Head of Modern Languages: Mrs H Parker
Being able to converse in a foreign language is a valuable asset; it opens up international study and work opportunities, signals a well-educated person and makes life, including holidays, very enjoyable too. Studying a language also fosters a range of transferable skills such as communication skills, critical thinking, resourcefulness and creativity, as well as linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility.
The A Level course aims to develop high level practical language skills as well as knowledge and understanding of Italian culture.
At A Level, students will improve their language skills, develop their understanding of life in Italy, and study at least one book and a film. They will also complete independent research for which they will choose an aspect of Italy or Italian culture, which interests them. By the end of the A Level course, students will be able to speak fluently and write a critical analysis of a film or a book.
Examination board: Edexcel
– Themes relating to Italian society and culture, including social and political topics and intellectual and artistic culture
– Either two set texts or one book and one film, enabling students to give an analytical appreciation of the plot, themes and characters as well as technical or stylistic features
– Advanced language skills, enabling them to respond to authentic written and spoken texts, translate and communicate their views in speaking and writing
– Independent research project relating to Italy or Italian-speaking countries
The final examinations will include listening and reading comprehension, translation into and out of Italian, essays in Italian about the book(s) and film studied and a speaking test.
We look for opportunities to take students to exhibitions, plays and films to broaden their knowledge of Italian culture. Competitions and debates with other schools make the languages come to life to an even greater extent. We also encourage students to find out about other possibilities, such as translation and poetry competitions, and events at the Istituto Italiano. Film Club in school also gives a chance to see foreign films. Students are encouraged to arrange visits to Italy and are given details of work experience possibilities.
University and beyond
A number of our students go on to study a language at university, either on its own or in combination with another language or a different subject. Combinations can include a language and business, a language and history, a language and law and many more. Language degree courses also vary widely from traditional courses involving serious study of literature to courses which are more language-based. The evidence is that employers value graduates with language skills, and employment rates among recent languages graduates are high. If you are interested in Art, Music or History of Art, Italian makes an ideal accompanying subject either at A Level or at university.