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2009.01 Edexcel Past Paper Spanish
Advanced Subsidiary AS

The Spanish language belongs to the Roman language group ​​and is the most widely used among them. By the beginning of the XXI century, according to experts, the number of people who speaks Spanish on the planet has exceeded 420 million people. Spanish is the mother tongue for Spanish residents and 18 Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, El Salvador, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador. It is spoken by over 25 million people living in the United States, as well as the inhabitants of the Philippines and some parts of North Africa.

Spanish language as well as other Roman languages (French, Portuguese, Italian and others) was formed from the spoken Latin used by regular folks, which was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Roman conquerors in the beginning of the III century BC. After the collapse of the Roman Empire the Germanic tribes have penetrated to the peninsula but that have had little impact on the Spanish language. At the beginning of the VIII century the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Arabs have begun, who have conquered most of the territory. But already in 718, the population has risen to an armed struggle for the liberation and independence - the Reconquista began: the return of the occupied lands, the establishment of the liberated territories of Christian states. Castile played a special role in the Reconquista, which is why Castilian dialect became the basis of the Spanish language in literature. In 1492, at the end of the Reconquista, the Spanish court sent the first expedition to India.

In the 12th of October of 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered America, and the Colonial conquest of the New World by the Spanish conquistadors has begun. Spanish discover vast territories from Mexico to Cape Horn on the south of Argentine and conquer many Indian tribes - Aztecs, Mayans, Incas, Quechua, Patagonians and other. By the XVII century Spain creates a huge colonial empire, in which, according to the words of King Charles V, "the sun never sets." Spanish spreads in the conquered lands, and its development in the new environment takes place under the influence of the languages of the indigenous population, which led to the creation of national versions of Spanish in Latin America. Over time, this powerful empire, enriched by new overseas possessions, collapsed, like everything else in the history of early and late empires - former colonies became independent, maintaining the Spanish as a state language and on its basis created their own distinctive literature and poetry.

Edexcel Spanish qualification consists of several units. First unit exam, which makes up 15% from all qualification, evaluates the ability to communicate in Spanish on general topics and certain areas that are chosen in advance. It evaluates the quality of information transmission in the Spanish language, expression, interaction with an opponent, and the answers to their questions.

In the second unit students have to understand and pass their understanding of Spanish texts. Besides in order to demonstrate Spanish language writing skills student are required to write an essay, where Spanish has to be used in various contexts from a certain topic. This unit makes up 35% of the qualification.

The ability to have a conversation and debates in Spanish is being taught in the 3rd unit. During exam professors in various ways try to change a topic, to which a student has to provide arguments, to effectively cooperate with a professor and use a language of debates to discuss problems. Additionally are evaluated communication skills of the student and the quality of its spoken language. Unit is 30% of the qualification.

The final fourth unit, which makes up 30% of all qualification, asks students to demonstrate Spanish skills on a high level. The examination requires writing an essay and translation from English to Spanish. During exam it is also required to prove highest level of Spanish language usage by reading Spanish texts with the following research of the chosen text, play, movie or any other topic from the area that is related to culture and/or society from the Spanish speaking country. The contents of this section are related to the following general topics:

  • Youth culture and concerns;
  • Lifestyle: health and fitness;
  • The world around us: travel, tourism, environmental issues and the Spanish-speaking world;
  • Education and employment;
  • Customs, traditions, beliefs and religions;
  • National and international events: past, present and future;
  • Literature and the arts.