An A-level Spanish gives you the grounding to have real conversations with real people. Quite a few of our former students have moved to France, Spain, etc to live and work – and in some cases marry – there.
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If you are considering studying a modern language A level at d’Overbroeck’s, it is likely that you have already studied a language at GCSE level. In some respects, doing an A level will be a continuation of what you did at GCSE. You will still practise the same skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking), learn vocabulary and grammar.

So what are the differences?

Obviously, the level. There is a big gap between GCSE and A level standards. To do well in these subjects, students need more grammar and a more extended vocabulary. Modern languages are demanding A levels.

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What you achieve at GCSE is no indication of how well you 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!


Sample questions


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 website.

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Modern Languages suit those who are curious to discover new cultures and ‘travel’ in the broadest sense of the word, or those who see themselves as globe-trotting businessmen! Success involves a highly disciplined attitude to memorising vocabulary on a daily basis, the ability to grasp grammatical concepts and to mimic strange sounds.
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Modern languages are among the top A levels in terms of university application, whether you are planning to apply for a language course or many other degrees. If you are applying for a ‘mainstream’ language (French, Spanish, German, etc), a good A level grade in the same language is usually required. Indeed, quite a few of our students move on to a language degree. Interestingly, statistics provided by university language departments show that most students with a language degree do not go on to a career in which the language is the main focus (eg teaching, translating). Instead, many language graduates work in businesses, banking, etc. An A level in a mainstream language can also lead to a degree in a less popular language that you have never studied before (eg with a French A level, you can start a degree in Arabic never having studied it).

Note that a language A level for a native speaker (i.e. you are French and do a French A level) might not be taken into consideration by universities.

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Who teaches Spanish?
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Ana Rodriguez-Nodal
Teacher of Spanish

Ana grew up in the Basque Country in the north of Spain and moved to Salamanca in the centre of Spain where she graduated in Business Studies at the University of Salamanca. Her passion for teaching started there. She came to live in the UK in 1993 and has been involved in the education sector ever since.


Her links with Spain are still very close. She started out as a Training and Development Coordinator for NVQs in Administration, but by chance, discovered that teaching her mother tongue was what she enjoyed. She has delivered courses to employees of companies with links to the Spanish-speaking world. She has also taught courses to adults in the continuing education departments of Further Education colleges and at Oxford University. Whenever she can, she enjoys being a tutor and a freelance translator. In 2005, she decided to focus on the education of young people and started teaching Spanish at d’Overbroeck’s.
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We offer more than 36 A-level subjects, enabling students to choose a combination that best fits their strengths, interests, and future aspirations.