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We have decided to adopt our proposed rules and guidance for reformed GCSEs in French, German and Spanish, with minor changes to clarify some of our expectations. We have now published final versions of our:
- GCSE Subject Level Conditions and Requirements for Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Spanish)
- GCSE Subject Level Guidance for Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Spanish)
Our new rules will require reformed GCSEs in French, German and Spanish to:
- comply with the Department for Education’s subject content for modern foreign languages, and our assessment objectives
- offer Foundation tier (grades 1 to 5) and Higher tier (grades 4 to 9) assessments
- assess spoken language skills using non-exam assessment that is set and marked by the awarding organisation, and taken by students during a five week period in April and May
- use a common approach to spoken language assessments – with all assessments of similar length (between 7 and 9 minutes at Foundation tier, between 10 and 12 minutes at Higher tier), and involving similar tasks
- assess listening skills using a common approach – a 35 minute assessment at Foundation tier, and a 45 minute assessment at Higher tier
- prohibit the use of dictionaries in exams and the speaking assessment, as well as in the formal preparation period before the speaking assessment
- allocate 5% of marks (split between speaking and writing) to knowledge and accurate application of the grammar and structures of the language
Our new rules allow (but do not require) awarding organisations to produce vocabulary lists as part of their specifications – provided they design their assessments in a way which is not restricted to the words on the list.
Our guidance explains how awarding organisations should interpret parts of the subject content, and our assessment objectives.
This consultation is about the rules and guidance we need to put in place for new GCSEs in modern foreign languages. These rules will apply to the exam boards that want to offer new modern foreign languages GCSEs from September 2016. This is part of Ofqual’s work supporting the government’s changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels.