Head of Department
Ms Bianca Abrahams
Level 7 in Spanish GCSE
Level 6 in English GCSE
Why study this course
Studying a language at A level is an excellent choice for myriad reasons. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world with over 400 million speakers. It’s also one of the most spoken languages in Europe. Being able to speak Spanish can provide you with numerous academic and career opportunities. Languages are very highly respected by universities due to their diverse course content and the countless skills that are needed to really master them.
If you are struggling to choose between, English, History, Politics and a language, you can be rest assured that all those topics will be covered throughout your course. You will also be able to study a contemporary Spanish film.
Furthermore, during the course, you will be the opportunity to spend one week in the host country, carrying out a week’s work experience and living with a host family.
Any career choice will be supported and enhanced by your decision to study a language, and particularly Spanish with its worldwide reach.
The Spanish A level board is EDEXCEL as we felt that this offered the most appealing selection of set texts and films. There are three examinations: Paper 1 (40%) : Reading, listening and translation, Paper 2 (30%) : Writing on a film, writing on a book and a translation and Paper 3 (30%) : the oral including discussion of the IRP- individual research project.
The following subjects are studied:
- 1) Changes in the Spanish society: changes to family structures, the world of work and the impact of tourism on Spain
- 2) Politics and Art in the Spanish Speaking World: muzic, media and festivals and traditions
- 3) Immigration and a mulitcultural society: the positive impact of immigration, the challenges, the public opinion on immigration
- 4) The Franco Era and the Transition to a democracy: the civil war and rise of Franco, the Franco era and his dictatorship, the fall of Franco and the transition to democracy
Pupils will also study a film and a Spanish book.
Possible books include: Como agua para chocolate, Laura Esquivel, 1989 (novel), Eva Luna, Isabel Allende, 1987 (novel) or Crónica de una muerte anunciada, Gabriel García Márquez, 1981 (novel).
Possible films include: Diarios de motocicleta, dir. Walter Salles (2004), El laberinto del fauno, dir. Guillermo del Toro (2006) or Todo sobre mi madre, dir. Pedro Almodóvar (1999).
Year 12 pupils will be given the opportunity to travel to Spain and complete a week’s work experience while staying with a host family during either the Easter break or the February half term. This is an excellent way to improve their confidence when speaking the language and also to experience the Spanish culture first hand.
Pupils will also be taken to the galleries of London, visiting Spanish paintings and describing and analysing them in the target language.
When possible, pupils attend Spanish dance shows and films to help enhance their knowledge of Spanish culture as well.
Pupils will also be given the opportunity to help to deliver language lessons in primary schools in the area.
Language skills alone are already an advantage in potential employers’ eyes, but Spanish even more so, as it’s so widely spoken. Many British and American companies conduct business in Spanish-speaking countries, and with over 30 million Spanish speakers in the US alone, it’s a great skill to have if you’re looking to work abroad.
South America is a huge agricultural producer, producing a large quantity of the world’s coffee, sugarcane and bananas. Being able to speak Spanish could open up opportunities to work for global export companies. Similarly, in Spain, the manufacturing and textile industries are strong, providing further opportunities. Some careers where your languages will be invaluable:
Translator, Teaching, Marketing, Journalism, Diplomatic Service (Foreign office), Aid worker, Tourism and Finance.
However, even if you don’t decide to use your Spanish directly, the skills you learn when studying a language will be useful in any career path as they are transferable to any field.