French – Grade 6
Examination Board: AQA
Introduction/General Advice and Requirements
French is, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents. French is a major language of international communication. French is also the second most widely taught language after English, it is taught on every continent. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, is made up of 77 member States and governments. France also operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language course for close on a million learners.
A career asset
The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers and the cream of foreign students.
The language of international relations
French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. Proficiency in French is essential for anyone considering a career in any international organisation.
Course Content & Assessment
The A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment, business, international law or further study, including a modern languages degree.
In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of French-speaking countries. (The changing nature of family, the ‘cyber-society’, the place of voluntary work, France and its heritage, contemporary francophone music, cinema).
In the second year further aspects of the social background are covered, this time focusing on issues, such as life for those on the margins of French-speaking society as well as looking at the positive influences that diversity brings.
Students also study aspects of the political landscape in a French-speaking country, looking at immigration from the political perspective and at the way in which political power is expressed through action such as strikes and demonstrations. (positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated)
Paper 1 40% of A level
Listening, reading and writing
- Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends
- Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues
- Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
- Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
Paper 2 30% of A level
- One text Joseph (Joffo Un Sac de Billes) and one film (Au Revoir les Enfants)
Paper 3 30% of A level
- Individual research project (a French region, freedom of expression, science and technology in modern France…)
- One of four sub-themes i.e. aspects of French-speaking society: current trends, aspects of French-speaking society: current issues, artistic culture in the French-speaking world, aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
- Broadcast journalist
- Diplomatic Services operational officer
- English as a foreign language teacher
- International aid/development worker – Unesco – La croix rouge
- Logistics and distribution manager
- Marketing executive
- Sales executive
- Tour manager
- Secondary school teacher
- Primary school teacher – Languages are compulsory at KS2
- Foreign civil service
- Airline service
- Editing and publishing
- Import /export specialist
- Hotel management
Language graduates have a vast array of career opportunities open to them, ranging from work with well-known multinational companies to international organisations or charities. There are exciting opportunities – often involving travel abroad- in finance/ banking, sales, manufacturing, community/social services, research/medicine, transport/communication. Invest in the future by studying A level languages.
Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government scholarships to enrol in postgraduate courses in France in any discipline and qualify for internationally recognised French degrees.