Is a Spanish as a 4th A level a good idea?

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computuring
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I want to go into medicine or a science related field, so I am going to do Bio, Chem and Maths a levels, but I go to a grammar school so they want us to take either 4 a levels or an EPQ.

I really want to do Spanish, because I love it a lot and I've always wanted to speak another language, even though it’s not hugely related to the field i will go into, and Spanish is one of the few subjects i'm getting 9s in currently. I do Spanish outside of gcses quite often, like duolingo and learning extra grammar.

I see a lot of posts about how hard language a levels are, but i can't really comprehend it as i haven't had any experience of what a levels are like. Maybe the jump from gcse won't be as hard as people are saying, because the new gcses now have spontaneous writing and speaking.

But would it be too much to take it as a 4th a level? My school doesn't offer AS anymore so I'd have to take all 4 of them to year 13, or drop Spanish without a qualification.

People say that languages are a lot of work, but I would be prepared to work hard on it, because I find learning vocab and things so fun, I learnt the whole gcse vocab list in a month. But I know bio, chem, and maths will also be hard work (probably more?) and I don’t know if I can manage. What if it brings down my other grades if I spread myself too thinly or something.

Does anyone do this combination of subjects, I just want to know if it is feasible. The other options for my 4th a level i'm considering are psychology or further maths, which may be more relevant to medicine/science, but i am a lot more passionate about Spanish (however i'm under the impression that languages are harder).

Of course, I could just take Spanish, and then drop it at the start of year 12 if I found it too overwhelming and do an EPQ.
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Elisamary30
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Hii I’m currently doing Spanish French and English Literature and an EPQ and yes a level languages are extremely difficult and despite the fact that I got an A* in Spanish GCSE ( full UMS ) I am still struggling slightly. Nevertheless I still love spanish and I therefore don’t mind putting a lot of my time and effort into the subject. So I recommend if you do truly enjoy Spanish then take it and see how it goes.
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Beccaf99
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Spanish is my favourite A-level subject and i take french and geography also, im at a grammar school too but we were allowed to drop a subject after AS. And there is definitely a big jump for gcse to A-level, but you seem really passionate about learning it and it will take away the stress from all your other science based subjects. For me learning a language is more like a hobby as well, so whilst learning you're also having fun!! And spanish is such a useful language to learn, its spoken all over the world and i would say a fairly easy language to learn. Perhaps take is to year 12 and see how you get on, but i 100% recommend it
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Cgray209
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I do Spanish as my 4th A-Level along with Maths, Physics and Chemistry which is similar to what you are looking to do. It is quite hard work but I have found that as long as I mange my time and follow a schedule it is doable. I would also recommend Spanish as I am interested in the language so it is extremely fun and also a break from my other sciencey subjects.
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Ana-bana
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I love spanish. It’s my passion and the one lesson I looks forward to. I think, you have to really want to do it. The work load is insane! And you have to be dedicated and committed! But the course is so interesting and entertaining and plus, languages are an amazing skill to have
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computuring
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(Original post by Ana-bana)
I love spanish. It’s my passion and the one lesson I looks forward to. I think, you have to really want to do it. The work load is insane! And you have to be dedicated and committed! But the course is so interesting and entertaining and plus, languages are an amazing skill to have
When you say the workload is insane, what do you actually have to do aha sorry i have no idea. Do you have to like immerse yourself in the language.
Also the only thing i was worried about is the speaking, it says you have to talk about a research project or something, it looks so hard...
Are the topics you do interesting/enjoyable as well?
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Ana-bana
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(Original post by computuring)
When you say the workload is insane, what do you actually have to do aha sorry i have no idea. Do you have to like immerse yourself in the language.
Also the only thing i was worried about is the speaking, it says you have to talk about a research project or something, it looks so hard...
Are the topics you do interesting/enjoyable as well?
Hiii. Yes definitely, you have to live the language everyday. So watching spanish films, tv series, constantly checking grammar. My phone language is spanish! I think in spanish!
At AS you learn about technology, a little bit of history, spanish culture, relationships and a few others then at A2 it’s things like politics, unemployment etc all related to the current state of Spain. I find it really interesting. Of course, everything is in Spanish and you indirectly learn the grammar. So the text books don’t set aside lessons to learn grammar, you pick it up along the way, as well as vocab and then it’s up to you to perfect it.
The speaking is horrendous. You have to do a 2/3minute research project where you research about any topic related to spain and then you present it. Then you have a 4min questioning about it, all random and totally unprepared questions. The you are shown a stimulus card which is of a topic you have studied, you’re given 15mins to prepare and then you have to answer the questions! Hard but if you enjoy spanish then it’s ok.
The other exams consist of
Paper 1- 2hrs 30 writing, reading and listening of which you will be tested by multiple choice, summary’s and translations
PAper 2- 2hrs to write two essays. You have a choice of two questions for each essay. One essay is on the film you have studied and the other is on a book. I’m doing Volver as the film and como agua para chocolate as the book. You’re not allowed a dictionary or the book in the exam.
Yes it’s crazy difficult. It tests many different skills, not just your quality of Spanish. But I think that’s good because you won’t get bored! Pero, español es mi pasión.
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computuring
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(Original post by Ana-bana)
Hiii. Yes definitely, you have to live the language everyday. So watching spanish films, tv series, constantly checking grammar. My phone language is spanish! I think in spanish!
At AS you learn about technology, a little bit of history, spanish culture, relationships and a few others then at A2 it’s things like politics, unemployment etc all related to the current state of Spain. I find it really interesting. Of course, everything is in Spanish and you indirectly learn the grammar. So the text books don’t set aside lessons to learn grammar, you pick it up along the way, as well as vocab and then it’s up to you to perfect it.
The speaking is horrendous. You have to do a 2/3minute research project where you research about any topic related to spain and then you present it. Then you have a 4min questioning about it, all random and totally unprepared questions. The you are shown a stimulus card which is of a topic you have studied, you’re given 15mins to prepare and then you have to answer the questions! Hard but if you enjoy spanish then it’s ok.
The other exams consist of
Paper 1- 2hrs 30 writing, reading and listening of which you will be tested by multiple choice, summary’s and translations
PAper 2- 2hrs to write two essays. You have a choice of two questions for each essay. One essay is on the film you have studied and the other is on a book. I’m doing Volver as the film and como agua para chocolate as the book. You’re not allowed a dictionary or the book in the exam.
Yes it’s crazy difficult. It tests many different skills, not just your quality of Spanish. But I think that’s good because you won’t get bored! Pero, español es mi pasión.
Wow that seems pretty intense haha. Is the film and book good (like enjoyable), do you have to analyse it like you would with english lit. I can't stand english lit gcse, but i also do ancient greek lit which i love so maybe i just find literature more fun in another language ??
Would you say you spend more time working on spanish than your other subjects, or are they all roughly the same, time-wise
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Ana-bana
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Erm. Yeah the film is good but the book is dull. You do have to analyse them but you’re not expected to talk about metaphors, tenses etc. So for my mock we were asked ‘what’s the significance of the title Volver’ and ‘do you agree that the main message of the book is that happiness is impossible without love’. The book is really difficult to follow. The film is deffo better.
Erm, yeah spanish definitely, it requires constant practise. You’re not just memorising facts, you have to be able to apply it as well and in many different contexts. I do Geography and English language as my other subjects.
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lowtestbeta
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(Original post by computuring)
I want to go into medicine or a science related field, so I am going to do Bio, Chem and Maths a levels, but I go to a grammar school so they want us to take either 4 a levels or an EPQ.

