The ability to communicate in another language will be a key factor for success in the career market of the 21st Century.
As a major European language, Spanish will give students a clear practical advantage in terms of job opportunities. The study of Spanish is no longer limited to the study of literary texts, but focuses on the need to achieve oral fluency and communicate effectively. A command of the language will open the way to career success in many areas of employment – industry, banking, international law and foreign accountancy, to name but a few.
Spanish combines well with other AS and A2 subjects, including Sciences, Mathematics and the Arts. In addition to studying pure Spanish at university, there are many exciting degree courses that allow a combination of Spanish and other subjects such as Business or Law.
The AS is a natural sequel to GCSE and is accessible to students who have gained grade B and above. The course is modular, with students taking two modules to make up the AS qualification:
- Unit 1: Spoken expression and response – discussion on a given stimulus and further conversation on related subjects.
- Unit 2: Understanding and written response – listening to varied recorded material and responding to questions, reading varied passages and responding to questions and writing a letter, report or article. A2 includes two further units:
- Unit 3: Understanding and spoken response – outlining a chosen issue on which a stance has been taken, justifying opinions and then engaging in discussion on other issues.
- Unit 4: Research, understanding and written response – translation from English to Spanish, a creative, discursive or task-based essay and a research-based essay linked to a particular interest.
Both the AS and A2 parts of the course are modern and practical, and their main goal is to achieve oral fluency and written accuracy; students are encouraged to visit Spain. Regular use of the Language Laboratory is a prominent feature of the course, as is 50 minutes’ conversation once a week with the Language Assistant.
To achieve success in this subject students are likely to be good communicators who have an interest in language, other countries, their people and customs.
R D Appleton
Head of Spanish