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Lutterworth College



Thinking about French at GCSE?


Languages are really important in the world we live in and give you great skills for the rest of your life. The internet has brought everyone much closer together so chatting, blogging and networking with people of different languages from all over the world is dead easy. Imagine all the other people you could communicate with and all the amazing places you could travel to or work at and all because you can speak their language. In addition, people who have studied a foreign language earn on average 20% more than those who haven’t! So log onto the world’s real social network and learn languages at GCSE!


Why study French?


More than 220 million people in the world speak French; it is a language of international communication.  It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.

GCSE French is a core subject of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), and it is an exciting course that will allow you the opportunity to develop your language skills in a variety of contexts.  It will broaden your understanding of the culture and the lifestyle of countries and communities where French is spoken. 



This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.


Subject content:


Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.


Theme 1: Identity and culture: family; technology; 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.


Theme 3: Current and future study and employment: my studies; life at school/college; education post-16; jobs, career choices and ambitions.




GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. 


Paper 1: Listening  (Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.)


How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • 40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE

(Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.)


Paper 2: Speaking (Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes.)


How it's assessed

  • Non-exam assessment
  • 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time
  • 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE


Paper 3: Reading (Understanding and responding to different types of written language.)


How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE


Paper 4: Writing (Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.)


How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • 50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier
  • 25% of GCSE