AbiHorn
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What should I expect from A-level Spanish? Unsure if to go for it, I also got a 'C' at GCSE.
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ewanjwilson
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(Original post by AbiHorn)
What should I expect from A-level Spanish? Unsure if to go for it, I also got a 'C' at GCSE.
Hi Abi,

I'm currently taking AQA A-Level Spanish. I'm in year 12 and have been doing it for a few weeks now. Getting a 'C' or '5' at GCSE isn't classed as a recommended grade when taking Spanish in further education at many colleges/six forums. I got an A* or '8' in my GCSE Spanish and it has been a struggle to get used to the amount of speaking and listening in Spanish that you will need to be doing. But please don't let this put you off - nor the recommended (but just be wary that some may not offer you the course).

In terms of the content (I'm with AQA), Spanish A-Level is definitely focused more on the culture of Spain. For example, did you know that Spain was actually under a dictatorship until 1975? A lot has changed since 1975 and a lot of the things that you learn culturally are affected because of this.

In terms of paper(s)/examination, it's still speaking, listening, reading and writing - although these are obviously a lot harder at A-Level. For your writing for instance (with AQA), you study a Spanish Literature Piece and a Spanish Film Piece, both decided by your school/college, most likely. For the reading and listening it will be focused around the themes which you study, for instance at the moment I'm learning about family life in Spain (under a certain Theme), and the test is like at GCSE, but obviously harder questions and higher-level vocabulary - but with the listening you can listen to it as many times as you want! For speaking, you do something which is known as your IRP (Independent Research Project), which is where you must identify a question/topic/theme that is of interest to you but it must link with Spain and/or a Spanish speaking country(s) - there's actually a forum on the Student Room for this!

Hope this helps! All the best!
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Spanishteacher
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Hi Abi, from my experience as a private tutor I only recommend taking Spanish A-level if you are passionate about Spanish and got an A/B at GCSE. In Spanish A-level you are expected to have a very good, if not excellent, level of Spanish grammar, speaking, etc.. Under my point of view it is not so much about Spanish language but ability to analyse and discuss Spanish books, films and affairs. You will need to read a Spanish book and do a thorough analysis of the content and the same with a Spanish film. Also you need to learn a lot about Spanish culture and history. I have previously tutored students that got an A in GCSE and struggled so much with A-level that had to do up to 5 hours of private tutoring lessons a week with me to achieve the A/B that they needed in Spanish to get into the University of their choice. With this I am not willing to scare you but I believe some teachers should be more clear with their students in terms of what the expectations are.
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AbiHorn
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(Original post by ewanjwilson)
Hi Abi,

I'm currently taking AQA A-Level Spanish. I'm in year 12 and have been doing it for a few weeks now. Getting a 'C' or '5' at GCSE isn't classed as a recommended grade when taking Spanish in further education at many colleges/six forums. I got an A* or '8' in my GCSE Spanish and it has been a struggle to get used to the amount of speaking and listening in Spanish that you will need to be doing. But please don't let this put you off - nor the recommended (but just be wary that some may not offer you the course).

In terms of the content (I'm with AQA), Spanish A-Level is definitely focused more on the culture of Spain. For example, did you know that Spain was actually under a dictatorship until 1975? A lot has changed since 1975 and a lot of the things that you learn culturally are affected because of this.

In terms of paper(s)/examination, it's still speaking, listening, reading and writing - although these are obviously a lot harder at A-Level. For your writing for instance (with AQA), you study a Spanish Literature Piece and a Spanish Film Piece, both decided by your school/college, most likely. For the reading and listening it will be focused around the themes which you study, for instance at the moment I'm learning about family life in Spain (under a certain Theme), and the test is like at GCSE, but obviously harder questions and higher-level vocabulary - but with the listening you can listen to it as many times as you want! For speaking, you do something which is known as your IRP (Independent Research Project), which is where you must identify a question/topic/theme that is of interest to you but it must link with Spain and/or a Spanish speaking country(s) - there's actually a forum on the Student Room for this!

Hope this helps! All the best!
Th

(Original post by Spanishteacher)
Hi Abi, from my experience as a private tutor I only recommend taking Spanish A-level if you are passionate about Spanish and got an A/B at GCSE. In Spanish A-level you are expected to have a very good, if not excellent, level of Spanish grammar, speaking, etc.. Under my point of view it is not so much about Spanish language but ability to analyse and discuss Spanish books, films and affairs. You will need to read a Spanish book and do a thorough analysis of the content and the same with a Spanish film. Also you need to learn a lot about Spanish culture and history. I have previously tutored students that got an A in GCSE and struggled so much with A-level that had to do up to 5 hours of private tutoring lessons a week with me to achieve the A/B that they needed in Spanish to get into the University of their choice. With this I am not willing to scare you but I believe some teachers should be more clear with their students in terms of what the expectations are.

Thankyou for your help, I’ve tried to look into it more and I understand everything you are saying. I’ve left college now but I wanted to broaden my intellect with Spanish as I have a high passion for languages as it is. So I’d be doing it from home, like a self study thing, is it a really bad idea?

Thanks Abi 👀
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AbiHorn
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(Original post by Spanishteacher)
Hi Abi, from my experience as a private tutor I only recommend taking Spanish A-level if you are passionate about Spanish and got an A/B at GCSE. In Spanish A-level you are expected to have a very good, if not excellent, level of Spanish grammar, speaking, etc.. Under my point of view it is not so much about Spanish language but ability to analyse and discuss Spanish books, films and affairs. You will need to read a Spanish book and do a thorough analysis of the content and the same with a Spanish film. Also you need to learn a lot about Spanish culture and history. I have previously tutored students that got an A in GCSE and struggled so much with A-level that had to do up to 5 hours of private tutoring lessons a week with me to achieve the A/B that they needed in Spanish to get into the University of their choice. With this I am not willing to scare you but I believe some teachers should be more clear with their students in terms of what the expectations are.

Hey! I've just gone and bought myself the AQA Spanish book and I feel that it's going to be a lot harder than I anticipated, however, I am very passionate about Spanish, the question is if it is enough to get me through it. I may not apply for the qualification and just teach myself. Then get myself a private tutor, so if you know any that would be very helpful. Thank you for being so honest.
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