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The Subject

Studying Russian will open up a window into a fascinating and enchanting nation, which takes great pride in its culture.  

Why choose Russian?

Because it is one of the world’s most important languages. About 153 million people speak Russian as their native tongue, Russian is the third most widely spoken European language after English and Spanish, and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. More science materials are printed in Russian than in any other language except English.

Russian A level combines well with courses in other languages, English, Business, Politics, Economics, Computing or Philosophy. It is also particularly valuable for scientists who seek to enhance their employability. Knowledge of Russian may also provide you with entry qualifications to a degree course in Slavonic Studies, Linguistics or Interpreting.

In general, the skills that you acquire during a Russian A level course (communication, the ability to form independent judgements, to write a well-organised essay) will be useful to you whatever you go on to do. With broadening economic, political and cultural contacts between Russia and other countries, knowledge of Russian language can greatly extend your employment potential and improve your prospects of success.

The Course

As a student of Russian A level, you will be studying the Russian language, literature, film and cultural topics in that language. You will undertake a good deal of grammar work, which is taken largely from contemporary sources, especially from Russian media – magazines, newspapers, TV programmes and printed material. You will be encouraged to link the learning of language with learning about the culture, society and Russian way of life.

The A level qualification is made up of three parts and is taken in the second year: Listening, reading and translation from Russian (40%); Written response to works of literature and films, and translation into Russian (30%). This paper draws upon the student’s study of one literary text and one film.

The third part of the exam programme is an internally conducted and externally assessed oral exam, which consists of two tasks (30%). For Task 1, students discuss one theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing two different statements. The students will have 5 minutes to prepare after having chosen one statement. Task 2 consists of two parts. In Part 1 (independent research presentation), students present a summary of at least two of the written sources they have used for their research and give a personal response to what they have read. In Part 2 (discussion on independent research), students answer questions on their presentation and then have a wider discussion on their research.  

Preferred Board: Edexcel

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