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Scared of A-Level

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by a_rooti, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. a_rooti

    a_rooti New commenter

    A position has come up in a school I'd like to work in, except it has a 6th Form attached and I've never taught A-Level or AS before. My Spanish is pretty good (I got a 2:1 at uni and can happily talk in my current department in Spanish with few mistakes) but I am really scared about teaching AS and A2. I've just had a little look at asisehace.net and had a go at some practice questions and I'm not regularly getting 100%. Do you think I should apply? How can I ask for support if they want me to teach it? Or how should I request help with either the specification or the language itself? Would my lack of experience put you off? Or would my 5 years of experience at GCSE level mean I might be easier to support than an NQT who has been doing KS5?

    Any help or advise (no matter how cutting) would be greatly appreciated.

  2. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You have the qualifications and the mastery of the language. If you're the only teacher, you might want to ask about professional development, including the inset run by the exam boards. If you're sharing the work with someone else, so much the better: someone else can help train you in the workings of A level.
    With AQA, the AS specification starts where GCSE left off; so there's a gradual build up of language. Likewise, A2 starts where AS finished.
    Teaching at AS and A2 is not a bed of roses as a look at https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/512450/6945727.aspx#6945727 will confirm.
    If you are aware of those issues and can respond to them, I would say, "Go for it."
  3. I absolutely love teaching A Level Spanish and would not take any job without being able to offer it, having taught it since I was an NQT. Yes, it is daunting, but there is a lot of help out there, online or the new text books (Nelson Thornes with Kerboodle, and Animo are great). You might like all my resources on my site too (languagesresources.co.uk).
    Go for it!
  4. bristolmover

    bristolmover New commenter

    As the above poster I love A Level and wouldn't take a post without it, but it is hard work.
    You feel incredibly responsible for your students as they may want to get to Uni with their grade.
    You really need to understand the specification and assessment criteria, and know what they need to do to succeed (and share this with them) and then follow these.
    I was pretty underconfident when I started but haven't looked back... But if you're not sure that may show in interview and I wouldn't want to entrust A Level to someone who wasn't sure.
    I do think that with your level of language and some commitment there is no reason for it to go wrong.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  5. Give it a go! I spent my first 3 years of teaching in an 11-16 school as I was a bit unsure about A Level and I wanted to put more of an age gap between myself and the students. In September I moved to an 11-18 school because I wanted the professional development that teaching A level would bring and I love it. I was nervous at first and I didn't have enough confidence in myself but that all changed after my first A level lesson. Like previous posters have said - it is hard work but it is so worthwhile. Bonne chance!
  6. GO FOR IT!

    Teaching A Level is such a blessing - you get to choose what you can teach (obviously within the confines of the spec, but these are very broad!) and you get to teach it to students who are passionate and motiavated linguists! It's the one thing in my week that keeps me sane!

    There's a lot of support online and from exam boards so you'll be fine! :)
  7. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Teaching A-level can be one of the best aspects of teaching. Your own spoken fluency is the key. If you are happy with that, any gaps in vocab and grammar will get filled in with practice. Your own language will improve too - good for your personal development.
  8. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Nothing ventured, nothing won. If you don't go for it, in later years you'll wonder "what if...?"
  9. I hope you've applied!!! You'll get the opportunity to inspire budding linguists in the same way you were when you were an alevel pupil. I'm a Spanish teacher of all key stages and its a pleasure to see their language skills develop over time. Having taught at my school for 5 years now, a few of my year 13s have gone on to university to pursue languages. Good luck!!

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