I have just thrown a VERY cursory glance over the document entitled Modern languages GCSE subject content and assessment objectives published today on the DfE website along with similar documents for other subjects.
The general tone of the ‘proposed’ content strikes me as being similar to the O level. It could be the frequent appearance of the phrase ‘literary texts’ which brings to mind a mini Gove jack-in-the-box, popping-up every time a sentence contains mention of ‘contemporary culture’ so that it doesn’t become too modern-sounding.
It’s not that I object at all to the use of literary texts in the appropriate place, but the specific reference is just too, well, insistent.
Oral examinations (not speaking tests, I note, which is perhaps too modern?) are to be internally conducted but not assessed – some pressure relieved there?
There is a hint of CLIL in the phrase “make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, where the language may become a medium for constructing and applying knowledge“.
My “Award for Raised Eyebrow” was won by the reference to “translate sentences and short texts from English into the assessed language to convey key messages accurately and to apply grammatical knowledge of language and structures in context.“
And the “Two Steps Backward” trophy goes without question to the equal weighting for each of the 4 skills. Again.
As I say, it was a very quick viewing, and I’m sure there’ll be other things which occur to me in the weeks to come.
Responses required at DfE by 20th August.