Strategies for Excelling in IGCSE French

Strategies for Excelling in IGCSE French

Learning a new language opens a world of opportunities, and French, being one of the most widely spoken languages globally, serves as a key to unlocking a treasure trove of cultural, educational, and professional prospects. At Cambridge Home School Online (CHS), we understand the importance of not just learning a language but immersing oneself in its culture and nuances. Our IGCSE French course is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the French language and the vibrant cultures of Francophone countries.

Understanding the Course Structure

Qualifications and Duration

Our course leads to the CIE IGCSE (9-1) 7156 French qualification for UK-based students and CIE IGCSE (A*-G) 0520 French for international learners, spanning two enriching years.

Delivery Method

We pride ourselves on our live online classes, conducted by seasoned and qualified educators, ensuring a dynamic and interactive learning environment from September to July.

Course Content and Pedagogy

Our online IGCSE French course is meticulously crafted to ensure students not only learn the language but live it. Through our platform, students engage with the language across four key skills:

  1. Listening: Tuning into the nuances of French speech.
  2. Reading: Navigating through texts, understanding and appreciating the written word.
  3. Speaking: Finding one’s voice in French, ensuring clear and confident communication.
  4. Writing: Expressing ideas and stories eloquently on paper.

In addition to these core skills, our curriculum dives deep into the heart of French-speaking cultures, providing a rounded and immersive educational experience.

Strategies for Success

Homework, Assessment, and Reporting

Regular engagement and revision are the bedrock of mastering French. Our structured homework and assessment regime is tailored to instil discipline and ensure continuous progress.

Homework Schedule

Level Frequency
3 Fortnightly per subject
4 Weekly per subject

Creating revision cards and detailed notes on each topic will not only aid in consolidating knowledge but also pave the way for effective revision sessions ahead of the final examinations.

Assessment Timeline

Level Internal Evaluations Mock Assessments
3 June N/A
4 N/A November and March

Engaging with the Course Material

The syllabus is ingeniously divided into five broad topics, each serving as a vibrant context for vocabulary acquisition and grammatical understanding.

Core Topics

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

These topics are not just subjects of study but windows into the everyday life and heart of French-speaking communities.

Assessment Preparedness

Excelling in IGCSE French requires a holistic approach to learning, one that balances the development of language skills with the understanding of cultural context.

Assessment Areas Breakdown

Paper Skill
1 Listening
2 Reading
3 Speaking
4 Writing

Each of these areas demands focused practice and a strategic approach to mastering the nuances of the language.

Deep-Diving into Assessment Strategies

Paper 1: Listening

Listening in a new language is not just about hearing sounds but understanding and interpreting meaning. To excel in this area, students should:

  • Immerse themselves in French audio: Regularly listen to French radio stations, podcasts, and music. This exposure to varied vocabulary and accents will enhance your auditory skills.
  • Practice with past papers: Familiarise yourself with the format of the listening exam. Regular practice under exam conditions will help build confidence and improve time management.

Paper 2: Reading

Reading in French opens up new worlds of literature, history, and current affairs. To master reading comprehension:

  • Read widely: Engage with a variety of French texts, from newspapers and magazines to novels and poetry. This will not only improve your vocabulary but also your understanding of different writing styles.
  • Use annotations: While practising, annotate texts with summaries, vocabulary, and questions. This active engagement with the text will aid in comprehension and retention.

Paper 3: Speaking

Speaking is perhaps the most daunting aspect of learning a new language, but it’s also the most rewarding. To enhance your speaking skills:

  • Engage in conversation: Find language exchange partners or speak with native speakers. Regular conversation practice will improve fluency and pronunciation.
  • Prepare and practise: Work on potential exam topics and practice speaking about them. Recording and listening to your speech can help identify areas for improvement.

Paper 4: Writing

Writing in French requires a good grasp of grammar, vocabulary, and the ability to express ideas clearly. To excel in writing:

  • Practice writing regularly: Keep a journal in French or write essays on various topics. Regular writing practice will improve your ability to construct coherent and sophisticated texts.
  • Review and revise: Always review your written work critically, or better yet, have it reviewed by a teacher or a native speaker. This feedback is invaluable for correcting mistakes and improving style.

Beyond the IGCSE: Preparing for A-Level

Transitioning from IGCSE to A-Level French requires a step-up in proficiency and understanding. To bridge this gap effectively:

  • Engage with French media: Watch French films, listen to French music, and follow French news. This will not only improve your language skills but also deepen your cultural understanding.
  • Enhance your vocabulary: Use the summer holidays to expand your vocabulary, focusing on A-Level topics and themes.

Recommended Resources for Summer Preparation


  • Films like “La Haine” for a deep dive into French society and culture.
  • YouTube channels like FrenchPod101 and Learn French with Pascal for engaging and educational content.


  • Grammar and translation exercises to master verb conjugations and tenses.
  • Platforms like Duolingo and Babbel for structured language practice.


  • Books such as “No et Moi” for literary exposure.
  • French news outlets like “20 minutes” for contemporary vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.



  • French radio stations and music playlists to immerse yourself in the language’s rhythm and melody.


Excelling in IGCSE French requires a blend of rigorous academic preparation and immersive language experiences. By engaging with the language both inside and outside the classroom, students can build a strong foundation in French that will serve them well in their academic and personal lives. Remember, language learning is a journey — embrace every opportunity to speak, listen, read, and write in French, and you’ll find yourself not just excelling in exams but truly living the language.


What qualifications can I achieve through an IGCSE French course?

IGCSE French courses typically lead to two main qualifications: the CIE IGCSE (9-1) 7156 for students in the UK and the CIE IGCSE (A*-G) 0520 for international learners. These qualifications are recognised globally and provide a solid foundation for further language studies.

How is an IGCSE French course delivered at CHS?

IGCSE French courses at CHS are delivered through live online classes. These sessions are led by experienced educators who provide a dynamic and interactive learning environment, aiming to immerse students in both the language and culture of French-speaking countries.

What are the core components of the IGCSE French curriculum?

The IGCSE French curriculum is designed to develop four key language skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. This comprehensive approach ensures students not only learn French grammar and vocabulary but also become proficient in communication and comprehension.

How can I excel in the listening component of the IGCSE French exam?

To excel in the listening component, regularly immerse yourself in French audio, such as radio stations, podcasts, and music. This exposure helps with understanding various accents and vocabularies. Practising with past exam papers under timed conditions can also significantly improve listening skills.

What strategies are recommended for improving speaking skills in French?

Improving speaking skills involves regular practice and real-life conversation. Engaging with native speakers or language exchange partners can enhance fluency and pronunciation. Additionally, preparing for potential exam topics and practising speaking about them can boost confidence and speaking ability.