All students sit the French (Foreign Language) examinations. Cambridge IGCSE French (Foreign Language) aims to help students develop an ability to use the language effectively for practical communication. The course is based on the linked language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and these are built on as learners progress through their studies.

The syllabus also aims to offer insights into the culture of countries where French is spoken, thus encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards speakers of other languages.


The aims are to enable learners to:

  • Develop the ability to communicate effectively using French
  • Offer insights into the culture and society of countries where the French language is spoken
  • Develop awareness of the nature of language and language learning
  • Encourage positive attitudes towards speakers of other languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations
  • Provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation
  • Develop transferable skills (e.g. analysis, memorising, drawing of inferences) to complement other areas of the curriculum
  • Form a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes required for progression to work or further study, either in the French language or another subject area.

Syllabus content

The subject content is organised around five broad topic areas which provide contexts for the acquisition of vocabulary and the study of grammar and structures. Through the study of these topic areas, candidates gain insight into target language countries and communities.

The topic areas are:

  • Everyday activities.
  • Personal and social life.
  • The world around us.
  • The world of work.
  • The international world.

Required equipment

All students will require:

  • English-French Dictionary


Paper title Duration and marks What’s in the paper? Percentage of final grade
Paper 1: Writing 45 minutes
(45 Marks)
Candidates listen to a number of recordings and answer questions testing comprehension 25%
Paper 2: Reading 1 hour
(45 Marks)
Candidates read a number of texts and answer questions testing comprehension 25%
Paper 3: Speaking 15 minutes
(100 Marks)
Candidates complete two role plays, a topic presentation/conversation and a general conversation 25%
Paper 4: Writing 1 hour
(50 Marks)
Candidates respond in French to three tasks 25%

Find out more

You can find out more by visiting the qualification page on the Cambridge Assessment website.