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Why French?

In our multilingual global society, studying any foreign language will help you to appreciate the nature and diversity of different cultures and people and to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and employment. Through studying A level French you will develop a wide range of both knowledge and skills. You will learn to communicate effectively, present arguments and points of view clearly on a whole range of topics and broaden your outlook in a variety of areas.

You may need languages for all sorts of career destinations - doctors, psychologists and physiotherapists need language skills to communicate effectively with patients whether they work in the UK or overseas; businessmen, bankers and entrepreneurs all need language skills to make deals and sell products on the global market. Politicians, historians, geographers and holiday reps all need language skills to get to know the people and area that they are passionate about. Languages can take you to some wonderful places and give you many brilliant opportunities. It’s an impressive achievement to speak a foreign language and you'll have better options for your future.

If you want to develop your language skills to a high level and deepen your understanding of French language and culture, immerse yourself in French broadcasts, read French magazines and newspapers, watch French television and become a sought after employee by multi-national companies then French should be the subject for you.

Summary of content

The WJEC AS and A level in French provides an engaging and exciting opportunity for learners to build on their previous study of French. Through social, intellectual and cultural themes learners will be able to develop their linguistic knowledge and cultural understanding of the countries or communities where the language is spoken.

An opportunity to study literature and film will allow learners to undertake a deeper analysis of language structures and increase their cultural awareness as part of an integrated approach to language learning.

A strong focus is placed on building learners' confidence and fluency in spoken French using relevant and topical themes. The requirement to research an area of personal interest related to the country or countries where the language of study is spoken aims to enhance learners' cultural appreciation and enable them to gain a greater awareness of intercultural differences.


The specification content covers the two main areas of interest:

i.  Social issues and trends

ii. Political, intellectual and artistic culture.

Under these two areas of interest a total of four themes have been chosen to offer learners an extensive and pertinent learning experience. These four themes are in turn divided into sub-themes.


Area of Interest (i) - Social issues and trends

Theme 1: (AS) Being a young person in French-speaking society

  • Family structures, traditional and modern values, friendships / relationships
  • Youth trends, issues and personal identity
  • Educational and employment opportunities

Theme 3: (A level) Diversity and difference

  • Migration and integration
  • Cultural identity and marginalisation
  • Cultural enrichment and celebrating difference
  • Discrimination and diversity

Area of interest (ii) Political, intellectual and artistic culture

Theme 2: (AS) Understanding the French-speaking world

  • Regional culture and heritage in France,
  • French-speaking countries and communities
  • Literature, art, film and music in the French-speaking world

Theme 4: (A level) France 1940-1950: The Occupation and the post-war years

  • From June 1940-May 1945 (occupation, liberation and end of World War II)
  • Life in Occupied France and the cultural dimension (théâtre, cinéma, littérature)
  • 1945-1950: rebuilding and restructuring
  • Repercussions for modern day France


AS - Unit 1 - Speaking

Non-exam assessment: 12-15 minutes (plus additional 15 minutes preparation time)

12% of qualification 48 marks

Task 1

Arguing a point of view based on a written stimulus card (5-6 minutes)

Task 2

Discussion based on a second written stimulus card (7-9 minutes)

AS - Unit 2 - Listening, reading, translation and critical response in writing

Written examination: 2 hour 30 minutes

28% of qualification 84 marks

  • Section A: Listening
  • Section B: Reading
  • Section C: Translation – from French into English/Welsh
  • Section D: Critical response in writing

Prescribed works at AS

Four films are available for study at AS. Candidates are required to study only one:

  1. Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Un long dimanche de fiançailles, A feature film (2004)
  2. Aki Kaurismäki: Le Havre, A feature film (2011)
  3. Laurent Cantet: La classe, A feature film (2008)
  4. Roselyne Bosch: La Rafle, A feature film (2010)

A2 - Unit 3 - Speaking Non-exam assessment

18% of qualification 72 marks

Independent research project

  • (a) Presentation of independent research project (2 minutes)
  • (b) Discussion on the content of the independent research project (9-10 minutes)

A2 - Unit 4 - Listening, reading and translation

Written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes

30% of qualification 100 marks

  • Section A: Listening
  • Section B: Reading
  • Section C: Translation – from English/Welsh into French

A2 - Unit 5 - Critical and analytical response in writing (closed-book)

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

12% of qualification 40 marks

One essay question based on the study of one literary work taken from the prescribed list.

Prescribed works at A level

Four literary works are available for study at A level. Candidates are required to study only one

  1. Irène Némirovsky: Le Bal, A novel (1930)
  2. Faïza Guène: Kiffe-kiffe demain, A novel (2005)
  3. Philippe Grimbert: Un secret, A novel (2004)
  4. Elsa Triolet: Les Amants d'Avignon A novel (1944)

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