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    Hi peeps,

    I'm going to be studying French at my college in the Autumn and will be aiming to "crash" (and hopefully not burn) Advanced Higher French but I have not studied French in school before but instead have been studying in my own time as a hobby.

    I was just wondering if those who have completed the Higher French course could tell me about what kind of size of vocabulary you cover and tenses covered in the course? I'm currently going through Assimil New French With Ease and using the Michel Thomas Foundation and Advanced courses to get a decent grounding in sentence construction and verb conjugation as well as reading bilingual texts.

    By August I should have a vocabulary in excess of about 2000 words, would this be roughly equivalent to the expected vocabulary of a student who had completed the Higher course with an A grade? I'm not sure if perhaps I am just being overly optimistic about being able to manage the Advanced Higher course but I love language learning in general and am prepared to put in the hours to succeed.

    For those on the Advanced Higher course, how do you find it and what sort of things are emphasised, e.g. reading literature and getting used to literary tenses, more daily use idioms and natural every day language, reading newspapers etc?

    If my thead is in the wrong place, please forgive a noob his mistake.
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    Hello :hello:
    I'm taking Higher French at the moment, and will be doing AH next year. I have to say that crashing AH sounds incredibly difficult - you'll be trying to fit six years of French into one effectively.
    At higher (and I believe AH) there isn't too much of an emphasis on vocabulary, as you get a dictionary in the exam. The tenses you need to know at higher, are (roughly, not everyone will know all of these and some people will have learnt extra ones):
    - Present (e.g. je mange)
    - Past perfect (e.g. j'ai mangé)
    - Past imperfect (e.g. je mangais)
    - Near future (e.g. je vais manger)
    - Future (e.g. je mangerai)
    - Conditional (e.g. je mangerais)
    - Pluperfect (e.g. j'avais mangé)

    To give you an indication of the reading level you have by the end of higher, here's a bit of a past paper question:
    Tout autour de Paris, environ 500 personnes vivent dans les bois car ils n’ont pas de domicile fixe. Dans l’ouest de la capitale, près du joli petit village de Chaville, vous verrez deux mondes bien différents: d’un côté de la route, les résidences chics des habitants de banlieue; de l’autre, un campement où survivent avec difficulté les gens des bois.

    Hundreds of homeless people live in the woods around Paris. (lines 1–38)
    (a) What two “worlds” does the author describe?

    In terms of listening level, I'd say at the end of higher you should be able to get the gist of what's going on if you listen to the french radio (not every word, but you should work out what they're talking about). If you're self-teaching at the moment, this could be the bit you'll find hardest.

    At Advanced Higher, I know that the speaking exam is half an hour with an external examiner, discussing the current affairs topic of your choice (e.g. Gay Rights, the EU). But at Higher it's not nearly so high.

    Are you doing any other languages at higher? Hope my answer helped a bit!
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    (Original post by anyone_can_fly)
    Hello :hello:
    I'm taking Higher French at the moment, and will be doing AH next year. I have to say that crashing AH sounds incredibly difficult - you'll be trying to fit six years of French into one effectively.
    At higher (and I believe AH) there isn't too much of an emphasis on vocabulary, as you get a dictionary in the exam. The tenses you need to know at higher, are (roughly, not everyone will know all of these and some people will have learnt extra ones):
    - Present (e.g. je mange)
    - Past perfect (e.g. j'ai mangé)
    - Past imperfect (e.g. je mangais)
    - Near future (e.g. je vais manger)
    - Future (e.g. je mangerai)
    - Conditional (e.g. je mangerais)
    - Pluperfect (e.g. j'avais mangé)

    To give you an indication of the reading level you have by the end of higher, here's a bit of a past paper question:
    Tout autour de Paris, environ 500 personnes vivent dans les bois car ils n’ont pas de domicile fixe. Dans l’ouest de la capitale, près du joli petit village de Chaville, vous verrez deux mondes bien différents: d’un côté de la route, les résidences chics des habitants de banlieue; de l’autre, un campement où survivent avec difficulté les gens des bois.

    Hundreds of homeless people live in the woods around Paris. (lines 1–38)
    (a) What two “worlds” does the author describe?

    In terms of listening level, I'd say at the end of higher you should be able to get the gist of what's going on if you listen to the french radio (not every word, but you should work out what they're talking about). If you're self-teaching at the moment, this could be the bit you'll find hardest.

    At Advanced Higher, I know that the speaking exam is half an hour with an external examiner, discussing the current affairs topic of your choice (e.g. Gay Rights, the EU). But at Higher it's not nearly so high.

    Are you doing any other languages at higher? Hope my answer helped a bit!
    Thanks, this definitely helps!

    I'm studying very intensively at the moment and have been studying for just over a month but I could get the overall gist of that paragraph okay. I'm reading novels while listening to the audio book in French at the same time and it is doing wonders for improving my comprehension of what words are being said, if not perhaps their meaning, so listening shouldn't be too much of an issue when the time comes.

