In Alton, Hampshire
This is a one year course aimed primarily at complete beginners with no previous knowledge of Spanish, although it is also an opportunity to retake the subject if you have tried and been unsuccessful at GCSE previously. As in other GCSE language courses you will cover topics in everyday Spanish and learn something about the way of life in Spanish speaking countries.
Government funding available
To take into account
This is a beginnersâ€Y course and there are no specific entry requirements, but knowledge of another language would be helpful and good GCSE grades in French and English are a definite advantage. Do not forget, however, that the course is only eight months long and involves a high degree of commitment and some very intensive study, so you will not find it a soft option.
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What is GCSE Spanish?
This is a one year course aimed primarily at complete beginners with no previous knowledge of Spanish, although it is also an opportunity to retake the subject if you have tried and been unsuccessful at GCSE previously. As in other GCSE language courses you will cover topics in everyday Spanish and learn something about the way of life in Spanish speaking countries. The importance of Spanish as a world language cannot be overemphasised, as Spain is a prominent member of the European Union and more than 330 million people worldwide speak Spanish.
Is GCSE Spanish suitable for me?
OEI enjoyed the amount of speaking we were able to do in lessons as well as the depth of the explanations of grammar. I am planning to continue Spanish at AS.
OEThe Spanish GCSE course is great. I thought it was going to be extremely hard to learn all I needed to know in just seven months, but the help I received was brilliant. By the time it came to take the exam I felt relaxed and confident that I had enough knowledge to do well. I really enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone thinking about taking up another language.â€
How will I learn?
You will work equally on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and cover a range of topics. These will deal with the vocabulary and skills you need for purposes of practical communication, perhaps on a visit to a Spanish speaking country, or meeting Spanish speaking visitors and talking about yourself and your everyday life. Some examples of the topics covered are food and drink, free time and social activities, home town and local area, the world of work and travel.
In lessons you will work in pairs, small groups and as a class, using Spanish in lessons a great deal from the early stages. You will use the language laboratory for listening and speaking and at a later stage may have some opportunity for oral practice with a Spanish assistant. As you go along you will practise the grammar patterns you need for effective communication and you will meet and learn a great deal of vocabulary. Grammar and vocabulary will be tested regularly. In addition to your lessons you will be expected to undertake four to five hours of independent study every week. This will include exercises, writing letters or reports, learning vocabulary and grammar, preparing for oral work and listening.
How will I be assessed?
The topics described in the previous section will be examined at the end of the course, usually in late May or early June. You will be tested on listening, speaking, reading & writing.
If you get a good grade at Spanish GCSE you may wish to take a one year Spanish AS or a two year Spanish A level course. Many universities offer the chance to extend a basic knowledge of Spanish either as part of a degree or as an extra subject. Throughout your life there may be opportunities to maintain or develop your Spanish though adult education classes. In most careers and higher education courses language skills are valued, if not essential.
You will need to provide a standard text book and/or relevant materials. All students will be expected to provide their own stationary, computer disks and calculators (where appropriate). Costs are outlined below:
Essential: £20 for textbook and up to £10 for other materials.
A Spanish - English dictionary is an invaluable study aid.
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, there is the opportunity to apply for help from the College Access Fund.