Why study this course?
This course will help with your future studies and employability and it will also broaden your horizons.
- Having a GCSE in a modern language is always an advantage and it could make you stand out when you apply for higher education and highly subscribed courses at university. It is one of the academic subjects required for the English Baccalaureate.
- Studying another language helps you improve your written and verbal communication, listening, thinking, problem solving, analytical skills, resilience and creativity. Employers often look for people who can demonstrate these transferable skills.
- French is one of the main languages of the United Nations, European Union and NATO. It is also one of the two official languages (with English) for the Olympic Games and the Eurovision Song Contest! It is used by a large number of international bodies and multinational companies from relief organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (‘Doctors Without Borders’) to pharmaceuticals, engineering, tourism and the fashion industry. It could make the difference in many professions, considering the highly competitive job market and it opens the way for you to really play your part on the international stage.
- The ability to communicate in more than one language is essential following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The British Council has identified the priority languages for the UK’s future economic prosperity, security and influence in the world and French is one of the top five languages (with Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic and German).
- French is the official language of 29 countries. In Europe alone, these include France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco and Switzerland. Used either as a first or second language in a further 25 countries on five continents, it is – after English – the language with the widest geographical spread, giving you the opportunity to access an incredible range of different cultures, traditions and experiences.
- Learning French will help if you later want to learn other romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or Romanian) as they have so many similarities in vocabulary, spelling, and writing.
- More than 10,000 French words found their way into English – words associated with government, law, art, literature, food and many other aspects of life. About three quarters of these words are still used and words derived from French now account for more than a third of English vocabulary.
- Learning another language can actually help you perfect your English by making you more linguistically aware of the grammar rules of languages, including your own!
What will I learn?
In Years 10 and 11, lessons are spent practising the four language skills – speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course covers topics already familiar to you such as the family, leisure activities, holidays, school life and careers as well as new and more mature issues such as relationships, social media, voluntary work, healthy living, the environment and homelessness.
The specification covers three themes, each divided in four topics:
- Theme 1: Identity and culture
- Me, my family and friends
- Technology in everyday life
- Free-time activities
- Customs and festivals
- Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
- Home, town, neighbourhood and region
- Social issues
- Global issues
- Travel and tourism
- Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
- My studies
- Life at school/college
- Education Post-16
- Jobs, career choices and ambitions
How will I be assessed?
We follow the AQA specification for GCSE French with a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). At the end of Year 11, students must take all four question papers at the same tier.
- Paper 1: Listening (25%) — Questions in English and questions in French
- Paper 2: Speaking (25%) — Role-play, photo card and general conversation
- Paper 3: Reading (25%) — Questions in English, questions in French and translation from French into English
- Paper 4: Writing (25%) — Message, short passage, translation from English into French and structured writing task for Foundation Tier ; structured writing task, open-ended writing task and translation from English into French for Higher Tier
Where can this course lead to after Key Stage 4?
- A level French
The French GCSE course will provide you with skills and knowledge necessary to undertake further studies. It will make you more marketable to the world of business, commerce, engineering, fashion, science or tourism.
To find out more information:
Contact Sandra Ward, Head of Modern Foreign Languages Department firstname.lastname@example.org