French A Level

Board: AQA
Syllabus: A Level (7652)

About the subject

The main aims are to help you communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in French through both the written and spoken word; to develop your understanding of the spoken and written forms of French; to help you develop critical insights into the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of French-speaking countries.

In the first year, activities are based on the following topic areas – current trends of French-speaking society (the changing nature of family, the cybersociety and the place of voluntary work) and artistic culture in the French speaking world (a culture proud of its heritage, contemporary Francophone music and cinema as the 7th art form). There is also an in-depth study of Mathieu Kassovitz’s cult film: La Haine (1995). Please note that the film contains scenes depicting violence and use of drugs, there are some sexual references and frequent use of swear words.

In the second year, activities are based on the following topic areas – current issues of French-speaking society (positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised and the treatment of criminals) and aspects of political life in the French speaking world (the political commitment of teenagers, demonstrations / strikes, and politics / immigration). There is also an in-depth study of a famous novel from Delphine de Vigan: No et moi (2007). Please note that the book contains references to baby loss, sexual assault and exploitation, depression and use of alcohol and drugs. Students also undertake an Individual Research Project (IRP) based on a topic of their choice which relates to a French speaking country


Learning styles

All lessons are conducted in French and include a variety of activities – expect the opportunity to speak in pairs or group work, listening to recordings, exercises to increase vocabulary, explanation and revision of grammar, short written tasks and pronunciation exercises. There will be a weekly lesson with an assistant, in which work is based on the topic areas listed above

Subject Combinations and Progression

Useful with all combinations, but particularly Science, Mathematics, Business Studies, Politics, Art; a language is essential for any student considering a study abroad period in HE. Almost all students who take a language at degree level study it as part of a package, e.g. European Studies and French, Law and French, Physics and French.

Subject Modules and Assessment

Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing – 2 hour 30 exam including listening and reading comprehension and translations into English and into French.

Paper 2: Writing – 2 hour exam including two essays (one on the film and one on the book)

Paper 3: Speaking – 21-23 minute oral exam in two parts including a 5 minute preparation time.

Entry requirements

GCSE French (6)
GCSE English Language (4)