A Level Languages


Head of Languages – Mrs L Hill BA (Sussex) PGCE (Reading) lhill@stedmundscollege.org

Head of French – Mrs F Harvey-Keenan BA (Hons) (Durham) PGCE (Nottingham) fharveykeenan@stedmundscollege.org

Head of German – Mrs J Gardner (Bradford) PGCE (Herts) jgardner@stedmundscollege.org

Head of Spanish – Mrs E Franco MA (Leon) efranco@stedmundscollege.org

Head of Italian – Mrs S Rinaldi (Head of Italian and Latin) srinaldi@stedmundscollege.org

This information can be downloaded in a booklet at the bottom of the page.


French, German and Spanish – Please find below a breakdown of the course at A Level. Further information can be found in the full specification, which is available on the Eduqas AS/A Level Languages web-page. Assessment for each component is completed at the end of Rhetoric II.  Assessment for all three components is  completed at the end of Rhetoric II. This means that students will not complete the AS Level, however students will sit a stringent end-of-year examination in Summer 2020.

Component 1  – SPEAKING, Speaking examination (21-23 minutes) – 30% of qualification

Task 1:

(a) Presentation of the independent research project (2 minutes)

             2 minutes for the candidate’s uninterrupted spoken presentation of a project they have researched independently.

(b) Discussion on the independent research project (9-10 minutes)

   9-10 minutes discussion of the content of the research project.

Task 2:

Theme based discussion – 5 minutes preparation followed by 5-6 minutes discussion

5-6 minutes discussion based on a stimulus card comprising an image, a short text and a point for consideration.


Component 2 -Written examination (2 hours 30 minutes) – 50% of qualification

Stimulus material will be in French/German/Spanish, based on the four themes under the areas of interest:

Social issues and trends and political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture.

Section A: Listening

Section B: Reading

Section C: Translation of unseen passages from French/German/Spanish into English and from English into French/German/Spanish


Component 3 – Written examination (2 hours) – 20% of qualification

Critical and analytical response in writing (closed book).

Candidates write an essay of approximately 300 words on each of the two works they have studied.

One essay will be based on a literary work and the second on an additional literary work or film.  Both of these are chosen from the prescribed list.

Candidates will have a choice of two questions for each literary work and film.

Students are not permitted to use dictionaries or texts in any part of the assessments



Themes Being a young person in

French/German/Spanish speaking society

Understanding the

French/German/Spanish speaking world

Sub-themes · Families and Citizenship

· Youth trends and personal identity

· Education and employment opportunities

· Regional culture and heritage in France/Germany/Spain


French/German/Spanish speaking

countries and communities


· Media, art, film and music in the French/German/Spanish speaking world

Themes –


Diversity and difference France 1940-1950: The Occupation and post-war years
Sub-themes · Migration and Integration

· Cultural identity and marginalisation

· Cultural enrichment and celebrating


· Discrimination and diversity

· June 1940-May 1945

· The cultural dimension in occupied France

· 1945-1950

Themes –


Diversity and difference The making of modern Germany: 1989 onwards
Sub-themes · Migration and Integration

· Cultural identity and marginalisation

· Cultural enrichment and celebrating


· Discrimination and diversity

· Initial and subsequent process of reunification

· Social cohesion in present-day    Germany

· The economic impact of a united Germany

Themes –


Diversity and difference The two Spains: 1936 onwards


Sub-themes · Migration and Integration

· Cultural identity and marginalisation

· Cultural enrichment and celebrating


· Discrimination and diversity

· El franquismo

· Post-Civil War Spain – historical and political repercussions

· Spain – coming to terms with the past?



Italian — Please find below a breakdown of the course. Further information can be found in the full specification, which is available on the Edexcel AS/A Level Italian webpage.  Assessment for each component is completed at the end of Rhetoric II.


Unit 1  –  Spoken Expression and Response in Italian, Spoken examination (8-10minutes) – 15% of qualification

Section A: students repond to four Edexcel-set questions on a stimulus

Section B: the examiner engages students in more general conversation


Unit 2 – Understanding and Written Response in Italian, Listening, Reading and Written examination (2 hours 30 minutes) – 35% of qualification

Section A: Listening

Section B: Reading

Section C: Writing – students write 200-220 words in the form of  a letter, report or article in Italian


Unit 3 – Understanding and Spoken Response in Italian, (11-13 minutes) – 17.5% of qualification

Students present an issue of their choice for about one minute.  They then engage in debate and defence of their stance with the examiner for up to four minutes.  There will then be a further discussion of at least two unpredictable areas.


Unit 4 – Research, Understanding and Written Response in Italian, (2 hours 30minutes) – 32.5% of qualification

Section A: Translation from English into Italian

Section B: Essay in Italian

Section C: Research-based essay in Italian


Across each component or unit, for all languages, students will be assessed on the following objectives:

  • AO1:     Understand and respond to spoken language in both speech and writing
  • AO2:     Understand and respond to written language in both speech and writing
  • AO3:   Manipulate the language accurately in both speech and writing using a range of lexis and       structures
  • AO4:   Show knowledge of and respond critically and analytically to different aspects of the culture

    and society of countries/communities where the language is spoken.


