Proposed changes to the assessment of Modern Foreign Language GCSEs from 2023

Closed 20 Oct 2022

Opened 29 Sep 2022


Proposals at a glance

Ofqual invites your views on a proposed adaptation to the assessment of GCSE modern foreign languages (MFL) qualifications for students in England taking exams from summer 2023.

We propose carrying forward to future assessments the changes we made to last year’s qualifications in respect of the use of vocabulary. In summer 2022, these changes allowed the exam boards greater flexibility by:

  • removing the specific requirement that existed in previous years for the assessments to use vocabulary that is not on the vocabulary lists
  • permitting exam boards to give the meaning of (gloss) unfamiliar vocabulary if they consider this necessary

Our proposals are in response to a separate consultation launched by the Department for Education (DfE). DfE is consulting on a minor amendment to their published subject content to make this change on an ongoing basis for all GCSE modern foreign languages.


This consultation is likely to be of interest to:

  • students, including private candidates, who are expecting to take GCSE MFL exams in summer 2023 and beyond, and their parents and carers
  • teachers of these qualifications
  • school and college leaders and heads of other types of exam centre
  • unions
  • exams officers
  • the exam boards that will provide the exams
  • those who use qualifications to make selection decisions: further and higher education institutions and employers

Consultation arrangements


The consultation will be open for 3 weeks starting on 29 September 2022 and ending on 20 October 2022 at 11:45pm. We have set the length of this consultation so that decisions can be announced as early as possible this academic year, giving students, teachers and exam boards time to plan for exams taking place next summer.


Please respond to this consultation by completing the online response form.

What happens next

Your response has been submitted. Thank you for completing the consultation

This information will now be analysed and the findings will be published on our website.

To get alerted to updates to this and other Ofqual consultations, you can sign up for alerts on our consultation page on GOV.UK.


  • Anyone from any background


  • GCSEs