February 2024 Languages Update | Pearson qualifications

February 2024 Languages Update

30 January 2024

Dear colleagues,

I hope you have had a postitive start to 2024. In this update I have lots to share with you related to resources and support both for our current and new specifications. 

It's been great getting to see lots of you either online or face-to-face at events like the Association of Language Learning London event this month.

Please remember that you can get in touch with me using the details at the bottom of this page. I am available for all your questions about our languages qualifications.

Best wishes

Rebecca Waker

Subject Advisor for Languages

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Have your say - surveys

At Pearson, you know we are always striving to make the best assessment experience for your students. For our new 2024 French, German and Spanish specifications, we have got two options for the scheduling of the listening and reading exams: in one session on the same day (as currently) or on two separate days.

There are advantages to both approaches, and we are interested in hearing which you would prefer, and why, so we have created a short survey for you to complete: 

Teacher Survey

As this will affect your students, we have also created a very short survey for your Year 10 or 11 students to complete, if you would be willing to share it with them. 

Student Survey

We will have 3 x £10 Amazon vouchers to gift to the centre who gets the most students to respond, for you to share with your students as you deem appropriate.

We will keep the surveys open until Friday 9th February.

According to the 2023 report:

"Language Trends is an annual survey of primary and secondary schools in England, designed to gather information about the situation for language teaching and learning.

The Language Trends series shows general shifts in data and seeks to provide a springboard for teachers, school leaders, academics, inspectors, policy makers, school pupils and the public to consider aspects of language learning more deeply."

This is an important survey for our subject area, so please take the time to complete it. There are three links, so please only use the appropriate one for your setting.

State Secondary

State Primary

Independent School

Training for current and new qualifications

We have now launched more face to face and online dates for our Getting Ready to Teach training for the GCSE French, German and Spanish 2024.

These are all free of charge.

Delegates will:

- develop understanding of the specification content and requirements (e.g. thematic contexts, vocabulary and grammar)
- deep dive into the new elements of the qualification and better understand their mark schemes
- find out more about the support available
- have the opportunity to discuss best practice and share ideas with other teachers.

Acting on feedback you have given us during our Getting Ready to Teach events we have arranged a new phonics training session.

In this session we will explore a range of teaching and learning strategies that can be used for both introducing and recycling phonics knowledge in the Modern Languages classroom from KS3. We will explore common challenges of the new Read Aloud and Dictation tasks and help you develop students’ phonic abilities in these areas.

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In January we ran a new event related to the new GCSE writing paper. We are now running this session again in March.

In this event, we will focus on exploring key features of the question paper and mark criteria in the new Pearson Edexcel (2024) Paper 4, Writing, for French, German and Spanish, with a particular focus on:

• comparing the structure of the paper with the existing AQA structure, to support the centres who are switching to our qualification
• understanding application of the best fit mark criteria for writing tasks
• understanding the Pearson Edexcel approach for marking the translations
• considering teaching and learning approaches to best prepare your students for the examination.

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Administrative support guides for 2024 exams

For all the important details about conducting our exams please see our newly updated Administrative Support guides:


GCE A Level

You may also be interested in our remote London Centre Orals service for GCE A Level. Booking links for the Remote LCO service can be found under forms and administration on the relevant qualifcation pages.

International GCSE

We have also updated our candidate cover sheets for our International languages qualifications:

International GCSE

International A Level


Speaking exam support

Extra time in speaking exams

A reminder that for speaking exams any extra time is applied to preparation time. If you believe you have a candidate who should be entitled to extra time during the recording you should email us on uk.special.requirements@pearson.com.

If you have not had this approval our examiners will stop marking at the usual cut off time. 


Pictures for International GCSE

A reminder that pictures for the International GCSE languages speaking exams should be photographs. Not drawings, AI generated images or any other type of illustration. Guidance can be found in our Administrative Support Guide on page 10.


We have arranged a range of training for the speaking exams. You can attend our regular speaking exam conduct training or one of my drop in sessions. My sessions will be short, 30 minute sessions with some top tips followed by time for your questions. 

We'll also be sharing the updated versions of our Administrative Support Guide and London Centre Orals documents shortly.

GCSE Drop in sessions

14th March

18th March


GCSE exam conduct training

Spanish 5th March

French 6th March


A Level Drop in sessions

19th March


A level exam conduct training

28th February

GCSE 2024 Resources

We have published some more information about our resources which we hope you will find useful:

Frequently Asked Questions

Guide to our Pearson Edexcel Resources

As you know we are developing new resources for the 2024 GCSEs in French, German and Spanish. You can view the following videos to learn more about these.

To make sure you are kept up to date, register your interest in our resources.

Interested in being an examiner for our 2024 GCSEs in French, German and Spanish?

Happy girl, shocked.

Summer 2025 Provisional timetables

We published our provisional timetables for Summer 2025 on Monday 22nd January as agreed by JCQ and all other awarding bodies.

They can be found on our Provisional timetables web page.

Consultation window will run from Monday 22nd January to Friday 23rd February.

Please send any feedback you may have to Timetables@Pearson.com


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