AS Spanish

In addition to high level practical language skills, the content of AS level Spanish provides depth of knowledge, understanding and intercultural competence and fosters a range of transferable skills such as communication, critical thinking, autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility; all of which are of value to the individual, to wider society, to higher education and to employers. AS Level Spanish alongside other A Levels will be useful for careers in business, industry, teaching and working in Europe.

What will you learn?

The course will enable you to:

• develop control of the language system to convey meaning, using spoken and written skills, including an extended range of vocabulary, for both practical and intellectual purposes as increasingly confident, accurate and independent users of the language

• develop the ability to interact effectively with users of the language in speech and in writing, including through online media

• develop language learning skills and strategies, including communication strategies to sustain communication and build fluency and confidence

• engage critically with intellectually stimulating texts, films and other materials in the original language, developing an appreciation of sophisticated and creative uses of the language and understanding them within their cultural and social context

• develop knowledge about matters central to the society and culture and history of the country or countries where the language is spoken; gaining an understanding of aspects of: (i) social issues and phenomena, (ii) politics, current affairs and history, and (iii) intellectual culture past and present that shape the cultures of the relevant countries

• mediate between cultures and between speakers of the language and speakers of English

• foster the ability to learn other languages

Course Content

Theme 1: Aspects of Hispanic society: current trends

Modern and traditional values, cyber-society, equal rights

Theme 2: Artistic culture in the Hispanic world

Spanish regional identity, modern day idols, cultural heritage

Literature and film

Students must study either one text OR one film from the list below. Abridged editions should not be used.


  • Federico García Lorca La casa de Bernarda Alba
  • Gabriel García Márquez Crónica de una muerte anunciada
  • Laura Esquivel Como agua para chocolate
  • Ramón J. Sender Réquiem por un campesino español
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafón La sombra del viento
  • Isabel Allende La casa de los espíritus
  • Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer Rimas
  • Fernando Fernán-Gómez Las bicicletas son para el verano
  • Luis de Castresana El otro árbol de Guernica
  • Gabriel García Márquez El coronel no tiene quien le escriba


  • El laberinto del fauno Guillermo del Toro (2006)
  • Ocho apellidos vascos Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (2014)
  • María, llena eres de gracia Joshua Marston (2004)
  • Volver Pedro Almodóvar (2006)
  • Abel Diego Luna (2010)
  • Las 13 rosas Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (2007)

How is it assessed?

This specification is designed to be taken over one or two years

Paper 1:

  • Written exam 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 45 % of AS Level
  • Covers Listening, reading and translation from the target language

Paper 2:

  • Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 25% of AS Level
  • Students will translate sentences amounting to at least 70 words from English into Spanish. The content will be based on the themes and sub-themes in this specification and students will be provided with a supporting text in Spanish containing some of the vocabulary and structures which they will need for the translation.
  • Based on study of either a book OR a film from set list (above)
  • Students will answer one essay question in Spanish on the book or film which they have studied. Students will have a choice of question on each book and film. All questions will be in Spanish and will require a critical response. All questions will include bullet-pointed suggestions as to what students might cover in their answer. The bullet points will be optional.
  • Students will be advised to write approximately 250 words. Everything that students write will be marked; there is no word limit. Students writing the recommended number of words will have access to the full range of marks.
  • No dictionaries are allowed in this exam.
  • Access to the books and films is not allowed in this exam.

Paper 3:

  • Speaking test 12 to 14 minutes in duration plus 15 minutes supervised preparation time
  • 30% of A-Level
  • Based on discussion of 2 of the sub themes above
  • 6 to 7 minute discussion of two stimulus card

Entry requirements

Minimum grade B in GCSE Spanish. If you have not studied Spansh at GCSE, this course is unsuitable.