Modern Foreign Languages: French & Spanish 

A Levels in French and Spanish are acknowledged as important qualifications in their own right, showing employers that you are an outgoing, confident and articulate person, who is not afraid of challenges or hard work.

Studying a Modern Foreign Language at A Level can open doors to a world of new opportunities and experiences. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider continuing your study of a foreign language:

  • Language learning develops your study skills (i.e. essay writing, research, planning);
  • Learning a language helps to develop your communication skills which are vital when applying for jobs;
  • It gives you the flexibility to go and work abroad;
  • Britain lags behind Europe in language learning and we need to catch up;
  • With the globalisation of the world economy and advances in ICT, businesses are keen to employ anyone who can speak a second language to a high level; and
  • Language learning promotes tolerance and understanding of different cultures.

French or Spanish will combine with, or complement, all subjects at A Level. Furthermore, today’s technology provides excellent opportunities for learning a language. 

Course content

We follow the Edexcel syllabus. You will be assessed on your ability to understand and communicate in French/Spanish. You will build on what you have done at GCSE, learning to communicate at a higher and more sophisticated level. 

You will study a range of topics relating to the life and culture of the countries where your chosen language is spoken:

  • Social issues/trends: changing family structures, education, tourism, the world of work;
  • Political, intellectual and artistic culture: music, media, festivals and traditions;
  • Immigration and the multi-cultural society;
  • A period of history from either France or Spain; and
  • In addition, you will study a film and a literary text.

You will follow a textbook which will be supplemented with newspaper articles, audio-visual materials, magazines and books. In addition, a range of target language websites and films are used.

In the Sixth Form you will usually have two language teachers. You will be taught as a group but there will be plenty of opportunities for pair work, group discussion and debate. Lessons will be largely in the target language and you will be expected to participate and contribute as much as possible. Smaller class sizes mean you will quickly build up your oral fluency with the teachers able to give individual guidance in every lesson.  Homework will be set after each lesson and you are encouraged to expose yourself to as much target language as possible through reading and listening exercises and by visiting a country where the language is spoken.


The final examination is made up of 3 papers.

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation - written examination - 2 hours - 80 marks  (40% of the qualification) 

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation - written examination -2 hours 40 minutes - 120 marks (30% of the qualification) 

Paper 3: Speaking: Internally conducted and externally assessed.  Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, including 5 minutes’ preparation time - 72 marks (30% of the qualification)

Course requirements

Students wishing to study MFL will be required to have achieved a minimum of grade 7 at GCSE.

For full course specification visit:

United Learning