GCSE MFL Spoken Language Assessment Criteria and Approach

Pass, merit and distinction criteria for 2021 published, with flexible approach to assessment in class or on a one-to-one basis


Ofqual published the outcome of its consultation on the assessment of MFL spoken language skills in 2021 today (Thursday 5 November).


In August, following our consultation on changes to exams in 2021 we decided that students taking GCSE modern foreign language exams in 2021 could have their spoken language skills assessed by their teachers in a more flexible way than normal.


Today we have published, following consultation, the criteria teachers must use to assess students’ spoken language skills. Given the disruption being caused by the pandemic, teachers may assess their students’ spoken language skills during normal classroom activities or as individual, one-off assessments.


Most people who responded to the consultation supported the criteria. They also welcomed the approach which they said would relieve pressure on teachers and students.


In 2021 students will be given a grade of pass, merit or distinction (or ‘not classified’) for their spoken language skills, alongside their 9 to 1 grade for modern foreign language GCSEs.


We have confirmed that exam boards will not be required to review evidence of student performance as this would undermine the intended flexibility of the approach, and would be burdensome for centres.


Each school and college will need to provide a statement to its exam boards, to say they have taken all reasonable steps to make sure students have the opportunity for their spoken language to be assessed.

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