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At my wits end with French A-level- what to do? :'( watch

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    (Original post by lechaton-x)
    Yes- I remember posting that, at the start of AS- I was honestly diabolical. So diabolical that I can't believe they only marked me 3 marks up in January! Here is a recording is my French AS mock. I'm not amazing, not going to lie- but I think I def deserve a D grade -.-

    http://www.zshare.net/download/877814519a3911bb/

    I sound pre-rehearsed as pie, obviously I softened this for the actual exam!
    Your content is quite good. I think it's your pronounciation which lets you down. Also, sometimes it sounds like you're reeling off something you've learned - your mark will really be boosted if you can make it sound like you're at ease and you're having a real conversation. I also think that your teacher is marking very harshly; you're better than she's marking you.
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    (Original post by chestbrah123)
    HAHAHAHAHA what an idiot who gets an E in french LOL
    I'll take it you dont take a foreign language at AS/A2 level? I can write a 400 word essay, get it marked, comes back as a B/C, and still have half a side of A4 listing things I need to improve.
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    (Original post by becko37)
    Your content is quite good. I think it's your pronounciation which lets you down. Also, sometimes it sounds like you're reeling off something you've learned - your mark will really be boosted if you can make it sound like you're at ease and you're having a real conversation. I also think that your teacher is marking very harshly; you're better than she's marking you.
    She marked me as a C/B. I'm aiming for a C grade.
    It was AQA that gave me an E :'(

    and yep, I didn't sound that pre-learned at all in the exam because I was really really nervous- but I didn't stray from any of that content. My role play card and conversation went equally well too. So confused!
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    (Original post by .snowflake.)
    I'll take it you dont take a foreign language at AS/A2 level? I can write a 400 word essay, get it marked, comes back as a B/C, and still have half a side of A4 listing things I need to improve.
    Don't worry- he's trying really hard to be funny.
    I hate people who can't troll properly.
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    (Original post by lechaton-x)
    Don't worry- he's trying really hard to be funny.
    I hate people who can't troll properly.
    <3
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    (Original post by chestbrah123)
    HAHAHAHAHA what an idiot who gets an E in french LOL
    haha you think you're clever you prick? you're probarly some year 11 who's taking GSCE French which is so easy my dog could get an A in it.
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    (Original post by thecookiemonster)
    haha you think you're clever you prick? you're probarly some year 11 who's taking GSCE French which is so easy my dog could get an A in it.
    This is an outrage, I'm tired of illiterate chavs like you who can't spell basic words correctly. My dog wouldn't have made that mistake.
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    (Original post by chestbrah123)
    This is an outrage, I'm tired of illiterate plebs like you who can't spell basic words correctly. My dog wouldn't have made that mistake.
    It's cos my french is so good that i can't help but make mistakes in English sometimes.

    By the way who uses the word pleb anymore?
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    (Original post by ElfManiac)
    1. That you answer the question.
    2. That you do so using mostly grammatically correct French.
    3. That you show a variety and range of expressions and vocabulary.

    Point 1. is exam technique. Read the question. Do you understand the question? How many marks/what proportion of the exam is it? If it's a one mark question out of a hundred, a sentence or two will be enough. If it's a whole essay, well, write an essay.

    Point 2. is grammar stuff. Make sure you know the present, passé composé, imparfait, futur immédiat (je vais faire...), future, conditional and subjunctive, that you can do past tense agreements with avoir and être. Use appropriate tenses to the question asked.

    Point 3. is mostly about vocabulary. Learn connectives for essay writing and for linking points together when speaking - 'en plus', 'cependant'
    i agree totally with this, for AS the key things are 1) having something intelligent to say (which isn't hard seeing as the topics on AQA are pretty easy 2) using as wide a variety as possible of grammatical structures, you can just learn a few set phrases though eg. je ne crois pas que + subjunctive and its all good and 3) learn loads of vocab which topic specific - i think the book mot a mot is really good for that

    just do a bit every day and you'll be fine
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    Hi there

    Like an above poster said your content is good, you are obviously able to construct good answers.