    I'm not doing any other languages this year at college but I am learning Norwegian in my spare time as well as I am half Norwegian and have been meaning to learn the language properly for ages. I will be moving there next year but would also like to get a decent level of French under my belt by the time I go there.

    Thankfully my dad knows French very well and can read newspapers and listen to the radio without any bother so he is giving me a lot of help and practice.

    Thanks for your help.
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    I did Higher French last year, and I'm currently doing the Advanced Higher Course. Vocabulary is vital to the course as it's extremely independent, so reading french newspapers online daily and listening to the radio are things I'd advise strongly. I sat my speaking exam, and to go from learning it in your spare time to speaking fluently with an external examiner for half an hour would be a challenge as even I found it difficult, and the questions are completely spontaneous. I love the course, and the folios do make up a big part of your grade, which is a bonus, however the essays have to be of extremely high quality and contain various tenses, so you really need to know your verbs and endings and in their tenses when it comes to writing your French essays for the exam and for the NABS. It's a difficult course and would not recommend crashing advanced higher, however I think crashing Higher is definitely possible. Also, for Advanced Higher French, you need to have extremely good skills in English, and are recommended to be doing Advanced Higher English alongside it, which is what I'm doing. The only reason I say this is because the folios are 750 words written in English and are critically analyzing the French novels/poetry/films you study in the course. If your English isn't up to scratch, your folio might not get a great grade, which is essential to passing the course alongside the speaking.

    I was similar to you last year in the fact that I had never studied spanish however I crashed higher this year. It was really easy, no idea if it's because of the fact I'm already 8 years familiar with french, and they're similar. I got full marks for my speaking exam and hoping to get an A!

    I wouldn't recommend it at Advanced Higher, however I think at Higher you'd cope fine.

    Bonne Chance!
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    (Original post by ca93)
    I did Higher French last year, and I'm currently doing the Advanced Higher Course. Vocabulary is vital to the course as it's extremely independent, so reading french newspapers online daily and listening to the radio are things I'd advise strongly. I sat my speaking exam, and to go from learning it in your spare time to speaking fluently with an external examiner for half an hour would be a challenge as even I found it difficult, and the questions are completely spontaneous. I love the course, and the folios do make up a big part of your grade, which is a bonus, however the essays have to be of extremely high quality and contain various tenses, so you really need to know your verbs and endings and in their tenses when it comes to writing your French essays for the exam and for the NABS. It's a difficult course and would not recommend crashing advanced higher, however I think crashing Higher is definitely possible. Also, for Advanced Higher French, you need to have extremely good skills in English, and are recommended to be doing Advanced Higher English alongside it, which is what I'm doing. The only reason I say this is because the folios are 750 words written in English and are critically analyzing the French novels/poetry/films you study in the course. If your English isn't up to scratch, your folio might not get a great grade, which is essential to passing the course alongside the speaking.

    I was similar to you last year in the fact that I had never studied spanish however I crashed higher this year. It was really easy, no idea if it's because of the fact I'm already 8 years familiar with french, and they're similar. I got full marks for my speaking exam and hoping to get an A!

    I wouldn't recommend it at Advanced Higher, however I think at Higher you'd cope fine.

    Bonne Chance!
    Thanks a lot for the info.

    I studied Higher English about 6 or 7 years ago (I'm 23 now) and got a B without working too hard for it and my English has improved significantly since, owing to the fact that I read a lot and had a job for 3 years where I had to write extensive, accurate and detailed letters for a pensions company on a daily basis (not fun but had its benefits). I will also be studying Advanced Higher English from this Autumn in parallel with Advanced Higher French, assuming that I am allowed on the course and don't get a firm "Non!" at the eventual interview.

    With the amount of study I am currently doing which will become even more intensive come the summer holidays, I think I should manage, though I admit I am not daft enough to think I will be a good student at the start of the course but with continuing intensive study I should manage fine in the end. The fact my dad is fluent in French is a massive help.

    I am working with a lot of native materials too which helps. I find that project-syndicate.org is a very good resource as you can get translations of articles into various languages which have been done by proper translators. That way I can make my own bilingual texts of articles and understand what different idioms mean instead of what being flummoxed when I translate a sentence literally.

    Anyway, thanks again for the info and the advice and bonne courage for your finals.
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    (Original post by anyone_can_fly)
    At Advanced Higher, I know that the speaking exam is half an hour with an external examiner, discussing the current affairs topic of your choice (e.g. Gay Rights, the EU). But at Higher it's not nearly so high.
    I'm already ****ting myself for this bit.

    I'd suggest just taking Higher, there were quite a few people in my class doing AH who ended up dropping it because it was so hard. And that was with the Higher. Higher's not that hard.
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    Thanks for the advice peeps. I think I'll probably just go for the Higher after all. Although I am studying intensively and might be able to understand the kind of content I'd be exposed to at Advanced Higher due to the sheer amount of stuff I am covering, my reproduction of the language might still be below what is required come the time of the first NAB and if I don't get past that first hurdle, I can't pass.
 
 
 
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