How to help your A-Level Spanish students writing a good essay on the film!

Writing an A-Level essay for the first time can be daunting, especially if our students
don’t have a clear structure…

Once we cover all the aspects of the film in class (we do El Laberinto del Fauno), we look at different essay titles so that the students get an idea of what is expected of them. I ask them to brainstorm some key points for different titles and we look at them together. We also go through the layout which we keep as a short intro, two main paragraphs and a clear conclusion. We do this every single time!

In addition, we look at key expressions and connectives that they need to include so that they have variety and complexity but I think it is important to tell your students that they can have a bank of structures that they can use each time… This will help them massively as they will only need to learn a selection! Furthermore, I show them ‘model essays’ so that they can read them and analyse them in full, having access to the writing mark scheme (we follow AQA). 


However, the most important thing is your students’ ability to analyse and show personal
reaction! I give them a bank of structures such as: me saca de quicio, me entristece, me hace feliz, me irrita, etc.
We also look at key phrases in the present, imperfect and pluperfect subjunctive: es importante que hagamos, si fuera posible, si estuviera en su piel, si hubiera vivido esa situación…

Finally, one task that has worked well for me in class is to open a simple ‘Google Doc’ and write an essay with the students… I just type what they tell me, we all think out loud. This has been particularly useful for them because they can explore different ideas and perspectives… You also end up with another ‘model essay’ that you can use with your future students!

Hope you have found this post useful!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me 😉

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10 thoughts on “How to help your A-Level Spanish students writing a good essay on the film!”

  1. ¡Hola Erica!! Soy Mónica, del curso…¡qué generosa eres siempre!!! La verdad que los model essays me vendrían genial… Tengo alumnos que hacen La Lengua de las Mariposas en AS y La Casa de Bernarda Alba, en A2.


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