Why study languages at A-level?

If you’re reading this page it’s because you’re considering studying languages at A-level and want to know what it’s actually like.

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Languages are all around us; they are used in so many situations whether at work, on holiday or just casually in day-to-day life - we live in a multilingual global society. 

Top tip:

”Choosing an A-level language is a really smart move if you want a fascinating subject that offers you a range of career possibilities at the end and are a lot of fun along the way.”

Choosing an A-level language is a really smart move if you want a fascinating subject that offers you a range of career possibilities at the end and are a lot of fun along the way. A-level language courses are interesting and varied subjects to study and give you a broad range of knowledge and skills.

Learning a language is a never-ending process; languages are constantly changing, bringing in new words and getting rid of old ones. 

The skills and qualifications that you gain from studying a language at A-level are incredibly important tools to have under your belt.

What is the A-level course like?

A-level languages build upon your existing knowledge gained at GCSE, giving you a sound understanding of using your language in a variety of contexts and situations - at home, abroad, with friends or in the workplace. The emphasis of the A-level language course focuses on improving communication in your foreign language through different means as well as being able to use it in a variety of situations, developing your key skills areas and most importantly to encourage you to fall in love with learning languages.

Insider info:

”The emphasis of the A-level language course focuses on improving communication in your foreign language through different means as well as being able to use it in a variety of situations.”

The A-level modern language course is structured so that you’ll study four modules each year which will form the basis of the reading, writing and listening exams and also the speaking test

With around five hours of class time a week dedicated to learning your language this is a fast pace environment with noticeable improvements. The topics that you’ll cover are really varied so you not only greatly improve your language speaking ability, use of grammar, different tenses, and know tonnes more vocabulary - but you’ll also learn about culture, history, literature, society, the environment and lifestyle.

The aim of the A-level modern language course is to help you to develop an interest in speaking a foreign language, to gain awareness of the need to speak foreign languages, to appreciate the nature and diversity of different cultures and people and to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and employment.

What other subjects can I study?

An A-level language complements a whole variety of subjects. You may need languages for all sorts of career destinations- doctors, psychologists and physiotherapists need language skills to communicate effectively with patients whether they work in the UK or overseas; businessmen, bankers and entrepreneurs all need language skills to make deals and sell products on the global market. Politicians, historians, geographers and holiday reps all need language skills to get to know the people and area that they are passionate about. A foreign language A-Level will complement and enhance your other studies to no end.

What GCSE grade do I need?

To be able to do a language at A-level, you need to aim for at least a grade C at GCSE, although entry requirements differ between colleges and sixth forms.

What can I do afterwards?

Languages are an invaluable skill to have. Having a language can increase your salary from 8 to 20% and gives you a head start on other potential employees as by speaking another language you’re vital to any company who does international business (and there’s a lot of them). Plus, a language is also a pre-requisite for lots of uni courses so it’s something to consider if you’re thinking about uni in the future. Languages are key to the exciting multinational world we live in!