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Spanish

Introduction

Globalisation of world markets, the expansion of the European Community and increasing opportunities for travel are creating an environment in which language skills can open more and more doors. However, languages really come into their own when set alongside expertise in another field. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that Spanish will nowadays combine with any other A Level subjects.

Topics covered

Topics covered across the two years:

Changes in Spanish society
• The family structure
• The impact of tourists in Spain
• The world of work

The political and artistic culture in Spanish-speaking countries
• Music
• Media
• Festivals and traditions

Immigration and the multicultural Spanish society
• Immigration
• Integration and multiculturalism

The Franco dictatorship and the transition to democracy
• The Franco dictatorship
• The passage from dictatorship to democracy

Students will also study two Spanish works – a book and a film:
Bodas de Sangre and El laberinto de fauno.

Assessment

Three papers:
• Listening, reading and translation
• Written response to works (book and film) and translation
• Speaking

How the course differs from GCSE

In terms of content, the emphasis shifts from students’ needs as a visitor to a Spanish speaking country to look at contemporary issues from a Spanish perspective. As regards the actual exam, there are two important differences:
• There is no controlled assessment or coursework
• The culture of Spain is integral to the course

Skills acquired

Building on the language acquired at GCSE, students learn to express themselves with increasing accuracy and sophistication, both orally and in writing, on a wide range of issues of contemporary interest. At the same time, they learn to tackle authentic written and spoken texts of an increasingly complex nature. In doing so, they gain an insight into the culture and values of another society.

Where the course leads

Specialist language occupations include interpreting, translating and teaching. However, in an increasingly international environment, practically any job, whether based in the UK or abroad, can involve the use of languages. For those who go on to Higher Education, it is possible to study Spanish alongside a wide range of other subjects.

Special entry requirements

Students will need at least a grade 6 in GCSE Spanish.

They should have an interest in the issues of the day and in the culture of Spanish-speaking countries, along with an enthusiasm for discussing these in Spanish. If possible, they should spend at least one reasonable period in Spain during the course.

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