Welsh A level

A Subject for Life

Over 582,000 people speak Welsh. A further one million people can understand the language. All children in schools in Wales either speak Welsh or learn Welsh so it is going to be a part of the future. The ability to speak Welsh could make your CV stand out. Many companies operate through the medium of Welsh whereas some only recruit Welsh speakers! Lessons are mainly delivered through the medium of Welsh in order to ensure the highest levels of accuracy and fluency.

The AS and A Level in Welsh Second Language encourage learners to:

• study Welsh with interest, enjoyment and enthusiasm
• communicate correctly and fluently both orally and in writing within a wide range of situations and contexts
• write creatively and factually for a range of purposes
• analyse familiar and unfamiliar texts independently
• express an independent opinion, based on knowledge and understanding of literary and factual texts
• respond in Welsh with clarity, in a relevant, confident and structured manner
• play an appropriate role in a bilingual society at the beginning of the twenty-first century

Furthermore, the AS and A-level Specification for Welsh Second Language should encourage candidates to make a connection between various aspects of the subject and provide a suitable foundation which will enable candidates to pursue further studies of the language in future.

Entry Requirements

There is no specific requirement for prior learning, although many candidates will have gained knowledge and understanding of Welsh and will have developed the appropriate skills through the study of Welsh Second Language GCSE. You can combine Welsh with any subjects.

Course Content

The specification we follow is the WJEC Syllabus. In accordance with the school policy, all students will be entered for AS, regardless of whether or not they intend to follow the A-level course for the full two years.

AS Level (one year) and Year 1 A-level content:
1. Film – Patagonia
2. A chosen subject of local or national interest, traditional or contemporary in nature.
3. The use of language
4. Poems from the Fesul Gair anthology.
• Iwan Rhys: Caerdydd
• Grahame Davies: Lerpwl
• Gwion Hallam: Dim ond serch
• Myrddin ap Dafydd: Twyll
• Tudur Dylan Jones: Newyddion

Year 2 A-level content:
5. Living through the medium of Welsh.
6. “Crash”, a drama written by Sera Moore Williams.
7. The Welsh Language in Society.
8. Translanguaging.
9. The use of language.
10. Short stories.
• Pwy Fyth a Fyddai’n Fetel (Saith Pechod Marwol: Mihangel Morgan)
• Beth os? (Cariad Pur?: Llio Mai Hughes)
• Trŵ lyf (Cariad Pur?: Marlyn Samuel)
• Angladd yn y Wlad (O’r Cyrion: Ioan Kidd)

Assessment

AS Welsh Second Language assessment (after 1 year of study):
Unit 1: Film and oracy, an oral examination, approximately 35 minutes for a group of 3. 15% of qualification.
Unit 2: Non examination assessment. Candidates to write three extended pieces on a chosen subject. Total of between 1500 and 2000 words. 10% of qualification.
Unit 3: External examination, (2 hours). Section A will examine the use of language. Section B will consist of three questions based on the prescribed texts. 15% of qualification.

A-level Welsh Second Language assessment (after 2 years of study):
Unit 4: Drama and oracy, an oral examination, approximately 35 minutes per group. 25% of qualification.
Unit 5: External examination assessment, (2 hours). Section A will examine the use of the Welsh language in society. Section B will focus on translanguaging, a written response in Welsh to an English language article. 15% of qualification.
Unit 6: External examination assessment, (2 hours). Section A will examine the use of language. Section B will examine candidates on one of the prescribed texts and contain one synoptic question which bring together the information, understanding and skills developed in the subject. 20% of qualification.

Where does it lead?

This specification provides a suitable foundation for the study of Welsh Second Language or a related field, by means of a range of HE courses (e.g. university degree) or direct entry into employment. Past students have gone onto study many different degree courses including teaching, translation, marketing and business. In addition, the specification provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for candidates who do not progress to further study in this subject.

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