Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Languages – AQA

(English Baccalaureate contributing subject)

Languages are for all; languages are for life – they are an essential part of being a citizen

“I absolutely could not have competed at the level I did in sailing if I hadn’t spoken French fluently.” Ellen MacArthur

Languages are an excellent choice at GCSE! Having a GCSE in languages is extremely well-regarded by employers and universities alike.

We offer GCSE courses in three languages: French, German and Spanish.  For you to progress and succeed at GCSE you need to choose languages already studied in Year 9.

Aims of the Course

Languages open avenues of communication and exploration

To develop your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in preparation for GCSE, to the best of your ability

To promote a better knowledge and understanding of different cultures and countries where French, German and Spanish are spoken

To improve your communication skills and confidence in all your subjects

Languages change the person AND their self-awareness

“All I can advise is that you keep working at your languages.  Foreign languages are exciting and interesting – keep up the hard work; it will be worth it in the end.” Sir Alex Ferguson CBE

Subject content

We follow the AQA GCSE Specification and students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
  • Examination

All exams will be sat at the end of the course and you will be assessed in the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  Each skill has an equal weighting of 25% towards your overall GCSE grade.  GCSE languages have a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9).  You must take all four question papers at the same tier.

Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking exams – each 25% of GCSE

LISTENING – Written exam:

35 minutes, 40 marks (Foundation)

45 minutes, 50 marks (Higher)

SPEAKING – 60 marks

Role-play: 15 marks, 2 mins (Foundation)

15 marks, 2 mins (Higher)


Photo card:  15 marks, 2 mins (Foundation)

15 marks, 3 mins (Higher)


General conversation: 30 marks, 3–5 mins (Foundation

30 marks, 5–7 mins (Higher)

READING – Written exam:

45 minutes, 60 marks (Foundation)

1 hour, 60 marks (Higher)

WRITING – Written exam:

1 hour, 50 marks (Foundation)

1 hour 15 minutes, 60 marks (Higher)

Further Education/Career Opportunities

If you achieve at least a Grade 5 at GCSE you can pursue your language and go on to study the language at A-Level.

10 reasons why you should study a language at GCSE level:

  1. English is not enough! Not everyone speaks or wants to speak English.
  2. A language will always be useful, no matter what you do. In today’s job market, having a language alongside another subject, for example Commerce or Law, can really help to open up the job market for you.
  3. In class you get to study a wide range of topics about different people and cultures, not just about how to speak.
  4. You can read books, watch films and listen to songs in the language you are learning – and understand them too!
  5. Languages mean business – being able to speak a language will make you really stand out.
  6. They’re good for you! Speaking more than one language increases your brain capacity and improves your memory.
  7. It is really impressive to be able to speak a foreign language. It’s a real achievement that your friends will envy and employers will love!
  8. You can understand and talk to lots more people on holiday, in the work place and on the internet!
  9. Using a language at work could raise your salary by 8 – 20%.
  10. Learning languages also develops your communication skills in your own language.

Consider the information in the following table to see if MFL is right for you:

This subject would suit students who

This subject might not be right for students who

·       Like playing with language, even in their own tongue

·       enjoy pattern, logic and rhythm

·       like the sound of different languages

·       like the idea of being able to converse in a different language

·       enjoy travel and discovering different cultures

·       feel a sense of success by succeeding at a challenge

·       are attracted by how fluency in a language could improve job prospects

·       enjoy languages at KS3

·       struggle to remember vocabulary

·       don’t enjoy repetition and practice in order to improve

·       get stuck and give up

·       don’t like to think on their feet

·       find spelling and writing from memory difficult

Any questions?  See MR J HUNTON