Arabic is offered as a GCSE and can be studied in years 10 and 11.
The GCSE is then taken after two years of study at the end of year 11.
The qualification is offered to those students who already have a good grasp of reading, writing, listening and speaking and who need to hone their Arabic language skills.
For speaking and writing units, content will relate to the following broad themes.
- Media, travel and culture
- Holidays/accommodation/eating, food, drink
- Sport, leisure and work
- Work experience/part-time jobs
Product or service information
For listening and reading skills refer to the generic content areas specified below and feature scenarios set in a country where Arabic is spoken.
- Out and about
Customer service and transactions
- Cafés and restaurants
Dealing with problems
- General interests
Family and friends
Lifestyle (healthy eating and exercise)
Assessment summary Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 are external units, set and marked by the examination board.
Unit 1 Listening and Understanding
This unit is externally set and assessed. The examination consists of a number of passages or interactions in Arabic with a variety of question types. The spoken material will include both formal (for example a telephone message) and informal speech (for example social interaction). There is a single tier of entry for this paper which caters for a wide range of student profiles and rewards work from grades G to A*. Content relates to prescribed common topic areas. Timing: 45 minutes (plus 5 minutes’ reading time). Total number of marks is 50.
Unit 2 Speaking in Arabic
This unit is externally marked and involves students carrying out two different tasks related to a chosen theme (or themes). Tests are conducted by the teacher in a specified assessment window. The assessment criteria primarily reward students for communication (content and response) although additional marks are awarded for range of language and accuracy. Timing: 8-10 minutes in total (equally divided across both tasks). Total number of marks is 50.
Unit 3 Reading and Understanding in Arabic
This unit is externally set and assessed. The examination consists of a number of short texts, notices or short news reports in Arabic which include a range of settings and styles both formal and informal (for example text messages, advertisements, emails). There is a single tier of entry for this paper which caters for a wide range of student profiles and rewards work from grades G to A*. Content relates to prescribed common topic areas. Timing: 55 minutes. Total number of marks is 50 marks.
Unit 4 Writing in Arabic
The writing unit is externally assessed through an examination paper consisting of two tasks from a choice of eight. The tasks and related assessment criteria have been designed to accommodate a wide range of student profiles and reward work at grades from G to A*. The papers reward students for effective communication and knowledge and application of language (as well as accuracy in the second longer task). Tasks will be set in English to ensure that assessment is not over-reliant on reading ability. Although elements of the second task are accessible to students seeking grades G to C, the task provides opportunities for stretch and challenge through a more extended writing requirement. Timing: one hour. The number of marks is 50.