A-Level – Languages

Modern Foreign Languages

Among the benefits that have been identified in connection with learning a modern foreign language, some are practical (broadening your study opportunities and improving your employment potential), some are physiological (sharpening your memory and enhancing your powers of perception), some are spiritual (learning to appreciate international literature and culture), and some are idealistic (promoting greater global understanding). And this is not even to mention the fact that language-learning is a fun activity, bringing its own rewards in the forms of increased and enriched social interaction. Students of Modern Languages are highly regarded by both universities and employers and the subjects can lead to and dramatically benefit careers in a wide variety of areas.


What will I learn?

The modern foreign languages offered at Hampstead Fine Arts include French, Spanish, Italian, and German. More than ever before, MFL A Levels put the emphasis on practical communication: speaking about everyday topics of interest, reading articles from newspapers and magazines, listening to radio items, and writing about subjects of topical and cultural interest. Students use the foreign language in speech and in writing to express viewpoints, develop arguments, and to evaluate information. In addition, students will read/watch and learn to analyse major works of literature (e.g. texts by Vigan, García Lorca, Ammaniti and Dürrenmatt) and contemporary cinema (e.g. films by Malle, Almodóvar, Giordana and Henckel von Donnersmarck). One noteworthy feature of the new A Level is the integration of a special period of modern historical study (the Occupation of France in World War Two, the process of transition to Democracy in Spain/Italy and the reunification of Germany).


Course content of the new A Level exam:

Paper 1 Listening, Reading and Translating (40%)
Paper 2 Written Response to Works and Translation (30%)
Paper 3 Speaking, including independent research (30%)


In the new A level, there will be three papers:

Paper 1 Includes elements of Listening, Reading and Translation. (2 hrs) Paper 1
Paper 2 Includes elements of Prose Translation and Written Response to TWO literary works/texts. (2 hrs 40) Paper 2
Paper 3 Comprises two speaking tasks: discussion of an unseen theme and discussion of an independently researched project (21/23 minutes, including 5 minutes’ preparation time) Paper 3

Fine Arts students have gone on to follow Modern Languages courses at a range of high-ranking universities, including Oxford, Edinburgh, King’s College, London, and Manchester. They have also used their linguistic skills in conjunction with areas of specialisation as diverse as Management and International Business, on the one hand, and History of Art and Comparative Literature, on the other.


Examination board: Edexcel/Pearson