Theme:  Youth culture and concerns

„Sub themes:

Music and fashion

„Technology (eg MP3/blogs/mobile phones/internet/games)

„Relationships (family/friendships and peer pressure)

„Drink, drugs, sex

Theme:  Lifestyle: health and fitness

„Sub themes:

Sport and exercise

„Food and diet

„Health issues (eg smoking, skin cancer, health services)

Theme:  The world around us: travel, tourism, environmental issues and the Italian-speaking world

„Sub themes:

Tourist information, travel and transport

„Weather (eg natural disasters, climate change)

„Pollution and recycling

Theme: Education and employment

„Sub themes:

Education (schooling and higher education)

„Education policy and student issues

Theme:  Customs, beliefs and religions

Theme:  National in international events:  past, present and future

Theme:  Literature and the arts


A level Italian- Recommended Reading list


Io non ho paura, Niccolò Ammaniti, 2001 (novel)

Marcovaldo, Italo Calvino, 1963 (short stories)

Senza sangue, Alessandro Baricco, 2002 (novel)

Volevo i pantaloni, Lara Cardella, 1989 (novel)

Il giorno della civetta, Leonardo Sciascia, 1961 (novel)

Lessico famigliare, Natalia Ginzburg, 1963 (novel)

Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore, Luigi Pirandello, 1921(play)

Jack Frusciante è uscito dal gruppo, Enrico Brizzi, 1994 (novel)





Bernhard Schlink: Der Vorleser 1995 (novel)

Franz Kafka: Die Verwandlung 1915 (novel)

Karin König: Ich fühl’ mich so fifty-fifty 1994 (novel)

Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Der Besuch der alten Dame 1956 (play)

Heinrich Böll: Das Brot der frühen Jahre 1955 (novel)

Bertolt Brecht: Das Leben des Galilei 1943 (play)


Wolfgang Becker: Goodbye Lenin 2003

Dennis Gansel: Die Welle 2008

Hans Weingartner: Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei 2004

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: Das Leben der Anderen 2006

Tom Tykwer: Lola rennt 1998

Doris Dörre: Kirschblütten Hanami 2008




Laura Esquivel. Como agua para chocolate

Fernando Fernán Gómez. Las bicicletas son para el verano

Federico García Lorca. Yerma

Federico García Lorca. La casa de Bernarda Alba

Ramón J. Sender. Réquiem por un campesino español

Gabriel García Márquez. El coronel no tiene quien le escriba

Luis de Castresana. El otro árbol de Guernica

Gabriel García Márquez. Cien años de Soledad

Hooper, J. The New Spaniards, Penguin, 1995

Hooper, J. Los Nuevos Españoles. Editorial Javier Vergara, 1996

Ross, C. Contemporary Spain. A Handbook. Arnold, 1997

Skidmore, T. and Smith, P. Modern Latin America, OUP, 1989

Carmen Laforet. Nada


Guillermo del Toro. El laberinto del fauno

Joshua Marston. Maria, llena eres de gracia

Emilio Martínez Lázaro. Las trece rosas

Pedro Almodóvar. Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios

Enrique Urbizo La caja 507

Miguel Courtois. El Lobo

Emilio Martínez Lázaro. Ocho apellidos vascos




No et Moi : Delphine de Vigan

Une année chez les Français : Faouad Laroui

Antigone : Jean Anouilh

L’Étranger : Albert Camus

Le silence de la mer : Vercors

Boule de Suif et autres contes de guerre : Guy de Maupassant

Le Petit Prince : Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Le Chapeau de Mitterand : Antoine Laurain

Art (a play):  Yasmina Reza

Tartuffe :  Molière

Le Bossu de Notre-Dame : Victor Hugo

35 kilos d’Espoir :  Anna Gavalda

Oscar et la Dame Rose : Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt


Intouchables (2011)

Les Choristes (2004)

Le Grand Voyage (2004)

Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

La Haine (1995)

Monsieur Batignole (2002)

Être et avoir (2002)

Le dîner des cons (1998)

Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

Amélie (2001)

La Rafle (2010)

Coco avant Chanel (2009)

La Vie en Rose (2007)

Le Dernier Métro (1980)

Délicatessen (1991)

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964)

Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)



Department Rationale

As the British Council has said, it is hard to know which language is likely to be of most use. The important thing is to increase the number of people who feel able, not unable, to travel, explore, navigate and engage at some level with people in other languages.  Learning a language is a vital life skill, particularly in a post-Brexit world,  where it is vital that young people are prepared to engage with people of different nationalities.

Through the study of social, intellectual, historical and political themes, students will be able to develop their linguistic knowledge and cultural understanding of the countries/communities where the languages are spoken.

Department Aims & Objectives

  • To break down cultural stereotypes to foster a spirit of international relations.
  • To develop critical autonomy through the exploration of wider political, social and cultural contexts, and the discussion of issues and debates relevant to all countries.
  • To develop an understanding of the social, political, and technical systems of a country, as well as the innumerable aspects of daily life that are important to that nation’s identity and culture.
  • To promote academic essay writing skills and techniques that allow students to write critical and reflective essays in a balanced and structured way.
  • To enhance students’ appreciation of the attention to detail required to construct a coherent and accurate answer, whether it be a spoken piece, an essay, or the transfer of meaning through translation.
  • To develop students’ ability to undertake thorough independent research into a variety of issues and current affairs, across a range of different sources.
  • To develop control of the language system to convey meaning using spoken and written skills with a view to becoming confident, accurate and independent users of the language
  • To promote engagement with current affairs and contemporary social/cultural trends through the discussion of topical or historical issues in the language studied.
  • To equip students with transferable skills such as autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, critical thinking, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility that will enable them to              proceed to Further Study or employment.
  • To prepare students for the demands of Higher Education by promoting engagement with academic  scholarship and independent approaches to learning.