A Level French Literature Tutors

Considering A level French literature? The experts at The Profs look at the syllabus, entry requirements and onward study options.

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What is A level French literature?

Studying A level French literature is not just a chance to make yourself more comfortable with the French language, but to familiarise yourself with many great works of literature written in French.

How can you study A level French literature?

Not all exam boards offer French literature at A level. In some cases, it may only be available as an AS level. Past papers are available to familiarise yourself with the examination procedure. You will not be able to take a dictionary with you for an assessment, so you will need to be relatively comfortable with the language. Answers must also be given in French.

Unlike a language exam, your assessments will not be divided into a speaking test, reading and writing test or essay writing. Instead, the entirety of your grade is likely to be determined by one written assessment based on the set texts. This could be a single session of over two hours.

In a text-based assessment, you will have to choose questions for different texts and sections. Answers will be in the 500-600 word range and there are no extra marks for extra length. You may be able to take your set texts into the examination room, but they must be unmarked without any kind of notes. You will need to be wholly familiar with the text before the exam begins, as your ability to show knowledge and understanding of the text are fundamental to the marking scheme.

One type of question will focus on a given extract from a text. You may have to talk about the extract specifically, or address its significance in the wider context of the novel or play from which it originates. It should work as a springboard, providing inspiration for your answer. Another question may focus on the thematic content of the text and how it conveys its overall message.

You do not need to show the most sophisticated literary criticism, but you do need to know your texts and understand them on more than a surface level. Quotations are not essential and will not provide extra marks on their own, but may be useful to illustrate a point.

What will you be studying in A level French literature?

As with studying English literature, studying French literature allows you to explore various texts in different formats. You will learn to analyse plays, poems and novels written in the French language. This could mean investigating why and how authors used certain techniques, or trying to establish the deeper themes of the work and how it is relevant to the real world. You will need to both understand the text and be able to communicate your understanding.

Authors you could study come from a variety of eras and could include:

  • Voltaire
  • Flaubert
  • Némirovsky

Why should you study A level French literature?

Studying literary texts can broaden knowledge of the society and culture in which the language is spoken. This means not just a greater understanding of France, but potentially other French-speaking countries such as Algeria. This will allow you to be more sympathetic to other cultures.

Discussion of texts can include insight into the human relationships depicted and how they reflect the real world. Texts can reveal aspects of daily life in French-speaking countries, and therefore provide insight into cuisine, media and popular culture, politics, the justice system, employment, sport or common attitudes. Wider issues such as the economy or the environment can be given specific contexts.

Once you have completed your a Levels, you may be considering going to university. Studying A level French literature as well as French language will give you a greater understanding of the language as a whole. You will be better prepared to face the challenges presented in university-level French or in a modern languages degree. This could also help you later pursue a language-related career or perhaps a career in commerce with an international element.

How the Profs can Help

Our private tutors can help improve your A Level grades and relieve some of the pressure of studying by providing support in revision and exam technique as well as improving your confidence. A level French literature is just one of the many subjects we cover.

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