A LEVEL spanish....Watch
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
It’s a language, you’ve got to have a natural knack for languages. You’ve also got to love it, because learning the vocab/grammar/content (a lot of the content from my exam board was political culture) takes up a LOT of time; vocab and grammar in particular need to be gradually chipped away at over the two years, so you need to be aware that cramming isn’t an option there.
The students who do well are the ones who do extra activities in the language: whether that’s reading, listening to music, listening to podcasts, attending extra classes etc. You basically need to submerge yourself in the language.
Realistically, A* grades at A-Level are reserved on the most part for native speakers who take the exams. It’s not impossible to get an A* grade as a non-native speaker, but it’s extremely difficult - especially when you have two/three other subjects to balance.
I’m doing English Literature and English Language also; I’m predicted A grades in both of those. Spanish is the most difficult, but not by miles.
Also, you’ll have no problem with the speaking exam. The pressure is less on grammar and more on the ability to speak with a good accent and naturally. Those who have difficulties with the speaking tend to struggle with this, but if you can master the accent (YouTube “SuperHolly”) you’ll be fine.
Personally, I love the course and would do it all again!
Hope this helps.
2. I’m predicted an A and achieved A* at GCSE. My teachers say that A* at A level is mostly only achievable for native speakers and haven’t had a pupil achieve it before, but it is possible if you familiarise yourself with key grammar and vocab.
3. I found the GCSE pretty easy as we studied basic topics and I understood almost everything. My class at GCSE went from almost 30 to only 2 of us at A level. At A level the grammar and vocab is more complex and you apply the language to learning about spanish culture, films and novels.
4. I haven’t done my speaking exam yet but we are preparing for it, my preparation includes picking a topic and doing a short presentation on it, and being prepared to answer questions about it. You can do it on food, festivals, equality, women in working world, etc.
I say if you enjoy it, go for it but you are expected to be familiar with the language and be prepared to learn more vocab and grammar. Also its good to have an interest in the culture because we do A LOT of work surrounding it
hope this helped☺️
I´m just a teacher but I´d like to say...
if you enjoy Spanish, go for it. It goes well with any other subject.
Do not be put off if there are some native speakers in class. The course isn't for them but for you, British students. It is a myth that native speakers bring grades up but it is not true... examiners revise every single question in the exam taking into account non-native speakers and keep grades within logic terms. They look at the whole cohort and individual cases to establish grades.
"Use" your teacher, ask for extra work, extra support ...
Compared to GCSE, grades go down unless you revise/work every single day.
Be ready to learn lots of grammar but also very interesting facts about other Hispanic cultures.
Like with everything, exams are hard but if you have practised and prepared with other classmates and your teacher, nothing to be afraid of. The self-esteem you get when you speak and are understood in a foreign language has no comparison to the pride you experience in other subjects.