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Language at A-Level WITHOUT it at GCSE

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    (Original post by bestofyou)
    livemocha has all the major languages in it.

    As for the grammer site just google around and you'll find a good one.

    Then of course just switch spanish newspapers and radio/music with german ones

    hope it works out
    Ah I'll check it out, thank you!


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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    There was a guy in my class who took French without doing GCSE, and got a B. He was lazy. There are a few throughout the year this year that crashed French, they've done well all year, but we don't know exam results yet.
    Hmmm this thing to be be rather Hitt/Mis but yh I hope it will work for meeeh too


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    ^ Misspellings were so inentional


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    (Original post by Etoile)
    I'm doing an Italian A2 paper at the moment I just looked at the German one and it's ridiculously easy :lolwut: I was staring at this poster of Capri opposite me so long that it looked like the waves were moving haha. The orals are good because you get to choose your topic! We did youth culture and concern, so that limited it a lot more compared to AQA where you go through all the topics. I think it should, I can often get things in Dutch from German and I'm not native or anything
    Are you still finding the A2 a breeze, now you're expected to write a 'Research Essay' for Edexcel?


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    Some people might cope, but personally I could never have studied A Level French without doing it at GCSE. The jump from GCSE to A Level was massive, we went from studying very basic French to suddenly being expected to know more complex stuff. I guess it depends on what language it is you want to study, and also if you are naturally good at picking up languages. My advice to you though is not to choose a subject for A Level unless you have some prior knowledge of it.
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    I did an A level in Irish and found it really difficult, even after getting an A at GCSE. To be fair, I did focus more on my other subjects but I still think I'd have struggled with it, especially since our teachers weren't that great.

    1/3 of our marks were for oral exams, 1/3 on for literature papers and the other 1/3 was for translation papers. I'm shy so the orals were horrible. I always hated English literature, so those papers were really bad too. The translation papers were ok but you can never really be 100% prepared for those. :/

    Got a C in the end. Was pleased enough but that was my worst subject. I dont think languages would be that bad though if the papers play to your strength, you have decent teachers and you're prepared to put in a bit of extra work.
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    Hmm. Interesting question! Well, I would not have been able to do it, and I did GCSE German in nine months (and I worked so hard that I felt no grammatical jump when I progressed to AS and then A2!)

    It is, however, in my opinion, possible to do A level from scratch IF:
    1) You are a natural linguist- I don't just mean quite good, I mean the kind of person who just starts understanding what's said in a new language, after watching televison for a week! I've met a few, and they are depressing as hell!
    2) You already know, or did know a second language to A level standard (or above). It saves a lot of time, if you are only having to learn the language itself, and not the concepts of imperatives, passives, verbs, etc. I have only encountered a new grammatical term once, while studying German, and I'm doing A2 now, so that's two and a bit years. Prior knowledge of grammar really does help.
    3) You have the ability to think like an examiner, otherwise known as exam technique. One native linguist I knew fell down on this. This person was brilliant and should have done loads better than they did- however, never got the hang of demonstrating their native level of speech and comprehension in the actual exams.
    4) You actually do a lot of work!

    I can fulfil criteria 2, 3 and 4 to varying degrees, but not 1. So I always do the GCSE first.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    We do this all the time up in Scotland, it's a very common thing to do. Do a subject at Higher (AS Level) without doing it at Standard Grade (GCSE). I did it with Physics this year, a few friends did it with subjects like Business/Admin, and I know a few that did it with French. It just means that you have to do a little bit more work to learn the bits you missed or picking them up as you go along.
    Oh my goodness me, I'm so sorry! I negative repped you by mistake because my computer was lagging! Sorrysorrysorry!

    A-Level and GCSE are quite different, anyway. I felt that GCSE was a bit more conversational and lacked real substance, while at A-Level we spoke about proper topics which were relevant. I used very little of my GCSE vocabulary, so I don't think that would be too big a problem, but grammar wise it might pose a sliiiight problem. That being said, when I think back to the grammatical understanding of German I had at GCSE, I realise how much more you do at A-Level, so you wouldn't be missing out on too much by not doing a GCSE.

    Good luck!
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    Thing is, the original poster is presumably thinking about this for next September. So why not buy/borrow/beg some books and CDs now, and do some work over the next nine months? You can build up a good understanding in that time, ready to begin an A level.
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    I'm doing AS German without the GCSE, but I took it at school until Y9 and taught myself in Y10/11 so am not starting from scratch.
    It's definitely harder when you're in a class where everyone else has the GCSE, but as long as you put the work in and have some natural ability you'll be fine. The current GCSE doesn't really prepare you for AS anyway (as I found with French), and the first month will be spent plugging gaps that weren't covered in Y11, as the new people at your school will have used different exam boards at GCSE.
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    I would strongly recommend against it unless you speak the language to an extent already just without the qualification. Going from near enough ab nitio to AS in under year would be very very challenging.
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    At my school the core languages taught are German, French and Spanish which you need a gcse grade B minimum to do the course. But I found that languages such as Italian and Japanese allow you to start an a level without gcse


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    (Original post by thatitootoo)
    Are you still finding the A2 a breeze, now you're expected to write a 'Research Essay' for Edexcel?


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    Yep, our research topic is a novel and I do English lit, so it's not too bad. Plus it's still only 270 words I think the research essay is probably the part of the exam I'll do worst on though, if my practice ones are anything to go by :L
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    Yep, our research topic is a novel and I do English lit, so it's not too bad. Plus it's still only 270 words I think the research essay is probably the part of the exam I'll do worst on though, if my practice ones are anything to go by :L
    Well I guess it's not for you!! Ich wünsche Ihnen trotzdem viel Glück :P


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    super hard unless you're already proficient in the language.

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Updated: January 6, 2013
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