B-GCE (Advanced Level) Sri Lanka

The students have only two years to prepare for The G.C.E. (Advanced Level) Examination in FRENCH and according to the syllabus published by NIE [National Institute of Education] the First examination under the New syllabus  organised by the Department of Examinations was held in August 2011.

New syllabus of  French Alevel

In the previous syllabus the words “Prescribed Text” were used to introduce a Text book, which is replaced by the words “Recommended Text” in the NEW syllabus. There is no difference between these two terms when one recommends only one text book. It is appropriate to mention under suitable resources some course books.

The questions papers set at this examination do not require these books to teach as these two books are based on the communicative approach. In this examination oral communication is not tested.  Hence any French text book would be suitable.

Alter Ego 1  Teachers Guide – Le guide Pédagogique.   To down load go to this page and register

Alter ego 2

Alter Ego 2  Teacher’s Guide – Le guide Pédagogique To down load go to this page and register

This French syllabus has been prepared in the  English department of the NIE.  

English language teaching in Sri Lanka is a total failure – Prof. S.T.Hettige of the University of Colombo.

ලංකාවේ ඉංග්‍රීසි අධ්‍යාපනය සම්පුර්ණයෙන්ම අසර්ටකයි, මහාචාර්ය  එස් . ටී .හෙට්ටිගේ  පවසනවා.

Watch this video.  මෙම වීඩියෝව බලන්න



Aims and Objectives of French is to:
  • Develop communicative skills.
  • Focus on languages as systems and gain insights into the relationship between language and culture.
  • Appreciate the different genres in French Literature: poetry, prose, drama.
  • Enhance personal, educational and vocational benefits.

Allocation of time in class periods for various competencies

Year Level Listening skills Speaking skills Reading & understanding skills Writing skills Learning grammar Translation literature

According to this table the students spend more time translating the language, learning grammar than listening and speaking it. Again this syllabus gives more preference to teaching of grammar than actually practising the language. Thus the first objective of developing communicative skills could not be achieved. Then out of four aims,learn to appreciate different genres in French literature: poetry, prose and drama has become a major aim.

We would advise the students to spend more time listening and watching video clips like French news to improve their listening skills. Please refer to the lessons for more resources.

Allocation of class periods for 4 skills of language learning

Year Listening Speaking Reading & writing




The table below shows the weightings at the August 2011 G.C.E (advanced level) French examination set on the NEW SYLLABUS.
Competencies Weightings in Percentage
Translation 27.5%
Writing 25%
Reading comprehension 20%
Grammar 15%
Literature 12.5%
Total 100


Any student planning to receive good marks, needs to spend more time on developing writing skills which represents more than 80% weighting at the examination.


If the reading comprehension exercise where written answers are required is added, it will reach 100%

This new examination will encourage the Grammar-translation method used in 1840 and continued to the 1940s. This will push back the teaching of French in Sri Lanka to the 19 th century. Why should the authorities mention in the Aims and objectives: “Develop communicative skills”. There is no effort put into practice the communicative aspect of the language. Again the teachers will not spend any time for listening or speaking activities during class time. This is like going back to the old era where the famous “mauger bleu” was in use.

In the BBC site  Will Smale writes: “Even students who come out of doing French A-levels can be surprised at what they can’t say – the teaching should be far more conversationally based.”

 Should British pupils give up studying French? Read the article

Ms. Upekha.D.Rajapaksha, Assistant Lecturer in French at University of Kelaniya writes that “university students are unable to use the language for communicational purposes. Their language capacities are almost humiliating and full of incorrigible errors. New syllabus does nothing to improve it, only to worsen it.”

Free education and its current status

නිදහස්  අධ්‍යාපනය  සහ  එහි දැන් තත්වය

Narada Bakmeewewa talks to Prof. H. Sriyananda, Sri Lanka

Several years ago Singapore was seeking advice on education from Sri Lanka. Very soon Sri Lankan educators have to seek advice from Singapore.  Day by day Sri Lankan state education system is going backwards. Who is responsible for this? You are the best judge!

