Why study French A level?

French A level is taught to Monmouth School for Boys and Monmouth School for Girls within the Modern Foreign Languages departments, following the same examination specification.

Click here for more information about Modern Foreign Languages at Monmouth School for Boys

With over 128 million French speakers spanning five of the world’s six continents, French offers students a wealth of diverse cultures and countries to explore. French speakers are world citizens and studying French puts you at the cutting edge in a global employment market.

France is renowned for its rich historic cultural heritage: philosophy, fine art, literature, gastronomy, cinema, human rights and revolution, classical music, rap, scientific invention, engineering and medical advances. Studying French allows you to access the arts as well as the sciences.

The study of French at A level provides a welcome contrast to science subjects and naturally complements arts and humanities courses. The subject has tremendous kudos with both universities and employers and can be combined with all other courses at university in the UK including Law and Medicine. Graduates are highly employable as language communication skills are well-respected and sought after in this global age.

We aim to broaden the students’ understanding of modern day France and the French-speaking world as well as instil an appreciation of its cultural past. Students will learn to express opinions, analyse themes and develop clear and justified arguments. They will learn to communicate with confidence about current issues as well as write persuasively. If you are interested in cultural diversity and enjoy cinema, if you would like to learn how to contribute effectively to discussion and write with conviction, then French could be the subject for you.

Head of Department: Miss R Beech


Course content

Board: AQA   A level Specification Code: 7652

You will study the following topics in class using a variety of up to date resources: text books, video, listening, articles, websites, songs, etc.

Social Issues and Trends:
Aspects of French-speaking society – current trends: The changing nature of family, The “Cyber society” and the place of voluntary work.

Artistic culture:
Heritage, contemporary music & cinema

Political and artistic culture:
Aspects of French speaking society

Current issues:
Positive features of a diverse society, social exclusion and criminals and prison

Aspects of political life:
Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment; Demonstrations, strikes, politics and immigration.

In addition, you will study one film and one text.

Method of assessment

Paper 1 – Listening, reading and writing: 2.5 hours.
100 marks (50% of A-level)

  • Listening and reading comprehensions.
  • Writing two summaries.
  • Translation: French into English and English into French.

Paper 2 – Writing: 2 hours.
80 marks (20% of A-level)

Two essays: one on film and one on literature.

Paper 3 – Oral: 21-23 minutes.
60 marks (30% of A-level)

  • 5 minutes: Structured discussion based on a stimulus card (5 mins prep time).
  • 2 minutes: Presentation on an individual research project, followed by a 10 minute discussion.