anonymous2556
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anyone do spanish a level? im thinking of switching from chemistry to spanish (im in year 11)
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LasMariposas
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(Original post by anonymous2556)
anyone do spanish a level? im thinking of switching from chemistry to spanish (im in year 11)
Hi I'm in year 13, doing Spanish (AQA). Feel free to ask me any questions.
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anonymous2556
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(Original post by LasMariposas)
Hi I'm in year 13, doing Spanish (AQA). Feel free to ask me any questions.
ah thank you so so much! I have quite a few questions...

1) what are your other subjects and how does spanish compare to them/which is hardest?
2) what grade are you predicted and how achievable is an A* grade?
3) how did you find it at GCSE and how does the grammar etc compare?
4) ive heard that the speaking exams are awful - are they really that bad?

I'm choosing between spanish and chemistry but I really don't know what to do! I just want to get the best grades possible. I enjoy spanish and am quite good at it since I'm italian, but i've heard that it's hard at a level because the native speakers bring the grade boundaries super high up
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LasMariposas
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Hi just letting you know i have seen your post and am not ignoring you, i have had tech problems and will reply ASAP
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username4310824
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Hey! I did Spanish A-level last year and got an A (I'm now doing a degree in it ).

If you like languages then I'd really recommend it! It is quite a step up from GCSE but as long as you stay organised and don't leave everything until the last minute then you'll be absolutely fine.

It's worth remembering that languages are not are subject that you can just cram a few weeks or months before the exam. You have to be dedicated and do a bit of Spanish each day, whether that's reading a news article or listening to a podcast it doesn't matter as long as you're continuously exposing yourself to the language.

I wouldn't let speaking exams put you off either. I was beyond terrified at the thought of having to do it and thought it would be impossible as at GCSE all I had to do was memorise a load of paragraphs that I'd previously written. However, it was fine! (and that's coming from me who's not a confident speaker at all ). You end up doing so much practice in lessons that by the time the real exam comes around you do feel really prepared.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!
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maddie022
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Hi! I'm currently in year 12 and taking Spanish A-Level and have really rubbish teachers - they seem to know a very limited amount of Spanish
What would you say is the best way around this? The current plan is to learn all of the vocab in the 'vocab' sections of the textbook and gradually answer all the textbook questions but I still don't think this will be enough
Any other suggestions?? What would you do?? Any ideas would be very appreciated!
(Original post by MinaBee)
Hey! I did Spanish A-level last year and got an A (I'm now doing a degree in it ).

If you like languages then I'd really recommend it! It is quite a step up from GCSE but as long as you stay organised and don't leave everything until the last minute then you'll be absolutely fine.

It's worth remembering that languages are not are subject that you can just cram a few weeks or months before the exam. You have to be dedicated and do a bit of Spanish each day, whether that's reading a news article or listening to a podcast it doesn't matter as long as you're continuously exposing yourself to the language.

I wouldn't let speaking exams put you off either. I was beyond terrified at the thought of having to do it and thought it would be impossible as at GCSE all I had to do was memorise a load of paragraphs that I'd previously written. However, it was fine! (and that's coming from me who's not a confident speaker at all ). You end up doing so much practice in lessons that by the time the real exam comes around you do feel really prepared.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!
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username4310824
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(Original post by maddie022)
Hi! I'm currently in year 12 and taking Spanish A-Level and have really rubbish teachers - they seem to know a very limited amount of Spanish
What would you say is the best way around this? The current plan is to learn all of the vocab in the 'vocab' sections of the textbook and gradually answer all the textbook questions but I still don't think this will be enough
Any other suggestions?? What would you do?? Any ideas would be very appreciated!
Hi!

Your plan sounds good. I'd also recommend learning vocabulary outside of your textbook as it's highly unlikely that your exam board is only going to use the stuff that's in there. If you go on Memrise or Quizlet there are a lot of advanced Spanish vocabulary sets you can find if you search through the site. This is one that I used a lot.

You can also go on Spanish news websites such as El Mundo or La Vanguardia to pick up new vocabulary and expressions.

I'd make sure that you know your grammar well too. If you go on your exam board's specification you'll be able to find a list of all the grammar points that the exam board expects you to know. You could go through this checklist.

Although your speaking exam is still a while off I'd really recommend that you start preparing a little for it now to save yourself so much time in year 13. In the second part of your speaking exam you can be asked about any topic you've covered from over the past 2 years and the examiners don't just want you to give general answers as they'll be expecting you to have a lot of cultural knowledge and will want you to bring in relevant, current examples into your answers (i.e if they were asking you about Spanish young people and alcohol they'd be looking for you to mention things like el botellón, statistics for how many young people in Spain drink, etc.).

Sorry this was a bit of a rushed answer! If you're not sure about anything let me know.
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hannahbanana5
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Hey! Are you a native speaker in Spanish or do you speak another language which helped you?
Thanks! An A grade is amazing I do Spanish a level and I'm in year 13, it is by far my hardest subject.
(Original post by MinaBee)
Hey! I did Spanish A-level last year and got an A (I'm now doing a degree in it ).

