This A Level covers a range of social and cultural topics that relate to the countries where Spanish is spoken, such as changes in family; sexism and the rights of the LGBT community.
You will be using a range of skills to study both these topics and the film Volver as well as the novel Como Agua Para Chocolate. As a research project in your second year, you will be able to choose a topic related to a Spanish-speaking country to discuss in your speaking exam. Weekly speaking sessions with a native speaker will help build up your confidence and improve your fluency. Also, thanks to our link with the University of Seville, we have Erasmus students in lessons twice a week to work with students, and currently offer a residential trip to Seville.
Lessons are varied, with an emphasis on communication, but accurate grammar too. You will have access to online resources at home and in college in order to support your progress. Spanish can be studied in combination with any course. Graduates in Spanish are in high demand and languages students’ skills are highly valued by both universities and employers. Wyke students have gone on to university to read Hispanic Studies; Law with Spanish; International Relations and Linguistics.
A Level Spanish requires students to achieve at least the minimum entry requirements for their chosen pathway plus a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Spanish and a grade 5 or higher in GCSE English Language.
Students study technological and social change, looking at diversity and the benefits it brings. They will study highlights of the artistic culture of Spain, including music and cinema, and learn about political engagement in the countries where the language is spoken.
In addition, students explore the influence of the past on present-day communities. Throughout their studies, they will learn the language in the context of the country and the issues and influences which have shaped them. Students will study a text and a film and have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.
Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, reading , speaking and writing skills.
The content includes
- Aspects of Spanish society: current trends and issues
- Artistic culture in the Spanish-speaking world
- Aspects of political life in the Spanish-speaking world
- Individual research project ( based on a sub-topic of one of the above topics)
- One text and one film or two texts
This course is assessed by 3 examinations which take place at the end of the second year.
Paper 1 Listening, reading and writing
2 1/2 hours 40% of A level
Paper 2 Writing and grammar
2 hours 30% of A level
Paper 3 Speaking
30% of A level
Trips and cultural visits abroad are offered to language students at Wyke to develop linguistic, cultural and personal skills. We currently offer a visit to Seville in Spain, a trip to France and a visit to Berlin in Germany. All these visits, run by experienced staff, offer a packed programme of cultural, educational and social events.
Closer to home, staff arrange for students to attend special Language Days and revision sessions at Hull University plus local film and theatre events when the opportunity arises.
How the course is delivered
Most of your lessons will be delivered in Spanish and half of them will take place in the language laboratory where online resources are often used.
As well as 4×70 minutes lessons with your specialist teacher, you will have a 30 minute session with the Foreign Language Assistant each week. Topic booklets/handouts based on the AQA recommended texts and materials, are issued throughout the course to every student.
The MFL Department at Wyke Sixth Form College
The MFL department at Wyke College offers A Level courses in French, German and Spanish. The department consists of three experienced language specialists, one for each of the languages offered, and three Foreign Language Assistants, who are all native speakers. The staff work closely together to provide a vibrant, fast-paced linguistic experience in a welcoming and reassuring environment.
There are two main teaching rooms for languages, and half of the lessons on each course take place in the language laboratory, where listening skills are developed and exam-type exercises are provided through the online resource ‘kerboodle’.
As a department we all agree that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Living in the country of the language you are studying would be ideal, but the next best thing is to travel abroad. We encourage you to take part in cultural opportunities offered. In recent years, our language department have taken part in foreign exchange programmes and cultural visits to Belgium, Spain and Germany.
What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?
You must have exposure to the target language wherever possible. If you get the opportunity to travel abroad or talk to people from Spanish speaking countries, take it.
Watch films or listen to music in the target language, read newspapers, magazines, books and websites and look at the BBC language courses online. Vocabulary and grammar are vital, so learn little and often, and really try to develop the habit of language learning.
Ensure you know the key verbs, such as ‘to have’ and ‘to be’ and the forms of these and other common verbs in the present, perfect and future tenses. Use www.languagesonline.org to practise.
Make for yourself a list of 20 expression phrases e.g. In my opinion, I think, I’m not convinced and so on and learn them, so they can be used when you give your views on any topic.
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