Studying any language at A-Level is the stepping stone to being able to converse fluently, to access the film, music, literature, art and theatre of that language and culture and to get to know and understand a people in a way which is impossible without such knowledge. The additional advantage of Spanish is the richness and diversity of the above, across a native-speaking world of 350 million speakers. The countries of Central and South America are increasingly at the forefront of the global economy and the ability to speak and use Spanish effectively can be instrumental to success in multiple areas of the world of work.
Additionally, the literary, artistic and cultural benefits of pursuing Spanish to A-Level are numerous and varied - if ever you needed convincing of the cultural insights just ask your Spanish teacher at school about Lorca or Don Quijote and you’d probably find it hard to get them to stop talking.
Communication is at the heart of language and in terms of fluency, you will learn to hold and conduct spontaneous conversations on a variety of topics and to use and adapt the language to suit the situation. For able linguists who wish to pursue this subject at degree level (or an even more exotic language like Arabic) A-Level Spanish is excellent preparation.
However, for those who do not wish to study languages at university, the A Level Spanish course will give you a very good level of Spanish, that will help you wherever your career takes you after finishing your A Levels.
During the course at Chapeltown, we study the works of Lorca and Garcia Márquez and the films of Diego Luna and Perdo Almodóvar. Additionally the A Level course gives wonderful and exciting scope to explore aspects of Hispanic society and make comparisons with British society in relation to issues of equality (la igualdad), values (los valores) and new technologies (el ciberespacio). Additionally, the course explores issues of immigration (la inmigración), integration (la integración) and racism (el racismo) in the context of multiculturalism in Hispanic society. The final “content” element is artistic culture and political life in the Hispanic world and this section encourages study of a huge variety of features, including aspects of Spanish regional identity (La identidad regional en España), popular movements (movimientos populares) modern day idols (la influencia de los ídolos) as well as historical dictatorships across the Spanish -peaking world.
Previously we have visited Cataluña, where we were based in Barcelona, and any students wanting to study Spanish are strongly recommend to come on one of our planned visits to Spain. We have trips to Valencia and Madrid in the pipeline. Should there be enough interest we will also look to organising a trip to South America.
The course is founded upon a comprehensive grammatical understanding of the language – essential for success in every aspect of its usage. We look at this early in the first year to ensure students can really make the most of everything the course has to offer.
The Academy’s general entry criteria of a minimum of five 4s at GCSE apply. Students need to have a 5 grade in Spanish at GCSE, although this really is an absolute minimum. Critically, students should be fiercely passionate about the language, and the desire to learn how to read, speak and write it and be committed to understanding about the culture in which it has thrived and thrives now.
To find out more about the A Level course, click here, to visit the AQA website.