    However you are not engaging with the examiner. Dont just reel of an answer you have obviously prepared in advance. When they ask you a question pause, say 'well that is a good question/ yes it is a contreversial issue but I believe/ you can even laugh and say wow im not really sure but...

    Your speech is also very monotone, you need to work on sounding more spontaneous (easier said than done I realise).

    Hope that helps
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    Aw, I feel sorry for you because it seems like you put in a lot of work and get a lower grade than you deserved.

    I agree with what everyone else(besides chestbrah123...) said though. the two things you need to improve in my opinion are the spontaneity of your speech and the accent. Although what you say is correct, I think it's maybe a bit too obvious that you're reciting stuff you've already learned. Like for example, when the teacher asks you whether it's essential to have two parents.(I think that's what she said, anyway?) You reply with an answer that sounds a bit too much like you wrote it out earlier and are just struggling to remember it all. It would've been better, in my opinion, to say something like "Oui, oui je pense que c'est tout a fait essential! Par example, quand j'etais petite..." or something like that. It sound more like a real conversation that way, if you see what I mean?
    And as for you're accent, I know how difficult it is because my accent is absolutely dreadful. But I think you could probably pick up some more of the pronunciation marks if you practised saying some of the more common words more naturally. It's worth trying to improve. Unfortunately, it seems that if you have a good French accent, you can say any old rubbish in the exam and it still sounds correvt. Whereas if your accent isn't so good, then it makes any other mistakes more obvious.

    ^It's little things like this that possibly dragged your mark down. Don't get too downhearted. Ask for a remark, and then if you do have to take the exam again, just concentrate on getting it a little more spontaneous. It seems like your grammar, vocab etc are good, so you just have to concentrate on making it sound natural.
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    Ok, even though, I don't take French but I'm during Spanish AQA.
    I know the marking for their speaking exam can be a *****.
    But what I learnt is that you are supposed to sound spontaneous which can be hard for someone who likes to speak in monotone like me.
    Just think of it like an acting class and you are uber excited about talking about whatever it is you are talking about.

    I did that and I went from a C to an A in my AS Spanish speaking.
    Oh, and remember to lead the conversation by asking stuff like "is that right?", "do you agree with me?" and "what do you think?".
    And add some "um" and "ahh" to suggest you are thinking but don't over do it.
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    The spec/teachers generally don't give you a decent idea of what they really want. Even though AQA have likely changed their spec a bit since I sat my exam(s), here's some advice:

    - Revise your grammar until you know it backwards esp. your verbs - present, perfect, imperfect, pluperfect, future, conditional (active and passive) + the subjunctive
    - Try and get really into whatever topic you're to talk about e.g. globalisation - research about it first (in English, if you want), form an opinion on it, and when it comes to talking/writing about it, you will sound a lot more passionate in the exam and it won't sound so rehearsed. Obviously, you will need to memorise a few things here and there so your language doesn't suffer at the expense of the content - you need to keep both things up
    - Think about how you write essays in other subject - point, quote, analysis. Use a similar sort of thing in writing/speaking exams. Make a point, elaborate a little, give your own opinion. Use key words when it comes to your opinion so examiners can clearly see where you've opined (je pense que/je crois que/j'estime que/a mon avis/ce qui me frappe/ce qui me choque/je trouve que/etc.)
    - Vary your writing style - don't stick to things that every other student will do. Try and get in all the different tenses in where you can but don't force it...if pluperfect doesn't fit into your essay anyway, don't try and put it in somewhere just because you think it'll get you extra marks - you'll lose marks on content. And don't use the subjunctive if you don't know how/when to use it! So many people make this mistake and it makes their whole work look like GCSE standard work
    - Remember, you're being marked against everyone else taking the exam - you need to stand out from the rest to stop you from being compared at every sentence. I know it's a lot harder to do this in French but it has to be done in some way or you'll just be compared with someone with the same opinion as you but, say, better grammar, thus you lose out.
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    Your speech is fluent in the literal way which is good if that's not learned by rote but actually a spontaneous speech. However your pronunciation is very bad. Do you do Spanish maybe? It's like you can't pronounce the "eu" sound, you say things like "jé pense qué".
    To be frank, I can barely understand what you say so I can't really give you more pointers for a better pronunciation. If you have a script I could read while listening that would help also. I'll try and listen to it again some other time to see if my brain's more sync'd to the English accent.
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    What did your teacher who asked you the questions in your oral say?
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    (Original post by Bellissima)
    What did your teacher who asked you the questions in your oral say?
    She said it was definitely a C.
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    I had massive problems with A-level French as well because of the teacher who gave me a U in my A2 coursework.
    A couple things I did were to: 1) buy or somehow obtain loads of past papers and go through those and get to know the mark scheme and what they're looking for
    2)Subscribe to a French magazine or newspaper and read that through every week
    3)Learn loads of vocab and connecting words/phrases for essays. 'Autant que je sache' is a good one because it's subjunctive.

