A Level French Essay Topics

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  1. I am currently doing AQA AS french and have made notes that I hope cover every essay question that can be asked for units 1 and 3 - and I am ignoring units 2 and 4 as I don't have much to say about most of the topics in them.

    At least 1 of the 3 essay questions will be from unit 1 or 3.

    Note: A lot of the content has been taken from french websites and all of it has been checked by french natives so should be mostly correct

    Can you advise about:

    - Whether or not they actually cover everything that can be asked
    - How I should make them more concise
    - Any other advise for preparing for the essay part of the exam

    Thanks so much

    (Les media = unit 1, la santé = unit 3)

    EDIT:

    Added reformatted notes for la santé units with english translations

    EDIT: Of course when it says ils faites, it means ils font

    EDIT: I have added reformatted notes for les media unit, they are in a table with fr/eng

    EDIT: Updated La santé/ mode de vie outline with:
    - Better sport advantages/ dangers
    + Health problems for:
    • Bad diet
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
  2. (please!!)

For A2, candidates must study two of the five Cultural Topics listed, together with the remaining three topics, ie Environment, the Multicultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues. The bullet points given under the sub-topics for Environment, the Multicultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues are only suggestions as to the general areas which could be covered as part of the teaching programme. They are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive and are not to be covered in a specific order, but are intended to clarify the scope of each sub-topic and will be used as a general steer by question setters in the preparation of examination papers and assessment tasks.

As Knowledge of Society is not a discrete assessment objective in the subject criteria for Modern Foreign Languages, there is no requirement to study the above topics in the context of the target language-speaking country/community. However, assessment material will include authentic sources. The requirement in the subject criteria to study aspects of the target language-speaking country/community is met in the Cultural Topics. The bullet points for the Cultural Topics are not prescriptive, but are intended to provide some guidance for teachers and students choosing to study these topics.

 TOPICS

ENVIRONMENT

Pollution

Types, causes and effects of pollution
Measures to reduce pollution
Individual action/responsibility versus collective action/responsibility
Transport issues

Energy

Coal, oil and gas
Nuclear 
Alternative energy sources
Changing attitudes to energy consumption

Protecting the planet

Ways of minimising environmental damage 
The role of pressure groups
Initiatives to improve awareness and change behaviour
Responsibilities towards other nations, especially developing countries

THE MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY

Immigration

Reasons for immigration
Benefits and problems of immigration for immigrants and for country of destination
Migration within the enlarged EU
Curbs on immigration 

Integration

Factors making integration difficult
Factors facilitating integration
To which culture should immigrants show loyalty?
Experiences of individual immigrants

Racism

Victims of racism
Reasons for racism
Measures to eliminate racism and their effectiveness
Experiences of individuals, including those of 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants

CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES

Wealth and poverty

Causes of poverty in Europe and developing countries
Work of charitable organisations and governments
Attitudes to wealth and poverty
Link between wealth and health

Law and order

Examples of crime, especially committed by or affecting young people
Reasons for criminal and anti-social behaviour
Measures to reduce crime and their effectiveness
Alternatives to imprisonment, their appropriateness and effectiveness

Impact of scientific and technological progress

Technology in the home and workplace, including IT
Space and satellite technology
Medical research
Ethical issues linked to scientific and technological progress 

CULTURAL TOPICS

A target language-speaking region/community

  • Its geography and how its geography has influenced/influences/will influence the region
  • Its history and how its history has influenced/influences/will influence the region
  • Its industries and how these have changed in the last 20 years. What about the future?
  • Its population and how it has changed in the last 20 years. What about the future?
  • Its economy and how important this is/was
  • A personal perspective: Would I like to live/work in this region?

 A period of 20th century history from a target language-speaking country/community

  • Main events of the period
  • Causes of these events
  • The importance/influence/effects of these events
  • The ideas and influences of at least two individuals who made a significant impact during the period
  • Specific actions of these individuals plus an appraisal of the importance of these actions
  • A personal perspective: Would I have liked to live in that period?

An author from a target language-speaking country/community

  • A detailed study of at least one novel or collection of short stories, plus personal appraisal
  • The themes/ideas/messages of the author
  • How these themes/ideas/messages are expressed
  • What/who influences/inspires the author? Why does he/she feel as he/she does?
  • A personal evaluation of the author's work: Why do I enjoy reading the work of this author?

A dramatist or poet from a target language-speaking country/community

  • A detailed study of at least one play or collection of poems, plus personal appraisal
  • The themes/ideas/messages of the dramatist/poet
  • How these themes/ideas/messages are expressed
  • What/who influences/inspires the dramatist/poet? Why does he/she feel as he/she does?
  • A personal evaluation of the dramatist's/poet's work: Why do I enjoy the work of this dramatist/poet?

A director, architect, musician or painter from a target language-speaking country/community

  • A detailed study of at least one work of the artist, plus a personal appraisal
  • The influences on the artist – events and people
  • The ideas/techniques of the artist, plus personal appraisal
  • The importance of the artist both in his/her own lifetime and later
  • A personal evaluation: Why do I find this artist so interesting?

 

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