Qualification: A-Level

Awarding Body:
Length of Course:
2 Year

Course Aims

The course involves an expansion and deepening of the students’ knowledge of the French language, its grammatical structure, idiom and vocabulary. The aims of the course are to enable students to:

  • develop understanding of the spoken and written language from a variety of registers.
  • communicate confidently, clearly and effectively through both spoken and written French, using increasingly accurate, complex and varied language.
  • develop critical insights into, and contact with, contemporary society, cultural background and heritage within the French speaking world.

This course develops the students’ listening and reading comprehension of authentic materials, fluency in both spoken and written work and competence in more advanced structures. Pupils are required to organise ideas, facts and opinions and to transfer meaning from one language to another. The content of the course is extremely varied and topics studied include:



  • Social issues and trends – the changing nature of the family; the ‘cyber-society’; the place of voluntary work
  • Artistic culture – a culture proud of its heritage; contemporary francophone music; cinema: the 7th art form
  • A film
  • Social issues and trends – positive features of a diverse society; life for the marginalised; how criminals are treated
  • Aspects of political life – teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment; demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?; politics and immigration
  • Grammar
  • A literary text

Discussion in French will be an essential part of the course and students will be encouraged to express their personal response to material studied. Pupils will be required to access the internet in order to retrieve up-to-date material from French speaking countries. In addition to the work studied in class, students will be required to develop their listening and reading skills through independent study undertaken in their own time. Possible enrichment activities offered with this course include: a study visit to a French city (usually Paris); cinema/theatre visits and timetabled lessons with a native speaker.

Comparison with GCSE

The basic requirement for entry to the course is a grade 6 or above at GCSE; students should have acquired the knowledge, understanding and skills specified at higher tier. The course requires an enthusiasm for language learning; hard work and a commitment to work independently.

Examination Requirements

A-level in June of Year 13


Paper 1 – Listening, Reading and Writing:

2 hours 30 mins; 100 marks, 50% of A-level

Candidates will answer a range of questions based  on spoken passages and a variety of written texts.

They will also translate a passage into English and French.

Paper 2 – Writing:

2 hours, 80 marks, 20% of A-Level

2 essay questions in French on a set text & film.

 Paper 3 – Speaking:

21-23 mins; 60 marks, 30% of A-Level

Candidates will discuss a sub-theme, based on a stimulus card.

Presentation and discussion of an individual research project.



Relevance to Further Studies and Careers

A-level French is the main qualification for entry to degree courses in French. A Modern Foreign Language can often be part of a combined degree course with many subjects, including law, accountancy, engineering, business and management etc.

A-level French is valued highly by prospective employers. The qualification offers evidence of a significant level of achievement in all language skills as well as a knowledge and understanding of another culture. Students with an ability to communicate confidently and effectively in French will be able to use their skills in the commercial, financial, tourist and legal sectors, in addition to translation work and teaching, not only in this country but also abroad.



Entry Requirements

GCSE French at Grade 6 on higher tier papers.