divorce, the influence of religion.

Cyberspace – the influence of the internet, mobile phones in society, social media.

Equality – women and the world of work, the rights of gay and transgender people.

Artistic culture – music, television, cinema, fashion.

Heritage – understanding the civilisations which contributed to the current heritage of France/Spain; art and architecture.

Year 13

Diversity in society – multiculturalism; diversity, tolerance and respect; people who are marginalised in society and how they can be supported; criminality – attitudes to criminality; prison – does it work?

Aspects of political life – the right to vote, engaging young people in politics.

Workers’ rights – the role of unions, immigration and the world of work.


Three examinations at the end of year 13.

Paper 1 - written exam on listening, reading and translation.

Paper 2 - written exam about one literary work and one film studied in French/Spanish.

Paper 3 - speaking exam based on an A level topic and a presentation and discussion of a research project undertaken by the student.

Studying a language at A level has given me not only the ability to speak the language but the confidence to use it. I’ve developed really useful memory and communication skills and it’s a brilliant way to learn about the culture.

Why study languages?

The ability to excel in a different language is of particular interest to those wanting to work in translation, travel, teaching, broadcasting, journalism or any career in which the quality of communication is extremely important. The course links well to English language, English literature, history, government and politics, law, art, music, sociology and media. Studying a language evidences your academic skills and commitment, your ability to acquire and develop a skill through regular practice and your fascination with different languages and cultures - it is an asset to an application for any degree level course.