luciie
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I'm planning to take Spanish as an A-level, but the problem is at GCSE we haven't really learnt a lot of grammar. Will this be a problem? How much are you expected to know at the beginning?
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elen90
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I did French at A-Level and to be perfectly honest I wouldn't say I started learning it until I began there. What I learned at GCSE isn't really memorable to me. As long as you know the basic stuff, like normal tenses, you'll be fine

Be prepared to work, though.
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rileystringer1
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(Original post by luciie)
I'm planning to take Spanish as an A-level, but the problem is at GCSE we haven't really learnt a lot of grammar. Will this be a problem? How much are you expected to know at the beginning?
You pretty much just need some vocabulary and you'll be fine. They don't assume that you know anything, so they'll go back over the things you should have learned at GCSE like the present tense, the past tenses etc. before they move on to anything more complex.
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Anna Schoon
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(Original post by luciie)
I'm planning to take Spanish as an A-level, but the problem is at GCSE we haven't really learnt a lot of grammar. Will this be a problem? How much are you expected to know at the beginning?
Yes, it will be a problem! It is always a problem with all modern languages. However, all teachers know this and most will try to do something about it when you start your course. You can help yourself during the summer holidays after your GCSE by making sure that you revise very thoroughly all your conjugations in all the tenses (regular, radical-changing and irregular verbs) that you have learnt for GCSE - these need to be 100% correct, all the time.

Simple tenses: present; imperfect, preterite, future, conditional
Compound tenses: perfect, pluperfect, present continuous, past continuous

Make sure you also revise when to use these: the past tenses, in particular, which can be tricky.

If you do this, you will find the gap between GCSE and A level considerably easier to bridge.
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tinkerbella~
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(Original post by luciie)
I'm planning to take Spanish as an A-level, but the problem is at GCSE we haven't really learnt a lot of grammar. Will this be a problem? How much are you expected to know at the beginning?
They'll reteach the grammar you already know, as well as teaching you the new stuff so I don't think you need to worry. Pretty sure we did present tense verbs within the first week of Spanish AS despite the fact that all of us taking it had achieved A* GCSE, so clearly knew how to conjugate. The new stuff they teach you isn't that complicated either, only thing that can be a bit confusing is subjunctive uses but you get the hang of it quite quickly.
Just look over what you do know before you start, though it doesn't need to be in any huge detail as they'll probably go back to basics.
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abbievictoria
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I took French A Level having got a very secure B (almost an A) at GCSE and I couldn't hack A Level at all. The tenses confused me and it caused me so much stress I had to drop it. But my boyfriend got a B in GCSE Spanish, completed his full A Level and now speaks amazing Spanish. It's all individual I think


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Rorschach II
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(Original post by Anna Schoon)
Yes, it will be a problem! It is always a problem with all modern languages. However, all teachers know this and most will try to do something about it when you start your course. You can help yourself during the summer holidays after your GCSE by making sure that you revise very thoroughly all your conjugations in all the tenses (regular, radical-changing and irregular verbs) that you have learnt for GCSE - these need to be 100% correct, all the time.

Simple tenses: present; imperfect, preterite, future, conditional
Compound tenses: perfect, pluperfect, present continuous, past continuous

Make sure you also revise when to use these: the past tenses, in particular, which can be tricky.

If you do this, you will find the gap between GCSE and A level considerably easier to bridge.
In GCSE I was only taught present, perfect and future.
I doubt anyone covered all those tenses / their equivalent.
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DrSocSciences
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Not a problem. I did A level French and Spanish, with Spanish from scratch to A level top grade in 2 years flat. There's not much to Spanish grammar, - far less complex than French grammar.
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Anna Schoon
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(Original post by XcitingStuart)
In GCSE I was only taught present, perfect and future.
I doubt anyone covered all those tenses / their equivalent.
And that is exactly the problem! If you look closely at the syllabus, you will see that there is a huge discrepancy between what is theoretically required for the syllabus, and what is actually taught and examined. It's a silly system, but there you have it.

The trouble is that A level textbooks - and many teachers - revise (and don't teach, there is a difference) the GCSE syllabus. So students who have no idea at all can flounder very quickly. I should know, I've taught enough students in that position!


(Original post by DrSocSciences)
Not a problem. I did A level French and Spanish, with Spanish from scratch to A level top grade in 2 years flat. There's not much to Spanish grammar, - far less complex than French grammar.
Well done!

You're right that French grammar is more complicated. Many students struggle a lot with Spanish verb conjugation, however, which is quite easy to learn by yourself.
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