The aims of the course
- Develop your ability and confidence to communicate effectively in French.
- Understand a variety of written and spoken texts.
- Be able to use your French in a range of contexts, useful for work and travel.
- Improve your English, through an awareness and understanding of how language works.
- Develop your understanding of other cultures and peoples.
- Develop your thinking skills, problem-solving skills and memory.
The course structure
As our closest neighbour geographically, France continues to offer a wealth of opportunities for both international trade, travel and tourism. French is also spoken as a native language in more than two dozen countries on five continents. It is the official language of many international organisations such as the UN, NATO, FIFA and the International Red Cross.
The topics at GCSE expand on and develop the language students have learnt at Key Stage 3. The themes and topics of the GCSE French include:
- My world and lifestyle (Relationships with family & friends, healthy living, education and the world of work)
- Popular culture (TV, sport, music, film, technology and the internet, customs and festivals)
- The world around us (Travel and tourism, the environment and where we live)
Students also have the opportunity to develop their cultural awareness and have access to films, songs and authentic materials in the target language.
How the course is assessed
The four exams at the end of the course are worth 25% each.
Students sit Foundation Tier (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9).
- Listening : A mix of multiple choice, short answers in English and dictation in French.
- Speaking : Foundation Tier 7-9 mins. + 15 mins. prep. Higher Tier 10-12 mins. + 15 mins. prep.
- Reading : A mix of multiple choice, short answers in English and short sentences to translate.
- Writing : Three to five tasks, writing a maximum of 90 words at Foundation tier and 150 words at Higher tier and including translation of short sentences into French.
Resources and additional information
Studying languages can be a benefit for many reasons including employment and holidays. Many British companies have links with French-speaking countries and French is the 2nd most sought-after language by U.K. employers. Language skills are highly regarded by employers and universities and therefore a foreign language is a compulsory part of the EBacc. suite of qualifications (English, maths, two sciences, a modern foreign language and history or geography.) Students should continue with the language they have learnt at Key Stage 3. Spanish students are welcome to choose French alongside Spanish.
Head of Subject Presentation Video – Seb Tawn