A language GCSE is a qualification highly prized by colleges, universities and employers. As well as being great fun, language learning is a skill for life – one which is increasingly sought after in today’s global economy. Knowledge of another language gives you a deeper understanding of the different cultures and communities where the language is spoken.
French is a major language of international communication. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. More than 200 million people speak French on the five continents and it is the official language of 29 countries including many in Africa, Europe, several Caribbean and Pacific islands and the Quebec region of Canada.
The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (fashion and retail, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). France is the world’s fifth biggest economy and also the world’s number-one tourist destination. A GCSE qualification in French could provide you with opportunities to work in the UK as well as to travel and work abroad.
What you'll study
French GCSE course covers three themes:
Identity and culture
Me, my family and friends; Technology in everyday life; Free time activities; customs and festivals in French-speaking countries.
Local, national, international and global areas of interest.
Home town, neighbourhood and region; Social issues; Global issues; Travel and
Current and future study and employment.
My studies; Life at school/college; Education post-16; Jobs, career choices and ambitions.
The four areas of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing are covered equally across the course and the examination.
French A Level
The A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. Students study technological and social change, looking at diversity and the benefits it brings. They will study highlights of French-speaking artistic culture, including francophone music and cinema, and learn about political engagement and who wields political power in the French-speaking world.
Students also explore the influence of the past on present-day French-speaking
Throughout their studies, they will learn the language in the context of French-speaking countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. Students will study texts and film and have the opportunity to carry out
independent research on an area of their choice. Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
Sound grammatical knowledge, excellent communication skills and confidence.
- GCSE French at grade 6 or above
Apart from being beneficial at a personal level, your A level in French can provide opportunities in a variety of career paths. For those who want to specialise in language, you could work with different industries as a translator or work in education. There will also be career opportunities in the travel and tourism industry. Being proficient in a language can give you broader career options, even if you were looking into a career in engineering, design technology or food technology.
Should you wish to take up another language, e.g. Japanese, at university, an A level in a modern foreign language is essential. On a wider level, anyone who wants to travel for work or pleasure should consider taking this course.