First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.
KS4 (years 10 and 11): IGCSE
The aim and objectives of the International GCSE in Modern Foreign Languages is to enable students to develop the ability to understand and communicate effectively in the target language through the spoken or written word as well as develop knowledge and understanding of the culture of countries and communities where the target language is spoken.
The students follow the Edexcel IGCSE course specification. During the two-year course the core skills are developed, and pupils extend their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar structures as well as gain an insight into the French culture and way of life.
What will I learn?
This course will enable you to develop:
understanding and use of written forms of French, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
understanding and use of the spoken forms of French, in a range of familiar and practical contexts, and for a variety of purposes
the ability to communicate effectively in French through the written word and speaking, using a range of vocabulary and structures
a knowledge and understanding of French grammar and its practical application
a knowledge and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken
There are three components of the examination:
Paper 1 – Listening and understanding examination paper (35 minutes)
Paper 2 – Reading comprehension, grammar and writing examination paper (1 hour 45 minutes)
Paper 3 – Speaking examination paper (8 – 10 minutes)
What sort of homework will I be set?
The homework will comprise of vocabulary, grammar, writing and speaking expression as well as reading and listening comprehension activities. The homework will aim to gradually improve the students’ skills and make them confident to perform to the best of their ability in the final examination papers at the end of year 11.
Sixth Form: International AS and A level
International A Level: EDEXCEL XFR01/YFR01
In years 12 and 13 the MFL department follows the Edexcel International A-Level (IAL) specification which allows pupils to develop their linguistic skills as well as to examine topical issues and current affairs.
In Year 13 pupils undertake independent research either on a literary text or on contemporary and cultural topics. Emphasis is placed on the development of the foreign language as well as their critical thinking, inquiry and communicating skills.
Students at this level are expected to understand the main ideas of complex texts and spoken language on both concrete and abstract topics. They interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity; they communicate formally and informally in a range of contexts and understand and produce a wider range of texts and styles.
The Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level (International A level - IAL) in French is designed primarily as a qualification for students who are studying French in order to enhance their future educational or employment prospects.
Students will be expected to communicate formally and informally in a range of contexts and to understand a wider range of texts and styles than they can produce themselves. The aim of the Pearson Edexcel International Advanced Level in French is to test French language competence through realistic and contextualized tasks based on authentic texts.
Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are tested through four examination papers.
How is the course assessed?
At the end of Year 12 students will sit a 2 hour 30 minute paper and an 8 – 10 minute speaking test for the IAS qualification.
At the end of Year 13 students will sit a further 2 hour 30 minute written paper and an 11 – 13 minute speaking assessment for the IAL qualification.
The speaking assessments are worth 30% of the grade and the written papers are worth 70%.
What are the GCSE requirements for this course?
The students have to have achieved a GCSE or IGCSE grade A*-B in French or have at least the A2 DELF certificate in order to be able to join this class. This is an advanced language course and the students need to have very strong language background in order to be able to cope with the demanding requirements of the course.
Future Career Choices
As the world becomes more global the demand for professionals who can communicate in more than two languages is growing. Being fluent in two or more languages opens up the door to a variety of job opportunities not available to monolingual job candidates. These opportunities exist in marketing, transportation, administration, sales, retail, banking, education, law, communication, public relations, tourism and government – to name just a few. Not surprisingly, most corporations need employees who are bilingual or multilingual.