At first, students are often surprised at how little interested we are in their previous achievements in the subject. We do ask them what they achieved at GCSE, but as we tell them, that is no indication of how well they are going to do at A level. We tend to start again from scratch and spend the best part of the first term revising and strengthening basic vocabulary and grammar. That said, we have a very flexible approach and, with a higher standard group, we quickly move on to more advanced language. One aspect that our students particularly appreciate is the smaller oral groups, which mean they do not have to speak the language in front of twenty other students in the early stages of the course – always a daunting prospect!
A typical listening or reading exam will include short tasks (true and false, gaps etc.) and longer answers in the language studied. To perform well, you will need a wide range of vocabulary to understand the audio/printed material and express yourself, and enough grammar to structure your answers accurately. A significant part of the assessment is written (translation and essays). The oral exam gives you the opportunity to explore and talk about any topic of your choice that can be linked to the countries where the language is spoken.
For more information about the structure and content of the course visit the Edexcel