Ab initio is for a beginner who has little or no previous experience of the language. The student must have had no formal instruction in the language nor lived in a Spanish speaking country.

Standard Level Only

The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development in the four primary language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The aim is to develop all four skills to a similar level of communicative competence. The course focuses on everyday situations and aspects of the culture related to the language. At the end of the course students will be expected to demonstrate an ability to:
- Communicate information and some basic ideas clearly and effectively, in a limited range of situations.
- Understand and use accurately the essential spoken and written forms of the language in a limited range of situations.
- Understand and use a limited range of vocabulary in common usage.
- Use a register that is generally appropriate to the situation.
- Show an awareness of some elements of the outcome(s) related to the language studies.
- Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the intercultural elements related to the prescribed topics.

A core syllabus and language-specific syllabus provide the framework for reaching the objectives of the course. The language-specific syllabus is structured to follow the topics of the core syllabus and include both the prescribed grammar and lexicon necessary for the course. The core syllabus consists of the three topics of: individual and society; leisure and work; urban and rural environment.

Internal Assessment: Oral Component (25%)
A final oral examination over the second year of the course assessed by the classroom teacher and externally moderated.
Individual Oral (10 minutes) (25%)
External Assessment: Written Component (75%)
Written Assessment (2 hours) (20%)
A piece of writing under three separate headings based on two, three or four sources:
a) Description b) Comparison c) Reflection
Paper 1: Text handling (1.5 hours) (30%)
Text handling exercise based on four written texts.
Paper 2: Written production (1 hour, 25%)
a) Short writing task (7%) from a choice of two.
b) Extended Writing task (18%) from a choice of three.