MFL - French & Spanish

French GCSE Information Video (Mrs Bryan)

Spanish GCSE Information Video (Mrs Mills)


The study of Modern Languages offers a key to a range of experiences inaccessible to those who only speak English.  Being able to speak to a foreign person in his/her own tongue is an experience not to be missed.  Learning a foreign language widens your horizons and gives you interest in, understanding of, and respect for the way of life in societies other than your own.  It also makes you more aware of the nature and function of your own language. Learning a language should also be an enjoyable experience, which provides you with skills which would be more difficult to acquire later in life.  

Reasons why languages are great:

  • English is not enough! Not everyone speaks English, 75% of the world do not speak any English at all.
  • In class, you get to study a wide range of topics all about different people and cultures, not just how to speak the language you are learning.
  • Languages mean business - many employers now want their employees to have at least a GCSE in a foreign language.
  • They’re good for you! Speaking more than one language increases your brain capacity and improves your memory.
  • It’s really impressive to be able to speak a foreign language. It's a real achievement that your friends will envy and employers will love!
  • Using a language at work could raise your salary by 8-20%.


The course in Years 10 and 11 continues to stress the importance of language as a means of communication.  You will be taught to cope with a wide variety of situations which you may encounter abroad and you will also learn to talk about different topics relating to yourself and the world around you.  A large proportion of each lesson will involve speaking and understanding the language, although reading and writing skills will be equally extended.

The GCSE builds on prior learning from KS3 and covers some familiar topic areas including: holidays, environmental issues, where you live, your school, future plans and daily life.

You will also explore the culture of France or Spain, including celebrations and festivals, which will add to your understanding of the language and country. As part of this, you will be using authentic foreign language materials and literature.


Students will be assessed using the 9-1 grading system, with 9 being the highest grade. Grades 1-5 will be available for Foundation papers and 4-9 for the Higher.

Students will be assessed in all four skill areas (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) and will be entered for either Foundation or Higher Tier. Each skill counts for 25% of the final grade. All assessments will take place at the end of Year 11 and will be externally marked. The table on this page shows in more detail how each of the skills will be assessed.

Listening You will listen to recordings in the language and answer questions on what you hear. You will need to write short answers in both English and the target language. There will be a mixture of multiple-choice and open-response questions.
Speaking You will complete a short role-play with the examiner and talk about a photo. You will also talk about two of the topics you have studied. You are rewarded on your ability to create spontaneous responses.
Reading You will be given passages to read and questions to answer. Some of the questions will be multiple-choice and for some you will need to write a short answer in English or the target language. You will also need to translate a short passage into English.
Writing You will complete extended writing from a choice of questions and also a translation into the foreign language.