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Spanish is a major world language and Spain is an important holiday destination and trading partner for us. Those who have a knowledge of this language are in great demand!
Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are developed by progression through a series of topics which explore aspects of presentday life, current events and important issues. Spanish culture and civilisation are studied through documentary and video material, along with a range of practical activities. Students have one additional lesson per week with our Spanish Assistant.
Those wishing to take this course will normally have at least the equivalent of a grade C in GCSE Spanish, though, in special circumstances, students with no previous qualifications in the language will be accepted on the course. Anyone contemplating joining the course without a GCSE qualification must contact the department prior to enrolment. The expectation would be that such students, if accepted, will study GCSE alongside the AS course, in their first year.
This course follows on from the AS course, allowing students to progress to a full A Level qualification in the language.
- Conversation: General and topic-based conversation.
- Grammar: An in-depth look at how the language works.
- Media (including Television, Advertising and Communication technology)
- Popular Culture (including Cinema, Music and Fashion/trends)
- Healthy Living/Lifestyle (including Sport/exercise ,Health and well-being and Holidays)
- Family/Relationships (Including Relationships within the family, Friendships and Marriage/partnerships)
- Conversation: General and topic-based conversation.
- Grammar: An in-depth look at how the language works.
- Environment: (including Pollution, Energy and Protecting the planet
- Multicultural Society: (Including Immigration, Integration and Racism)
- Contemporary Social Issues: (including Wealth and poverty, Law and order and the Impact of scientific and technological progress) Plus two Cultural Studies Options:
- Regional Study: Andalusia
- Film Study: The films of Icíar Bollaín,
How it is taught
The course is delivered in 5 hours a week. The language is taught through a wide range of activities which include:
- Speaking Spanish in class or conversation group
- Grammar exercises
- Translation work
- Reading comprehensions
- Listening exercises
- Vocabulary-building activities
- Background reading
- Watching videos/films/satellite TV
- Reading a short story or play
- Using the library and internet to do research
- Independent listening programme
AS Level is achieved on the successful completion of units SPAN1 and SPA2/V, set by the AQA examination board. The examinations are held in May/June.
SPAN 1 (Listening, Reading and Writing) 2 hours 70%
You have 2 hours to complete all 3 sections of the examination.
Listening: Using individual computers you listen to approximately 5 minutes of material and complete a number of tasks, which include questions and answers in English and Spanish and no verbal responses.
Reading: 3-4 items requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses and a cloze test, testing grammar
Writing: 1 essay (from a choice of 3) of a minimum of 200 words in Spanish, based on the topics studied.
SPA2/V 1 (Oral) 15 minutes (plus 20 mins preparation time) 30%
a) Discussion of one AS of the topics, based on stimulus material prepared in the 20 minutes immediately prior to the examination. (5 mins)
b) A conversation covering the other 3 AS topics (The first chosen by you and the other 2 by the examiner) . (10 mins).
A2 is gained by adding units SPAN 3 and SPA4V/4, set by the AQA examination board. The examinations are in May/June.
SPAN 3 (Listening, Reading and Writing) 2 ½ hours 35 % of A Level
You have 2 ½ hours to complete all 3 sections of the examination.
Using individual computers, you listen to about 6 minutes of material in Spanish and complete 3-5 tasks requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses.
2-4 items requiring short answers in Spanish or non-verbal responses
Translation from Spanish to English
Translation Transfer of meaning (prose) from English to Spanish
One essayfrom a choice of 4 on the region or director. You must write a minimum of 250 words.
SPA4/V (Oral) 15 minutes 15% of A Level
The examination is in 2 parts:
1 A discussion based on a short written stimulus linked to one of the A2 topics and studied during a preparation period of 20 minutes.
You choose one of the two points of view expressed on your chosen card and
a Present the point of view you have chosen (max 1 minute)
b Defend / justify your point of view, as the examiner ‘argues’ the opposing view .
- A conversation
A conversation covering both Cultural Topics you have studied.
(Approximately 5 minutes on each)
The normal minimum entry requirement is a C grade in Spanish at GCSE (or equivalent). However, a formal entry qualification is not always required:
- Those who have spent time living in Spain will be considered for direct entry to the course
- Those who have not had the opportunity to study Spanish at school but who are confident that they want to study the language to AS or A2 may be accepted, but would be required to study GCSE alongside the AS Level
Students should also meet the general college entry requirements for advanced level study. Please refer to the current Prospectus – advanced programmes, entry requirements.
The normal entry qualification is AS Spanish.
Useful / Common Subject Combinations
Spanish combines well with many subjects:
- Other languages. These days it is useful to have a working knowledge of several languages
- Travel/Tourism. Spain is a major tourist destination
- Business/Economics. Spain and Latin America are important trading partners
Careers and HE Information
A number of our students have progressed through our courses to from Beginners’ Level to A Level and beyond. Some have found work in Spain or have participated in voluntary projects in Spanish-speaking countries. Others are putting their Spanish to good use in this country in business or education.
