Languages GCSE

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Examination Board AQA
Subject Leader Mrs Lemee
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Course Content:

Through learning a language we gain a better understanding of how people in another country live, their customs and attitudes and how they do things. The more we understand and respect people in other countries, the greater the hope for world peace.

With the turbulent political and economic events of the recent months, studying languages is even more important than before. In the knowledge society of the 21st century, language competence and intercultural/global understanding are not optional extras; they are an essential part of being a citizen, shaping the way we think and giving the potential to communicate with the other half of the world.

Studying a language also helps to develop our general mental ability – it demands we listen carefully, to think exactly and to examine things in detail.


  • To develop the ability to understand and use a language effectively for purposes of practical communication
  • To develop the ability to use and understand a language both imaginatively and creatively
  • To develop an understanding of grammar
  • To encourage positive attitudes to language learning and speakers of other languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations
  • To offer insights into the culture and civilisation of other countries
  • To promote learning skills of a more general application such as analysis, memorising and drawing of inferences
  • To form a sound base of the transferable skills, language and attitude required for further study, work and leisure
  • To provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation

How is the course structured?
Students are required to study the following themes:

Theme 1: identity and culture

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • 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
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3: current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school
  • Education post-16
  • Career choices and ambitions

How is the course assessed?
Candidates will be tested in the four main skills;
listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Paper 1: Listening – Examination 25%:
Foundation (35 mins) Higher (45mins)
Paper 2: Speaking – Examination 25%
Foundation (7-9 mins) Higher (10-12 mins)
Paper 3: Reading – Examination 25%
Foundation(45 mins) Higher (1 hour)
Paper 4 : Writing – Examination 25%
Foundation (1 hour) Higher (1 hour 15 mins)

The four skills are tested at the end of Year 11 by examination. All papers are available at either foundation or higher tier. Candidates will not be able to mix tiers on different papers.

Foundation tier exams (Grades 1-5) or Higher tier exams (Grades 4-9).