T: 01642 704970 | E: enquiries@olsb.bhcet.org.uk


Contact: Miss M. Vallet – Head of Modern Foreign Languages


Course Structure & Overview


Exam Board: AQA
Syllabus: 8658
Unit 1: Listening Paper (86581) 25%
Unit 2: Speaking Paper (865822) 25%
Unit 3: Reading Paper (865823) 25%
Unit 4: Writing Paper (865824) 25%


Did you know that over 80% of the world’s population do not speak English as a native language? In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly evident that learning another language will not only make you modern citizens, fully appreciating and understanding the world in which you live, but it will also open up exciting opportunities and new horizons for both leisure and work purposes.


Course Content


The GCSE is made up of 3 main themes across the four papers: Theme 1: Identity and culture; Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest; and Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.


There are 4 skills that are developed and assessed: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Each skill’s assessment encompasses all the topic areas in the course.


Paper 1: Listening (86581) – Foundation paper is 40 minutes and Higher paper is 50 minutes – 25% of the GCSE.
Students will have to understand and respond to different types of spoken language.


Paper 2: Speaking (865822) 25% 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation, Time 0–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation.
There are 3 elements to the speaking: a Role-play, a photo card and a general conversation.
Students will have to communicate and interact effectively in speech for a variety of purposes.


Paper 3: Reading (865823) 25% Foundation Tier (45 minutes) and Higher Tier (1 hour)
Section A – questions and answers in English, Section B – questions and answers in French, Section C – translation from French into English.


Paper 4: Writing (865824) 25% Foundation Tier (1 hour) and Higher Tier (1 hour 15 minutes)
Depending on the tier of entry, this will consist of a structured writing, an open-ended writing, a message and a translation from English into French.


Skills Developed


Studying French develops:
• Excellent communication skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Flexible thinking skills
• Risk-taking, strategy
• Lateral thinking
• Creativity and imagination


Progression Routes


Students can continue to A Level French. However, if you do not want to continue to this course post-16, colleges, universities and future employers will recognise and value this qualification as a high quality GCSE. In addition, those students wanting to study other languages post-16 will find them more accessible.


Future Careers


Just some of the possible future careers include the media, company management, publishing, teaching, translating, armed forces, the police, the civil service and law.