Other Relevant Information
Course notes will be provided and text books are issues from the library. You may find it very useful to have a ‘good’ Spanish/English dictionary. We recommend that you contact us for advice on this. As students of the college you will have full access to our internet facilities. This includes access to ‘Moodle’, our intranet, which can be accessed from home and which contains supplementary notes and activities and links to other selected and useful websites.
We encourage prospective students to contact the department to discuss which course may be best for you, by coming to our registration and information sessions or by e-mail/telephone:
Contact: (Dr) Beverley L. Palmer (Head of Spanish)
Tel: (01325) 461315
An extensive Atrium Study and ILT area on the ground floor houses 48 computer workstations, which are especially useful for group study. There are also study facilities and computers on the mezzanine floor.
The Library is purpose built for sixth form use and an exciting extension and refurbishment was finished in January 2013. It is open throughout the day for quiet / silent study and is open until 8.00pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
More than 12,000 items are in stock and there are a number of good-quality online resources provided by the Library, to use for research. Staff are happy to help students find the information they need, in person or online.
Eighty-eight computer workstations are available. Students book in advance using the online ‘MyPC’ system from home or within College, to reserve a computer for study.
There is a pay photocopier available, and both the Atrium and Library have facilities for printing in black & white and colour.
The QE Shop is near to the library, selling most stationery requirements at very competitive prices. It is open at break and lunchtimes.
Atrium and Mezzanine
The Atrium and Mezzanine offer a variety of services and resources to both students and staff, these include:
- Video editing facilities
- Meeting and presentation facilities
- Colour printing and scanning
- Staff to help with technical queries or general advice
In addition the Atrium has a wide range of equipment available for loan. It is available to both students and staff, for a maximum period of a week. The equipment includes:
- Digital Video Camcorders
- Digital Stills Cameras
- Digital Dictaphones
- Tape Dictaphones
- Mini Disk Players
Monday: 8:30 – 17:00
Tuesday: 8:30 – 17:00
Wednesday: 8:30 – 17:00
Thursday: 8:30 -17:00
Friday: 8:30 – 16:30
Information & Learning Technology
The College is proud of the ILT resources that are available for both students and staff. Every classroom has a digital projector, computer and access to the Internet, the College’s network and its Virtual Learning Environment. The College’s Virtual Learning Environment enables staff and students to access learning materials and resources from any computer connected to the Internet, at College or at home.
Helpful and well-qualified ILT staff are available to support both students and staff with their use of equipment and software.
There are many well-equipped ILT rooms, including ICT, Media, Music Technology and Art with access to suites of Apple computers. In addition, there are large open access areas available for students to use during their study periods when they do not have classes. For example, in the Library there are over 80 computers, as well as colour printing facilities. WiFi access to the internet is available for those students who wish to use their own devices.
We are adding to our resources all the time in order to ensure that students have access to the best learning resources available.
The Library, on the first floor, is purpose built for sixth form use. Newly extended and refurbished in January 2013, we can provide access to 88 computer workstations* and 98 study/ reading spaces, 30 of which are within a separate silent study area.
Monday: 8.30am to 8.00pm*
Tuesday: 8.30am to 5.00pm
Wednesday: 8.30am to 5.00pm
Thursday: 8.30am to 8.00pm*
Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm
*5.00pm after Summer half-term holiday each year.
Weekends – CLOSED
During holiday periods:
We are open 8.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday
We are closed on national holidays and full college closures, e.g bank holidays.
Additionally, if we need to close early or send out a message for any reason we will inform everyone as soon as possible in some or all of the following ways:- Moodle, QE TV screens, student bulletin, and the QE Library Facebook page/ Twitter account @QELibrary
Our aim is to support students and staff to enable them to be successful in their study/ work. This includes:
- Obtaining and managing relevant resources for learning, teaching and research, plus some leisure material.
- Support for students and staff to help them make the most of the materials and systems we provide, both within and outside of the library and college.
- Provision of an effective learning environment.
- Continual self-assessment with the aim of developing the service to meet the needs of our clients.
*Library computers are managed by the ‘MyPC’ system which allows students to book/ reserve computer time in advance – up to 3 days ahead and running up to 4 reservations at any one time.
We hold over 10,000 items of stock, most of which can be borrowed. Resources include books, dvds, cds, and journals. You can search and browse all our stock using the Library Catalogue.
We also have a good selection of online resources (ebooks, e-journals etc) which can be accessed through the Library area of Moodle. Here you’ll find full details of library facilities and frequently asked questions, plus handy guides to help you with aspects of your study, such as how to reference and how to stay safe online.
Open Athens account
If you wish to use some of the online resources outside of college, you will be asked to enter your Athens account details. This system simply protects the resources that we have subscribed to. All full-time students will have an account set up at the start of the year. There is no cost to you, it’s simply your usual college network login, with ‘qec’ added in front of your username.
Example: Username = qec012345 and Password – 1234Abcd
Click here to go to the OpenAthens Site and login to see the resources you can use.
If you have any queries you are welcome to contact us through the college address/ telephone number, or by emailing us at Library helpdesk.