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Teaching GCSE French for the First Time

Course Code:


This course is intended to provide teachers who are about to start or in their first couple of years teaching GCSE French, with all they need to teach their course effectively. It will equip delegates with the knowledge and skills needed to become an effective GCSE French teacher, focusing on the core areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing both in terms of classroom teaching ideas and preparation for the terminal examinations in these skill areas. The course will reflect on current challenges and any modifications to the exam system, with tips on how to overcome issues in the classroom and to guide students to optimise their examination performance.


  • Gain the latest understanding of the features of effective teaching and learning for GCSE Spanish.
  • Address the challenges faced by teachers where students have missed vital lessons caused by the Covid pandemic and develop engaging ways to bridge the gaps.
  • Take away practical advice for enhanced teaching and learning in the classroom.
  • Examine methods to assess and maximise student progress through independence and confidence.
  • Develop students’ skills in the four key areas of the language acquisition.
  • Increase student confidence in the examination.
  • Take away hints and advice to enhance student performance in the examinations in all 4 key skills.


Key messages from the course

10.00 – 10.15am
  • Brief discussion on challenges created by COVID for teaching and how they might exacerbate already challenging sections of the course.
  • Developing knowledge regarding which part of the course to begin with and the benefits or weaknesses for this.
  • Assessing the correct starting point for your students based on prior knowledge from GCSE.

Teaching the reading and listening skills

10.15 – 11.15am
  • Gain understanding of the ways and means that students may listen and respond and how to plan for this.
  • Practical advice to enhance the teaching of listening properly and the benefit of note taking during this.
  • Gain understanding of the ways and means that students may translate and respond and how to plan for this.
  • Practical advice to enhance the teaching of reading properly and the pitfall of skim reading.
  • Effective methods to assess progress and attainment in reading and listening
  • Demands of the examinations and how to prepare students successfully from first teaching



11.15 – 11.30am

Becoming an effective teacher of speaking

11.30 – 12.30pm
  • Practical ideas to create a successful Spanish classroom including the visual use of the classroom space.
  • How to develop confidence through encouraging spontaneous speaking
  • Gain an understanding about how engaging games  can embed speaking skills
  • Managing the demands on the teacher in the speaking test- how much is too much input?
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of the speaking test
  • Responding to questions asked using the photo cards



12.30 – 1.30pm

Effective strategies for teaching translation

1.30 – 2.30pm
  • An overview of both translation tasks – what to be most attentive of and where quick gains can be made.
  • Key considerations and powerful strategies for teaching translation skills
  • Highlighting challenges of French to English translation and how to overcome them
  • Challenges of the English to French translation and strategies to foster student progress to further achievement.
  • Importance of avoiding paraphrase to ensure accurate translation and developed responses.
  • Deconstructing the question- what does it really ask? Student misconceptions


Afternoon break

2.30 – 2.45pm

The writing tasks

2.45 – 4.00pm
  • Dissecting the writing tasks at foundation tier and scaffolding them for students- what might this look like and how to embed the scaffolding skill from the outset.
  • Raising expectations and overcoming demands of the writing tasks at higher tier- when to move away from the scaffold and allow autonomy in responses.
  • How to maximise vocabulary acquisition in every lesson
  • Practical advice for classroom teaching and learning of writing skills
  • Best practices in teaching grammar





London | Tuesday 06 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Tuesday 06 February 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Katherine Golding is a former Head of Department and current teacher of MFL of longstanding experience. She has successfully prepared students for GCSE (AQA), A-Level (Edexcel) and Pre-U examinations in French in current and previous iterations of the respective specifcations and holds the SSAT Diploma for Innovative Teaching. She currently teaches French and German in mainstream comprehensive education in South Northants and is a marker for both Pearson and AQA. Students in her cohorts have enjoyed the highest percentage of Grades 4-9 in the MFL Department year on year and have gone on to study languages at Oxbridge and other Russell Group institutions. She has both current and historic experience and success in training both new teachers and PGCE students in the skills needed to teach both KS3 and GCSE classes efectively, promoting student uptake and achieving exam success.


  • Teachers in first years of teaching GCSE French
  • Teachers seeking to increase their confidence in their teaching of GCSE Spanish
  • NQTs in MFL


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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