Modern Foreign Languages

Board:  Edexcel

The new A level course will begin in September 2016. Students will sit the first new AS exam in Foreign Languages in June 2017. The first A Level (A2) exams in Foreign Languages will take place in June 2018.

Course Aims

The new Modern Foreign Languages A levels will inspire learners and give them skills for life, enabling them to use language independently and encouraging a deeper understanding of the integration between language and culture.  A variety of themes will cater for a range of student interests, and our qualifications will support students who see languages as a skill to enhance career or travel prospects, as well as those who want to continue to study languages at a higher level.

Assessment Overview

Paper 1: Listening,  reading and translation

1 hour and 50 minutes 40% of the qualification 64 marks

Section A: Listening (24 marks)

A listening assessment based on a recording, featuring male and female Target Language speakers. Students will respond to comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources.

Section B: Reading (28 marks)

A reading assessment based on a variety of text-types and genres where students will have to respond to comprehension questions

Section C: Translation into English (12 marks)

An unseen passage to be translated from Target Language to English.

Paper 2: Written response to work, grammar and translation

1 hour and 40 minutes 30% of the qualification 48 marks

This paper requires students to translate a previously unseen passage and complete a grammar exercise based on one of two themes. This paper also draws on the study of one discrete French/German/Spanish works: either one literary text or one film. The work must be taken from the prescribed list for each language. The literary texts listed include a range of classic and contemporary novels and one play. All of the films are feature length.

Students complete Section A and one question from either Section B or C

Section A: Translation and grammar (16 marks - 12 marks for translation and 4 marks for grammar). Students translate an unseen passage from English into Target Language, followed by a grammar exercise.

Section B: Written response to works (literary texts) (32 marks)

Students select one question from a choice of two for their chosen literary text. If a student answers one question in this section then they do not complete Section C.

Section C: Written response to works (films) (32 marks)

Students select one question from a choice of two for their chosen film. If a student answers a question in this section then they do not complete Section B.

Paper 3: Speaking

  • Internally conducted and externally assessed
  • Total assessment time: between 27 and 30 minutes, which includes a single period of 15 minutes formal preparation time
  • 30% of the qualification
  • 48 marks

Task 1 (28 marks) requires students to read and respond to two short texts based on the Theme Les changements dans la société française and then hold a discussion.

Task 2 (20 marks) is based on a discussion from the Theme La culture politique et artistique dans les pays francophones. Students will choose to discuss one sub-theme drawn from the main Theme.

Students will be assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively, summarise and understand written sources in speech, manipulate language accurately and show knowledge and understanding about the culture and society where the language is spoken.

For Paper 2, students must select for study two works from the list below. This can be either two literary texts or one literary text and one film.

French Prescribed Literary Works & Films

Literary texts

Boule de Suif (Un Duel, Deux Amis, La Mère Sauvage), Guy de Maupassant, 1880 (short story)

La Place, Annie Ernaux, 1983 (novel)

Le Blé en Herbe, Colette, 1923 (novel)

Le Château de ma Mère, Marcel Pagnol, 1957 (novel)

Le Gone du Chaâba, Azouz Begag, 2005 (novel)

Les Mains Sales, Jean-Paul Sartre, 1948 (play)

Les Petits Enfants du Siècle, Christiane Rochefort, 1961 (novel)

Le Tartuffe, Molière, 1669 (play)

L’Étranger, Albert Camus, 1942 (novel)

No et Moi, Delphine de Vigan, 2007 (novel)

Thérèse Desqueyroux, François Mauriac, 1927 (novel)

Un Sac de Billes, Joseph Joffo, 1973 (novel)


Au Revoir les Enfants, dir. Louis Malle (1987)

Deux Jours, une Nuit, dirs. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (2014)

Entre les murs, dir. Laurent Cantet (2008)

Intouchables, dirs. Oliver Nakache, Eric Toledano (2011)

La Haine, dir. Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)

La Vie en Rose, dir. Olivier Dahan (2007)

Le Dernier Métro, dir. Françöis Truffaut (1980)

Les Choristes, dir. Christophe Barratier (2004)

Les 400 Coups, dir. Françöis Truffaut (1959)

Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles, dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2004)

German Prescribed literary texts and films

Literary texts

Andorra, Max Frisch, 1961 (play)

Der Besuch der alten Dame, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, 1956(play)

Der Vorleser, Bernhard Schlink, 1995(novel)

Die Entdeckung der Currywurst, Uwe Timm, 1993 (novella)

Die neuen Leiden des jungen W, Ulrich Plenzdorf, 1972 (novel)

Ich fühle mich so fifty-fifty, Karin König, 1994(novella)


Das Leben der Anderen, dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (2006)

Das Wunder von Bern, dir. Sönke Wortmann (2003)

Die Welle, dir. Dennis Gansel (2008)

Good Bye Lenin!, dir. Wolfgang Becker (2003)

Lola rennt, dir. Tom Tykwer (1998)

Spanish Prescribed Literary Texts and Films

Literary texts

Bodas de sangre, Federico García Lorca, 1932 (play)

Como agua para chocolate, Laura Esquivel, 1989 (novel)

El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, Gabriel García Márquez, 1961(novella)

La casa de Bernarda Alba, Federico García Lorca, 1936 (play)

Nada, Carmen Laforet, 1943 (novel)

Réquiem por un campesino español, Ramón J. Sender, 1953 (short story)


Diarios de motocicleta, dir. Walter Salles (2004)

El laberinto del fauno, dir. Guillermo del Toro (2006)

La lengua de las mariposas, dir. José Luis Cuerda (1999)

Mar adentro, dir. Alejandro Amenábar (2004)

Volver, dir. Pedro Almodóvar (2006)