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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
As a student at QE, you will need to plan for independent study, when you are not at timetabled lessons. Within college there are three open access areas which are set up for this purpose. They are;
The Atrium– located on the ground floor between the Abbey and Trinity buildings
The Library– located on the first floor within the Main building
The Mezzanine– located on the second floor above the Atrium
Each area is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm on weekdays (closing at 4.30pm on Fridays).
Additionally, the Library remains open until 8.00pm on Mondays and Thursdays when Evening Classes are running.
During holidays, Reception staff will direct you to available areas if you choose to study within college.
To help with your study requirements, you may find a visit to the QE Shop is useful. It is next to the Library and sells stationery at very competitive prices. The shop is open at break and lunchtimes.
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, to the College’s network and to Moodle, the College’s Virtual Learning Environment. Moodle enables staff and students to access learning materials and resources from any computer connected to the Internet, in 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.
Besides the three main open-access study areas, which each contain a suite of computers and other equipment, many of the classrooms have additional ILT resources. These include ICT, Media, Music Technology and Art with access to suites of Apple Mac computers and equipment such as cameras.
Wifi access is available for students who wish to use mobile devices (their own, or those belonging to college, such as chromebooks and laptop computers).
The Atrium houses 48 computer workstations . Additionally there are a number of Apple Mac computers for those students who need to do video-editing.
It is open each weekday from 8.30am for quiet study.
Printing is available in black and white and colour in the Atrium. There is also a scanner.
A limited number of Laptop computers and Digital cameras may be borrowed as required for study purposes.
A member of staff is usually available within the Atrium to assist as needed.
Containing 31 computer workstations plus desk areas, the Mezzanine is a more informal venue for those who wish to study in a more relaxed environment.
It is open from 8.30am each weekday.
Black and white printing is available here.
The Library is purpose built for sixth form use and an exciting extension and refurbishment was completed in January 2013.
It is open each weekday day from 8.30am for quiet/ silent study, and Library staff are always happy to help if you have any queries.
There are 88 computer workstations and 98 study/reading spaces, 30 of which are within a separate silent study area.
Most of the Library computers must be booked in advance, using the My PC system. This allows students to plan study time effectively. You can use the system to book up to 3 days in advance, and have up to 4 bookings at any one time.
Printing is available in black and white and colour in the library. Scanning is also available here.
There is a pay photocopier for black/white or colour photocopies.
More than 10,000 items can be borrowed or searched for by using the Library Catalogue. Login to the catalogue with your college network details to check your loans and do renewals etc.
Your student ID card is also your library card, which allows you to borrow up to 30 items from college (as a maximum).
Library resources include books, journals and dvds. A selection of daily newspapers are also available.
A limited number of chromebooks may also be borrowed to use anywhere within the college.
Many library resources can be found in Moodle, including e-books and e-journals, plus handy guides to help you with aspects of your study, such as how to reference your research, 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. All full-time students will have an account set up at the start of the year. It gives you access to the system which protects the resources we have subscribed to. 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.
You can contact us in the following ways;
Via the usual college address/telephone number
Email Library helpdesk – firstname.lastname@example.org