Specification at a glance

  • Three levels of award are available: pass, merit, distinction. The standard is broadly equivalent to the National Curriculum KS3 Languages programmes of study.
  • FCSE is 100% internally assessed by the school or college and externally moderated by AQA.
  • Externally set assignments for listening and reading are available on e-AQA.
  • Externally set and exemplar speaking and writing assignments are available on e-AQA.

Students should submit evidence from three units. Each unit should be selected from a different theme:

Theme 1: My world

Unit 1 – Relationships, family and friends

Unit 2 – Education and future plans

Theme 2: Holidays and leisure

Unit 3 – Holidays and travel

Unit 4 – Leisure

Theme 3: Lifestyle

Unit 5 – Healthy lifestyle

Unit 6 – Food and drink

Theme 4: My community

Unit 7 – Local area and environment

Unit 8 – Celebrations

Full course portfolio

FCSE (FC):

  • Chinese (Mandarin) 8973
  • French 8958
  • German 8968
  • Spanish 8998

Listening

Three externally set assignments – 25%

Reading

Three externally set assignments – 25%

Speaking

One compulsory, externally set role play plus two internally set assignments – 25%

Writing

One compulsory, externally set translation plus two internally set assignments – 25%

  • Students produce 12 assignments, ten of which are to be available for moderation (three listening, three reading, three writing, and one recorded speaking assignment).
  • For each of the three units, students must produce an assignment in all four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing).
  • The first task on each reading assignment will be a translation from the target language into English.
  • One of the three writing assignments submitted must be an externally set translation from English into the target language.
  • One of the three speaking assignments produced must be an externally set role-play. The recorded assignment does not have to be the role-play.
  • Total qualification time 170 hours maximum (135 hours of guided learning plus 35 unsupervised hours).

Short course portfolio

Spoken language short course

FCSE (SC) Spoken Language:

  • Chinese (Mandarin) 8971
  • French 8956
  • German 8966
  • Spanish 8996

Listening

Three externally set assignments – 50%

Speaking

One compulsory, externally set role-play plus two internally set assignments – 50%

  • Students produce six assignments, four of which are to be available for moderation (three listening and one recorded speaking).
  • For each of the three units, students must produce an assignment in both skills (listening and speaking).
  • One of the three speaking assignments produced must be an externally set role-play. The recorded assignment does not have to be the role-play.

Written language short course

FCSE (SC) Written Language:

  • Chinese (Mandarin) 8972
  • French 8957
  • German 8967
  • Spanish 8997

Reading

Three externally set assignments – 50%

Writing

One compulsory, externally set translation plus two internally set assignments – 50%

  • Students produce six assignments (three reading and three writing), all of which must be available for moderation.
  • For each of the three units, students must produce an assignment in both skills (reading and writing).
  • One of the three writing assignments submitted must be an externally set translation from English into the target language.