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How might an exam board work with the new A-level topic themes?

When the July draft of the new MFL A-levels appeared I came up with one approach an awarding body (exam board) might interpret them in an actual specification.

I am going to have another go at this now, given that there are now only two, renamed themes, not three. This is largely a copy and paste job.

I can then envisage that the challenge would be to design a linear course with "easier" topics at the start, combined with easier lexis and grammar, with "harder" ones in the upper sixth year.

An alternative, probably less desirable, and one which would go against the grain of recent courses, would be to design the syllabus around grammar (easier to harder) with material in each unit coming from a range of all the themes.

It will be fascinating to see how the awarding bodies deal with this and how much variation there is between boards. Will they vie to be the most "academic" and "rigorous", or will they try to make the topics as approachable as possible to attract most schools?

Social trends and issues

La famille et les relations en France (marriage, relationships, living alone, parenting, conflict, changing modes of family, changing roles in the home, separation, divorce in France, benefits, poverty)

L'immigration et l'intégration en France (free movement of labour in Europe, multiculturalism, integration, racism, benefits and problems of immigration, experience of individual immigrants in France, experience of victims of racism, anti racism organisations)

La vie active en France: (employment, unemployment, full and part-time work, work patterns, reasons for unemployment and its effects, types of work, social effects of unemployment, benefits)

L'école en France (educational system, success and failure at school, curriculum, universities, selection, private schooling, secular schooling)

La publicité en France (role and purpose of advertising, trends in advertising, advertising techniques, benefits and drawbacks, laws on advertising in France, internet and social media, describing French language adverts)

Les Français et l'environnement (policies, effects of environmental changes on daily lives, French environmental groups, renewable energy in France, climate change policy, local environmental initiatives)

Jeunesse et vieillesse en France (youth culture, retirement, employment, demographic change, caring for the elderly, assisted dying)

Internet en France
Social networking, freedom of expression, censorship, child protection, pornography, French online businesses

Services publics en France (transport, infrastructure, health service, privatisation, social security, housing policy, suburbs)

L'émancipation des femmes en France (history, equal opportunities, famous French women, women in the world of work, women in the arts and sport,  role of women in the household, violence against women)


Political and/or intellectual and/or artistic culture

Le paysage médiathique en France (channels and radio stations, financing, programme types and trends, overlap with internet, benefits and dangers of watching television,new technologies)

Le cinéma en France depuis 1970 (importance of cinema industry, film types, directors, festivals, films, movements, new film technologies, a good French language film I have seen, role of cinema in popular culture) OR

La nouvelle vague du cinéma français* (context, techniques, films, describing films, directors)

La peinture impressionniste (context, techniques, painters, biographies, describing individual works, legacy)

Sciences, technologie et médecine en France (GM foods and genetic research, nuclear energy, cures for diseases, new technologies, dealing with climate change, ethical issues)

La musique populaire dans les pays francophones (music types, music industry, radio, law on French language music, changing trends, music I like)

La vie politique en France (left/right, electoral system, parties, policies, contemporary political issues, personalities)

La Grande Guerre (context of First World War, events, battles, life and experience of soldiers, literature, legacy)

La France et la Belgique dans l'Union Européenne (history of EU, role of France and Belgium, attitudes to European integration, the euro, European institutions, implications of European policy for the economy, environment and employment, views on the EU and sovereignty)

La France en Afrique (colonialism, francophonie, life in francophone African countries, Algerian War, development)



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