GCSE French

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Exam Board and Specification Code: AQA (8658)

The Course
You may think that languages aren’t really relevant to today’s modern world; everyone speaks English, right? Wrong. We live in a multilingual global society and languages are all around us in London; they are used in so many situations whether at work, on holiday or just casually in day-to-day life. By learning a foreign language, you give yourself the chance to see the world in a different way. By taking a French course, students will not only appreciate the nature and diversity of different French speaking cultures and people, but also acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and employment, as there is always a demand for people who can speak more than one language across a very wide range of careers. 

The AQA GCSE course at David Game College allows students to develop their ability to communicate with French native speakers in both speech and writing. They will study topics relevant to their age and interests and will develop a greater awareness of French culture. Students will learn to:  

· develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy

· express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently

· listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed

· deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a range of contexts

· acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand and respond to authentic spoken and written material, adapted and abridged, as appropriate, including literary texts

· develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where French is spoken

· make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, where the language may become a medium for constructing and applying knowledge

· develop language learning skills both for immediate use and prepare them for further language study in school, higher education or employment

· develop language strategies, including repair strategies.

In this course, you will develop your knowledge of the French language and culture through three distinct themes:

1. Identity and culture (family and friends, technology, free time activities and festivals)

2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest (home, town and region, social issues, global issues, travel and tourism) 

3. Current and future study and employment (studies, life at school, further education and jobs)

These themes apply to all four question papers. 

Students are expected to understand and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/ communities where French is spoken. 

What skills do I need?
A successful linguist must have an interest in learning a modern language and enjoy communicating with others and sharing ideas. Some prior language knowledge is essential so ideally the student should have at least 3 years prior learning.


How is the course assessed?
GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

Paper 1: Listening - Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language 

Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier) 

40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)

25% of GCSE (Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.) 

-  Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally 

- Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally


Paper 2: Speaking - Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes 

Non-exam assessment:  7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time  / 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time 

60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier): Role-play – 15 marks, Photo card – 15 marks, General conversation – 30 marks

25% of GCSE Questions Foundation Tier and Higher Tier 

The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, but with different stimulus questions for the Photo card and different stimulus materials for the Role-play. 


Paper 3: Reading Understanding and responding to different types of written language 

Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier) 

60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier) 

25% of GCSE 

- Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally 

- Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally 

- Section C – translation from French into English (a minimum of 35 words for Foundation Tier and 50 words for Higher Tier)

Paper 4: Writing  -Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes 

Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier) 

50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier 

25% of GCSE 

Questions vary in length and complexity in both Foundation and Higher tiers but there is a choice of two questions for each piece of extended writing. 

Student textbook: AQA GCSE French Higher (AQA GCSE French 3rd edition) Paperback, OUP Oxford; 3rd edition (July 2017) ISBN-10: ‎ 0198415567   

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0198415565

Student workbook: Target Grade 9 Writing AQA GCSE (9-1) 

Pearson Education; 1st edition (June 2018)  ISBN-10: ‎ 1292246022     

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1292246024


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