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Why Spanish?

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 Spanish language and culture, immerse yourself in Spanish broadcasts, read Spanish magazines and newspapers, watch Spanish television and become a sought after employee by multi-national companies then Spanish should be the subject for you.

Summary of content

The WJEC AS and A level in Spanish provides an engaging and exciting opportunity for learners to build on their previous study of Spanish. 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 Spanish 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 Spanish-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 Spanish-speaking world

Regional culture and heritage in Spain, Spanish-speaking countries and communities

Literature, art, film and music in the Spanish speaking world

Theme 4: (A level) The Two Spains: 1936 onwards

  • El franquismo – origins, development and consequences
  • Post-Civil War Spain – historical and political repercussions
  • The Spanish Civil War and the transition to democracy (represented in the arts, cinema, literature, art and photography)
  • Spain – coming to terms with the past? "Recuperación de la memoria histórica"

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 Spanish 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. Achero Mañas: El Bola, A feature film (2000)
  2. Pedro Almodóvar: Volver, A feature film (2006)
  3. Joshua Marston: María, llena eres de gracia, A feature film (2004)
  4. Walter Salles: Diarios de Motocicleta, A feature film (2004)

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 Spanish

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

Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes

2% 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:

  • Luis de Castresana: El otro árbol de Guernica, A novel (1967)
  • Laura Esquivel: Como agua para chocolate, A novel (1989)
  • Federico García Lorca: La casa de Bernarda Alba, A play (1936)
  • Ramón Sender: Réquiem por un campesino español, A novel (1953)

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