    Just keep your head down and every free moment you get either be listening to french or reading it etc.

    Good luck I hope your hard work finally pays off for you in the end.
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    I didn't do french ( my school didnt even run it) but I did Spanish on WJEC which is, or certainly was, similar to AQA.

    This easter you need to absoulutely hit the books and practice so much - if you havn't done every past paper before the exam at least a few times, then you havn't prepared as much as you could have

    Off the top of my head -

    Learn about 6 or 7 tenses - infinitive, present, past, perfect, imperfect, future and subjunctive. Subjunctive is a ***** but learn a few stock sentences which use it - You really need to use it to reach the higher marks, otherwise you come off sounding like an automaton. I never really got comfortable with it, but learnt to recognise it and to use it in a few sentences.

    Wide vocabulary - Read le monde or a french political journal. Doesn't matter if you are into politics or not, the depth and breadth of topics covered in politics is IMO the best way to grasp the technicalities of a language. It is very dfficult - I used to hate reading the spanish papers, but tbh if you can't be bothered to do so, you probably don't deserve higher grades.

    Lisstening - buy french music - rap can be quite good, and then write down the words you understood at each part of the song.

    Conversation - you really need to get as comfortable as possible in the language. Speak it as often as possible, and listen to french news reporters. Try to copy their accent and the sounds they make. This is way harder for french than it is for spanish, but it still holds true that the more you speak it, and be adventurous with it ( idioms, turn of phrase) the better you will do.

    And for goodness sake get the spec yourself and see exactly what is required at each stage - its a horrible awakening when you find a teacher's failings have resulted in your doing poorly (suffered this myself) but it is good in a way as it reinforces that A level is more about independent learning.
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    (Original post by lechaton-x)
    She said it was definitely a C.
    ok there've been a few cases like that at my school, teachers 100% sure it was a higher grade than the one given. they can get them remarked and evaluated for you, and if the teacher notifies them of what she thinks the grade should be then i think more attention gets paid.

    that is a major difference between an E and a C, i definitely think somethings going on there.
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    Lead the conversation! In my A2 oral, I was barely asked any questions, as I took control; I naturally led the conversation on, I asked the examiner questions, and I gave my opinion to facts that I had sourced. I got a very high A.

    I have French family so have the ability to talk fluently and 'naturally' in French, despite my answers for my oral being generally quite scripted. You sound to monotonous; remember your script in your head but don't worry if you break away from it...after all you will get asked questions that may not fit in with what you've learnt, which may cause you to panic if you haven't prepared for it. Just go with the flow....yes you may make more mistakes but I'm pretty sure that you will will get more marks, for being spontaneous.

    You're pronounciation really needs some work....at times I found it very hard to understand you. Do you have a French assistant at your school?

    Please don't feel discouraged, it sounds as if you have put ALOT of work in so I can understand that you are feeling really frustrated. If you want any help at all, PM me
 
 
 
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