Exam Board: Edexcel
What does the course consist of?
The course consists of opportunities for pupils to develop the ability to understand and use French effectively for the practical purposes of communication while developing an awareness of the nature of language and language learning. By now pupils have covered most of the intricate grammar points in French required at GCSE. The course also offers insights into the culture and civilisation of France and French-speaking countries. Students are able to be involved in a video conference with their French penpal from Le College de la Sabliere in Brittany. Please see the list of topics:
Theme: Identity and culture
- Who am I?: relationships; when I was younger; what my friends and family are like; what makes a good friend; interests; socialising with friends and family; role models
- Daily life: customs and everyday life; food and drink; shopping; social media and technology (use of, advantages and disadvantages)
- Cultural life: celebrations and festivals; reading; music; sport; film and television
Theme: Local area, holiday and travel
- Holiday preferences, experiences and destinations
- Travel and tourist transactions: travel and accommodation; asking for help and dealing with problems; directions; eating out; shopping
- Town, region and country: weather; places to see; things to do
- What school is like: school types; school day; subjects; rules and pressures; celebrating success
- School activities: school trips, events and exchanges
Theme: Future aspirations, study and work
- Using languages beyond the classroom: forming relationships; travel; employment
- Ambitions: further study; volunteering; training
- Work: jobs, careers and professions
Theme: International and global dimension
Bringing the world together: sports events; music events; campaigns and good causes / Environmental issues: being ‘green’; access to natural resources.
Assessment and Coursework
Assessment in all four skills will take place at the end of year 11. There is no coursework.
Students are assessed on their understanding of standard spoken French by one or more speakers in a range of public and social settings. Students will respond to multiple-response and short-answer open response questions based on a recording featuring male and female French speakers
Students are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively through speaking in French for different purposes and in different settings.
Task 1 – a role play
Task 2 – questions based on a picture stimulus
Task 3 – conversation based on two themes. The first theme is based on the topic chosen by the student in advance of the assessment. The second theme is allocated by Pearson.
Students are assessed on their understanding of written French across a range of different types of texts, including advertisements, emails, letters, articles.
Students are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively through writing in French for different purposes and audiences. Students are required to produce extended responses of varying lengths and types to express ideas and opinions in French.
French at GCSE will enable you to speak and understand French at a good level for practical communication. The course will also develop your ability to memorise, analyse, draw inference and adapt language, as well as to empathise with a different nationality and culture.
Practically any job can involve languages whether it’s based in the UK or abroad. Industries which are more globalised in nature and those facing non-English speaking customers offer opportunities for people with language skills. This also applies to companies which are web-based, trading internationally, or foreign-owned.
Although languages may be no substitute for specific training, for example in professions such as accountancy, medicine, law and journalism, it may be impossible to do the job well without an effective working knowledge of the language(s) pertinent to the organisation or job. Don’t forget French is one of the most influential languages in the world today and it is spoken as a native language in more than two dozen countries on five continents.
In the enlarged European Union, those speaking one or more of the languages of the ten accession countries will enjoy more opportunities than ever before in international trade and European institutions. Recent surveys have shown that the five business languages most in demand in the UK are, in this order: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch.
You may well learn a different language to French in the future and your skills developed during your GCSE French course will help you to be an effective learner.