Modern Foreign Languages

GCSE French and Spanish- Exam Board AQA

Key Stage 4 - GCSE Modern Languages
Examination Board: AQA
Full Qualification Information: GCSE French : 8658 GCSE Spanish: 8698

In an increasingly globalized world our message to students is that their employability will always be greatly improved if they continue with languages beyond Key Stage 3.
During the GCSE course we are able to reserve ICT rooms for lessons to enhance student’s learning and offer personalised targets in areas such as listening and vocabulary learning.
Trips to the French and Spanish Institutes give students the opportunity to converse with native speakers and watch films in the target language. The cultural content of the course motivates our students and brings languages to life.
Intervention lessons are also available at Key Stage 4 to enhance student’s understanding of grammatical concepts and improve writing skills.

Assessment and Course Outline :

The GCSE Spanish qualification has two tiers: Foundation tier and Higher tier. They both cover the same syllabus, both require students to complete four end-of-course papers, but the Foundation Tier has a shorter list of required vocabulary and slightly less questions in the exams.

The GCSE is divided into 4 parts and each accounts for a percentage of the final mark.
Listening 25%
Reading 25%
Writing 25%
Speaking 25%

Listening & Reading
What is it? You will sit both exams at the end of year 11. They will consist of listening to and reading several texts and answering questions on them – usually multiple choice tick-box, or short written answers. The texts will be on 3 themes:
1. Identity and Culture
2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest
3. Current and future study and employment

What is it? The writing element comprises an exam of four questions if you sit the higher paper, and three questions if you sit the higher. Both the foundation and higher will include a translation task from English into Spanish.

How is it assessed? Marks are allocated for writing the sufficient number of words, accuracy of spelling and grammar, using a variety of tenses, giving opinions and justifying them, using subordinate clauses and using idiomatic expressions.

Who marks it? The exams are sent to an external examiner.

What is it? The speaking exam will include a variety of tasks, including a role play. It will only last up to twelve minutes. You will be given twelve minutes to prepare just before the exam.

How is it assessed? Marks are allocated for speaking for the required minimum time, accuracy of your grammar, using a variety of tenses, giving opinions and justifying them, using subordinate clauses and idiomatic expressions, your pace and accent.

Who marks it? The recordings are sent to an external examiner.


Useful Links;

The webpage of the Spanish Institute :

General resources


Spanish Revision has a variety of resources on all four skill areas.

Language Resources contains materials listed by subject area. Each resource has a note in the right-hand column advising of its suitability by Key Stage.

SpanishDict: excellent website to practice verb conjugations and other grammar practice, including flashcards and quizzes.

Websites where you can listen to higher level /authentic materials -Materials for each part of the GCSE exam

A website for practising vocabulary

A variety of phrases, vocabulary, grammar

Spanish video quizzes higher level topics include healthy living, work and careers, social and environmental issues

Spanish phrases with sound

Free videos with worksheets and transcripts-subscription needed to access all of the content

Links to Spanish TV and news

There are many free Apps available for smart phones/iPads/tablets.

Magazines Search engine for Spanish magazines with free sample pages

Newspapers: obviously the articles contained in newspapers will be difficult, but have a look at the shorter articles/weather forecasts/ photograph titles/headlines etc.

Spanish TV

BBC guide to accessing Spanish TV channels

Language website: click work outs and Spanish to practice your vocabulary, your reading…etc. It is for KS3 and GCSE so you can practice and revise what you have forgotten.