Languages

Languages are an essential skill in today’s international world. A recent report by the National Centre of Language stated that after ICT, a good knowledge of a language is the key skill employers look for in candidates. In fact Language graduates enjoy some of the best employment prospects of all the disciplines. An A Level in French, German or Spanish will enhance and enrich a student’s knowledge and understanding of their chosen country and broadens the student's understanding of major world issues such as politics, international relations, the environment, globalisation, crime and punishment, medical and scientific research and culture.

French, German and Spanish are all offered at St George’s College to A Level with many of our students continuing with a language as part of their university course. The courses, which are all taught by specialists with many years of experience, are fast paced, exciting and fun. The AS course takes a topic based approach with grammar dealt with in the context of the topic area. The teaching materials include course books and grammar books which tie in with the examination itself, as well as a range of other authentic materials from the internet or magazines and newspaper articles.

The AS course consists of two units. Unit one is the speaking exam which lasts approximately 10 minutes. Students will need to develop ideas and explain their opinions on a chosen topic. Unit two is a mixture of listening, reading and writing at a level consistent with students aged 16 or 17.

The A Level course also consists of two units which link into the AS to form an overall A Level grade. Unit 3 is the speaking exam which requires students to deliver a short speech concerning a certain topic about which they feel strongly and then defend their stance. After this initial five minute period, students will be encouraged to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of a number of unprepared topics. Unit 4 involves the study of a book and a region of either France, Germany or Spain as well as a discursive essay and a translation.

AS Level is intended to build on the skills acquired during GCSE. AS students are strongly encouraged to undertake work experience abroad during the Easter half term. The AS and A Level courses are all taught in small groups with six and seven periods per week respectively. In addition, students will be able to benefit from one conversation lesson per week with a Language Assistant in Spanish and French.

Students have a number of extra-curricular activities to support their learning, such as a study trip to the relevant country, themed days and lectures, Foreign Film Club and the chance to write in and edit the Languages Newsletter.