Stamford American International school grand opening

Stamford is a world-class school for children 2 years of age and older in Singapore. Offering an academically rigorous American curriculum integrated with the International

Baccalaureate framework, Stamford develops students as adaptive, thoughtful and active global citizens. Stamford is an IB World School authorized to offer the IB MYP, a candidate school* for the IB PYP and is pursuing authorization for the IB Diploma Program. Stamford provides a truly global approach to teaching and learning including a strong foreign language foundation with daily Mandarin or Spanish

විකල්ප අධ්‍යාපන හා රැකියා අවස්ථා

3D – විකල්ප අධ්යාපන හා රැකියා අවස්ථා from Young Asia Television on Vimeo.


Youth migration – causes and consequences

තරුණයින්ගේ  සංක්‍රමණය


Connections | November 21, 2011 from Young Asia Television on Vimeo.


Grammar Translation Method in the FFL Classroom

Methods Of Language Teaching


Teaching Speaking with Task-Based Learning


Principles of Communicative Language Teaching and  Task-Based Instruction


Mind mapping to learn better [apprenez avec la carte heuristique]

Mind Mapping Finlande by


Université Populaire : Les cartes heuristiques


Appreciates French Literature through selected short literary texts and extracts their values and ethics.


It is unfortunate that the authorities planning the syllabus and preparing the examination use G.C.E (Advanced Level) examination exclusively as a university entrance examination.At present there seems to have no coordination between these two institutions. The French examination prepared by the Department of Modern Languages of the University intends to select the best students to the Faculty of Humanities.

French department, under the department of English of the University of Peradeniya took part in preparation of the new syllabus.
But what is the percentage of students sitting this examination continue to study French at the universities?
The 4 th objective of enhancing personal and vocational benefits under Aims & Objectives cannot be achieved.

This is not the first time that complains have  been made to authorities. In year 2000, there had been a commission to investigate into the system of G.C.E (Advanced Level) examination in French. Even after the report of the commission this examination has not been standardised.

Students planning to obtain good grades at this G.C.E. (Advanced Level) examination in French need to start learning French at least when they are in year 10.

For the benefit of students sitting this year (2012) there will be revision lessons. We request students to communicate to us areas they wish to revise through this site.

21st century language learning should be modern. We urge you, students, to demand more modern teaching methods to be used by your teachers.

There is no use of encouraging teachers to use modern teaching methods and plan an examination to test the knowledge of grammar and translation ability of the students.

For the fellow French teachers, you  need to play a more pro-active role in teaching French.

French pedagogue conducts sessions through skype. For more information please contact us.

Talking about EDUCATION

සබැඳියාව | Connections – November 29, 2011


සබැඳියාව | Connections – November 29, 2011 from Young Asia Television on Vimeo.

– ඉගෙන ගන්න රට යන්න ඕනෙද? යන්නෙ කොහොමද?
– ඉගෙන ගන්න රට ගිය ඇත්තෝ මෙසේ කියති….
– අපි පුරවැසියන්ද? යටත් වැසියන්ද?

 Nilakshi De Silva

On this program Sanjana Hattotuwa talks to Nilakshi De Silva


Nilakshi De Silva from Young Asia Television on Vimeo.

On this program Sanjana Hattotuwa talks to Nilakshi De Silva

(Date of first Broadcast November 18,2012)

The series that gives you insights on Peace and Politics; Business and Development; Society and the Environment; Culture and the Arts.


Schools where French is taught at G.C.E.(Advanced Level)

Mahinda Rajapaksha College Homagama 


3 thoughts on “B-GCE (Advanced Level) Sri Lanka”

  1. Assistant Lecturer in French at University of Kelaniya. Totally agree with the author. We already have problems, university students are unable to use the language for communicational purposes. Their language capacities are almost humiliating and full of incorrigible errors. New syllabus does nothing to improve it,only to worsen it. the latest language teaching methodology is called COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH which is evidently ignored by the NIE.

  2. I`m still a student.(College of Edu Peradeniya). VERY HELPFUL for all of us… Great job…

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