French GCSE

The course

French is an interesting and challenging subject that equips students with the skills to communicate confidently in French in a range of everyday situations. Students learn about the culture of countries where French is spoken and benefit when they come into contact with French speaking people. French is studied in relation to some or all of the following themes: media and culture, sport and leisure, travel and tourism or business, work and employment.

Students receive 3 hours of group tuition per week. Regular homework and tests mean students consolidate their intellectual and study skills and receive essential exam practice.

How is the course assessed?

Unit 1 · Listening  and Understanding in French

Foundation and Higher Tier: 35 minute exam, 20% weighting

Students listen to a range of formal and informal French material spoken by native speakers. What they hear may include instructions, messages, announcements, monologues, dialogues, discussions, factual material, narrative and expressions and justifications of points of view, all of varying length. A range of questions of varying type and difficulty tests their comprehension.

Unit 2 · Speaking in French

Foundation and Higher Tier: 4-6 minute exam, 30% weighting

Students must demonstrate the ability to use the French language for different purposes and in different settings, and will be assessed on two speaking activities based on the themes above and chosen from the following task types: an open interaction, a picture- based free-flowing discussion or a presentation with discussion following.

Unit 3 · Reading and Understanding in French

Foundation Tier: 35 minute exam

Higher Tier: 50 minute exam, 20% weighting

The examination consists of a number of short texts, notices or news reports in French on the themes above and testing is through a variety of tasks which require a response, written or non-verbal, to demonstrate understanding.

Unit 4 · Writing in French

Foundation and Higher Tier: Internal assessment under controlled conditions, 30% weighting

The student must complete two separate writing tasks (each of up to 200 words) undertaken in controlled conditions in a single assessment session of no more than one hour. The work will relate to one or more of the themes above.


French/English Dictionary
Published by Collins/Robert or Oxford/Hachette

Please note that dictionaries are not allowed in any of the exams.

Exam Board and Specification Codes

Edexcel French 2FR01 (legacy)