Removal of the expectation that students engage with unfamiliar and abstract material in language GCSEs

Closed 20 Oct 2022

Opened 29 Sep 2022


We're seeking views on the permanent removal of the expectation that students understand and respond to unfamiliar and abstract material from the subject content for all language GCSEs, from 2023.

Why your views matter

For examinations 2022, the Department for Education (DfE), in partnership with Ofqual, introduced a number of adaptations to GCSE qualifications, in order to support pupils who had faced disruption to their teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 health pandemic. As part of this package of support, adaptations were made to modern foreign language (MFL) GCSEs – specifically, the removal of the regulatory requirement that exam boards must include unfamiliar material within their assessments.

We are proposing implementing this proposal on a permanent basis, from 2023.



  • Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Pupils
  • Young people
  • Parents
  • Unions and representative organisations


  • Education
  • National Curriculum
  • GCSE subject content