GCSE: What the Reform Means for Modern Languages
- The new grading scale from 1 to 9 implies that it will be harder to get a 9 than an A*
- The exam is now linear and they specify that the content is more demanding, I saw this with the new AQA specifications for Spanish GCSE as an example:
- For the comprehension parts of the exam, the language will be more complex, with some authentic material adapted for the GCSE level and a cultural aspect, literary texts adapted for the GCSE level are introduced for the reading. The student is expected to infer in some texts, the meaning of some more specialised or academic words and some implicit meanings, according to the context.
- For the production side of the exam, the students have to adapt to the unexpected, they must develop their sentences, their range of vocabulary and use of the language and grammatical structures, express facts and opinions and have the right style according to the context.
- There will be two translations from English to Spanish and Spanish to English.
- The use of the dictionary is not permitted and the student won’t know anything about the subject before the oral exams, so there is no opportunity to predict and prepare the assessment beforehand.