At Ashington Academy, the modern foreign languages department deliver a specialist and immersive course which continues to develop and perfect students’ productive and receptive skills. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are continually practised via the study of a wide range of themes which give a historical, social and cultural context to the study of the language. Lessons routinely use clips from French news channels, newspapers and magazines to discuss and debate topics relating to changing attitudes towards family structure, secularism in education, the 35-hour working week, immigration and integration laws and the role the Vichy government played during the occupation of France in the 1940s.
In addition to these themes, there is a specific focus on film and literature. Students will have the opportunity to complete an in-depth study of one film and one novel, focussing on the techniques and intentions of the specific director and author. These studies are further complemented by a visit to the Tyneside cinema to participate in a session of film analysis and discussion with native speakers and other A level students from the region.
An exciting aspect of the A Level course is the Independent Research Project (IRP) which allows students to research and lead on a topic which they are passionate about. It allows students to become the ‘expert in their field’ and to lead a discussion and debate on their chosen area. This offers the perfect opportunity for linguists to display their strengths in other areas.
The A level French course at Ashington Academy provides linguists with the high-quality skills needed to move forward for further education and employment. Former students have benefited from their qualification to continue with the study of languages at university, to pursue careers abroad, to move onto a variety of courses including medicine, law, journalism and teaching.