Changes to GCSE MFL papers from summer 2023

8 December 2022

An update on Ofqual's consultation decision to extend vocabulary adaptations to GCSE Modern Foreign Language exam papers, with effect from May/June 2023 onwards.

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Ofqual’s consultation on extending vocabulary adaptations, originally introduced for the summer 2022 series as an accessibility measure, has now concluded. As a result, the requirement for awarding bodies to use vocabulary that is not on the specification vocabulary lists for GCSE Modern Foreign Language assessments has been removed from summer 2023 onwards. In addition, this will allow exam boards to give the meaning of (gloss) unfamiliar vocabulary.

Read Ofqual’s consultation decisions.

GCSE French, German and Spanish

For Paper 1 (Listening) and Paper 3 (Reading), all words outside the core vocabulary list in the specification, which are not cognates, will be removed. This applies to both Foundation and Higher tier papers.

These adaptations do not affect Paper 2 (Speaking) or Paper 4 (Writing) as the vocabulary in these papers is already drawn exclusively from the core vocabulary lists. These changes will apply for the lifetime of the current (2016) specifications.

GCSE Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Urdu

For these languages we will be following a two-stage approach to adapting our assessments, due to the late notification of the required changes:

1. For summer 2023 all words outside the core vocabulary list in the specification will be glossed for Paper 1 (Listening) and Paper 3 (Reading), at both Foundation and Higher tiers.

2. From summer 2024 onwards, Paper 1 and Paper 3 will use only the core vocabulary list, as far as possible, with minimal use of glossing where unavoidable.

These adaptations do not affect Paper 2 (Speaking) or Paper 4 (Writing) as the vocabulary in these papers is already drawn exclusively from the core vocabulary lists. These changes will apply for the lifetime of the current specifications.

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