If you like languages then I'd really recommend it! It is quite a step up from GCSE but as long as you stay organised and don't leave everything until the last minute then you'll be absolutely fine.

It's worth remembering that languages are not are subject that you can just cram a few weeks or months before the exam. You have to be dedicated and do a bit of Spanish each day, whether that's reading a news article or listening to a podcast it doesn't matter as long as you're continuously exposing yourself to the language.

I wouldn't let speaking exams put you off either. I was beyond terrified at the thought of having to do it and thought it would be impossible as at GCSE all I had to do was memorise a load of paragraphs that I'd previously written. However, it was fine! (and that's coming from me who's not a confident speaker at all ). You end up doing so much practice in lessons that by the time the real exam comes around you do feel really prepared.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!
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username4310824
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(Original post by hannahbanana5)
Hey! Are you a native speaker in Spanish or do you speak another language which helped you?
Thanks! An A grade is amazing I do Spanish a level and I'm in year 13, it is by far my hardest subject.
Hi! No I'm not a native speaker. English is the only language I'm fluent in unfortunately 😅

Yeah it can be really tough. I lost count of how many meltdowns I had over it but you can get through it! Which bit do you find that you struggle with the most?
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hannahbanana5
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(Original post by MinaBee)
Hi! No I'm not a native speaker. English is the only language I'm fluent in unfortunately 😅

Yeah it can be really tough. I lost count of how many meltdowns I had over it but you can get through it! Which bit do you find that you struggle with the most?
Well it gives me hope that a non native speaker got an A! haha, I'm only fluent in English too
Thank you, I hope so! I really struggle with paper 1 so listening, reading and translation. Can you recommend any effective revision techniques, and how did you do well in your essays? Thank you!
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username4310824
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(Original post by hannahbanana5)
Well it gives me hope that a non native speaker got an A! haha, I'm only fluent in English too
Thank you, I hope so! I really struggle with paper 1 so listening, reading and translation. Can you recommend any effective revision techniques, and how did you do well in your essays? Thank you!
Ah don't worry about not being a native! There were plenty of people in my class that weren't native but still got great grades

I think the most important thing when it comes to A-level languages is vocabulary as it will help you in every aspect of the exam. You could be a pro at the subjunctive or know all the irregular verbs in the preterite like the back of your hand, but if you don't know what the sentences are actually saying you're a bit doomed I'd make sure that you're learning new vocabulary regularly. There's many ways to do this, you could either use vocabulary sets on sites like Quizlet or you could go through Spanish news sites or watch Spanish films and TV shows and pick up new words there. Picking up new vocab through TV will help you with your listening too.

I'd really recommend getting into a routine of reading and listening to Spanish regularly. You could dedicate a bit of time each day where you go through a Spanish news article or listening to a Spanish show. By doing this you're getting used to things like how words are pronounced, how sentences are structured and the context in which you use certain vocabularies. When I was doing A-level Spanish I found watching Spanish kids shows on Youtube to be really useful as the vocabulary wasn't too complex and they didn't speak too fast either.

Translations can be tricky, but knowing your grammar well, making sure you know a lot of vocab and practising a lot will really help. I'd recommend going through old exam papers (it doesn't matter if it's not your exam board or specification) and doing the translations that are on there. You can compare your answers to what is on the mark scheme and pick up on and memorise the key bits where you went wrong so that you wont make the same mistakes again.

In regards to the essays, I found a super helpful revision guide on Amazon that I pretty much relied on. Unfortunately I don't think the company (I'm pretty sure it's Hodder) that makes them has made one for every book/film but if you have a look you might find it! Revising for these essays is sort of like revising for GCSE English lit. You have to make sure that you aren't being too descriptive and that you're backing everything up with evidence. It's important to try and integrate quotes in your essays and to bring in any relevant historical and cultural context. For example the book I studied was ''Como agua para chocolate'' which is set during the Mexican Revolution so I memorised key facts relating to that time period e.g when it started, why did it happen, what was life like for people then etc. Something my teacher made us do as well was create and revise exemplar essays on all the questions that we thought could come up. By doing this we were pretty much prepared for anything that the exam board could throw at us and didn't have to waste too much time in the beginning writing plans and thinking of what to write as we already had a lot of ideas stored in the back of our minds.

Hope this helps!
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hannahbanana5
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Brilliant! Thank you so much for this advice!! Am definitely going to stick by it, I always use memrise for vocab it's quick and useful, and I can use it whenever. Translations from english to spanish are the absolute worst for me, and the mark schemes are always super hard! 😫

We study "como agua para chocolate" and "el laberinto del fauno". I feel much more confident on the film rather than "como agua". I've done lots of essay plan for exemplar essays, but writing them out will be useful. What other film did you study? 🙂
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