I really want to do Spanish, because I love it a lot and I've always wanted to speak another language, even though it’s not hugely related to the field i will go into, and Spanish is one of the few subjects i'm getting 9s in currently. I do Spanish outside of gcses quite often, like duolingo and learning extra grammar.

I see a lot of posts about how hard language a levels are, but i can't really comprehend it as i haven't had any experience of what a levels are like. Maybe the jump from gcse won't be as hard as people are saying, because the new gcses now have spontaneous writing and speaking.

But would it be too much to take it as a 4th a level? My school doesn't offer AS anymore so I'd have to take all 4 of them to year 13, or drop Spanish without a qualification.

People say that languages are a lot of work, but I would be prepared to work hard on it, because I find learning vocab and things so fun, I learnt the whole gcse vocab list in a month. But I know bio, chem, and maths will also be hard work (probably more?) and I don’t know if I can manage. What if it brings down my other grades if I spread myself too thinly or something.

Does anyone do this combination of subjects, I just want to know if it is feasible. The other options for my 4th a level i'm considering are psychology or further maths, which may be more relevant to medicine/science, but i am a lot more passionate about Spanish (however i'm under the impression that languages are harder).

Of course, I could just take Spanish, and then drop it at the start of year 12 if I found it too overwhelming and do an EPQ.
As long as your willing to do the work I would say its worth it. I fell a bit behind on my other subjects at AS level due to the Spanish workload/study, but that's because I was lazy. By the time you finish A-levels you'll be semi-fluent.
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