Spanish

There are estimated to be almost 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide; it is an official language in twenty countries.

Spanish is one of the six working languages of the United Nations, and it is an official language of the European Union.

There is so much more to Hispanic culture than paella and flamenco. El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha by novelist Miguel de Cervantes was voted as the best book of all time, and while the 17th century book is widely available in other languages, it, like any book, is best in its original language. Students have one to one speaking sessions in addition to the five hours of study each week. All students have free access to our vast Spanish film DVD library, Spanish newspapers and magazines, as well as a growing collection of Spanish literature. Students are encouraged to work independently, but will also be called upon to work collaboratively. Learning Spanish will challenge students to consider issues of importance in contemporary society, while at the same time allowing them to study in some depth the culture of a Spanish speaking country.

The department consists of six experienced linguists who have all lived, worked and studied abroad. All teachers in the department teach both French and Spanish and some staff are also able to teach Italian, German and even sign language. 


Why Choose Spanish

  • The ability to speak Spanish is a huge advantage on the international job market. Many large corporations are expanding in South America particularly and there is a huge demand for Spanish speakers in the USA.
  • Languages are in demand in the business community; according to a report by the CBI in 2013, 70% of businesses value language skills in their employees. It is a great advantage to a business to have employees who are able to communicate to customers in their own language
  • Over 40% of the businesses asked identified Spanish as the most useful language to know.
  • The ability to speak a language can also have a positive effect on career progression; the likelihood of securing a role with an international dimension is greatly increased if you can speak a language
  • The study of Spanish enables students to develop many practical and transferrable skills; to learn to think critically, to engage in oral discussion and debate, to consider ideas objectively, to construct persuasive arguments, to express themselves articulately both in writing and orally. 
  • Languages can be studied in combination with anything from Science to Business to Law. Many degree courses provide students with the opportunity of studying and working abroad. 

Exam Board


Further information on the Spanish A Level can be found on the AQA website.


Course Content

AS Outline


The AS course will cover:

  • Media: TV, advertising and communication technology
  • Popular culture: cinema, music and fashion/trends
  • Healthy living/lifestyle: sport/exercise, health and well-being and holidays
  • Family/relationships: relationships within the family, friendships and marriage/partnerships

A2 outline


The A2 course will cover:

  • Environment: pollution, energy and protecting the planet
  • The multi-cultural society: immigration, integration and racism
  • Contemporary social issues: wealth and poverty, law and order and the impact of scientific and technological progress
  • Cultural topic: Spanish students currently study a film director (Almodovar) and a region (Castilla la Mancha).

Assessment

AS Examinations

Unit 1 –Listening, Reading and Writing - 2 hour written examination

  • 70% of AS Level 
  • 35% of A Level

Unit 2 –Speaking Test - 35 minutes speaking test (including 20 minutes preparation)

  • 30% of AS Level
  • 15% of A Level

A2 Examinations

Unit 3 – Listening, Reading and Writing - 2 hours 30 minutes written examination

  • 35% of A Level

Unit 4 – Speaking Test - 35 minutes speaking test (including 20 minutes preparation)

  • 15% of A Level

Trips, Activities and Extension

There are a number of extra-curricular activities held by the Modern Foreign Languages Department, as well as a number of clubs and classes aimed at supporting pupils to progress in the various disciplines that are essential to grasping a language. 

Sixth Form Work Experience Trip to Salamanca

Sixth Form Work Experience Trip to Salamanca.

Sixth Form Trip to Castilla la Mancha

Upper Sixth Spanish students have the opportunity of a study visit to the Spanish community, Castilla La Mancha, designed to complement the A2 Level course. Students are examined on the film ‘Volver’ set in Castilla La Mancha and directed by Pedro Almodóvar who was born there. The group visit a number of key centres of interest; namely, Toledo (the region’s capital) as well as the smaller towns and villages of Almagro, Ciudad Real, Calzada de Calatrava and Granátula de Calatrava.

Onatti Spanish Theatre Production

The Onatti Spanish Theatre company visit the School to perform plays entirely in their chosen language, giving students the opportunity to listen a performance entirely spoken in Spanish.