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How possible is it to get an A* in A Level Languages? Watch

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    Do you guys know anyone that did manage it? Is it particularly rare for non-natives, or is it at least somewhat possible?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by constantmeowage)
    Do you guys know anyone that did manage it? Is it particularly rare for non-natives, or is it at least somewhat possible?

    Thanks!
    It isn't rare, it's just very hard to do considering the amount of work and effort you have to put in to achieve it. Yes, a lot of the time native speakers get an A* in their language, but equally many A level students who are good at languages and work hard get it too.
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    ohhh pleaseeeee tell me it is possible for non-native speakers because my cambridge offer is A*A*A and 2 of my subjects are languages...
    particularly for Edexcel french and spanish???
    I think I can make it in the written paper but it's the oral exam that worries me :confused:
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    (Original post by constantmeowage)
    Do you guys know anyone that did manage it? Is it particularly rare for non-natives, or is it at least somewhat possible?

    Thanks!
    I'm predicted 3 A* in A level languages (French, German, Italian) and I'm not native in any of them and didn't even do Italian at GCSE. Obviously I don't have my results yet but my advice would be basically just read which really helps your vocab and makes you sound more natural. I've also got some grammar books so I go beyond the syllabus in that. Spending time in the countries helps your speaking but obviously that's not always possible (I've never been to Italy!) so you can practise with people online or just record yourself speaking and look out for where to improve. Hope this helps
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    OMGGG THAT QUESTION ALWAYS CROPS UP IN MY MIND.

    NOT EVEN JOKING,BUT I WORK MY ASSSSSS OFF IN ENGLISH, AND I STILL COME OUT WITH C'S..ALL THE OTHER GIRLS WHO ARE DEFO CAPEABLE OF A* ARE COMING OUT WITH C'S AND D's in the exam too.For example,for the A2 Unit3 lang change and Aquisition most got C's and D's-.- as for the AS unit1 Language power/gender/tech &catogorising texts- all C's AGAIN?!?!

    I dont understand, we all revise out terms ,know the theories inside out and how to appily them and also just in gerneal write the essays as a-level standard.Despite all that,i still get C's in exam.So what actually constitutes and A* essay-SOMEBODY PUHLEASE SHED SOME LIGHT ON THIS

    p.s: For the A2 language investigation;if anyone has any tips on how any hypothesis for language acquisition please could you let me know.
    thankyoux
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    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    ohhh pleaseeeee tell me it is possible for non-native speakers because my cambridge offer is A*A*A and 2 of my subjects are languages...
    particularly for Edexcel french and spanish???
    I think I can make it in the written paper but it's the oral exam that worries me :confused:
    Such a high offer! I don't know much about languages but with the oral exam, can't you be "helped" by your teachers in school for the oral exam, as it is done in school?
    I know the linguists in ours were told to prepare for all the questions given and then 'suggest' the ones they are comfortable with.
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    (Original post by Rumaanaa)
    OMGGG THAT QUESTION ALWAYS CROPS UP IN MY MIND.

    NOT EVEN JOKING,BUT I WORK MY ASSSSSS OFF IN ENGLISH, AND I STILL COME OUT WITH C'S..ALL THE OTHER GIRLS WHO ARE DEFO CAPEABLE OF A* ARE COMING OUT WITH C'S AND D's in the exam too.For example,for the A2 Unit3 lang change and Aquisition most got C's and D's-.- as for the AS unit1 Language power/gender/tech &catogorising texts- all C's AGAIN?!?!

    I dont understand, we all revise out terms ,know the theories inside out and how to appily them and also just in gerneal write the essays as a-level standard.Despite all that,i still get C's in exam.So what actually constitutes and A* essay-SOMEBODY PUHLEASE SHED SOME LIGHT ON THIS

    p.s: For the A2 language investigation;if anyone has any tips on how any hypothesis for language acquisition please could you let me know.
    thankyoux
    Please don't abuse caps.
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    (Original post by wick3d)
    please don't abuse caps. :d

    sozzzzzz bosssssss
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    (Original post by Miss...)
    Such a high offer! I don't know much about languages but with the oral exam, can't you be "helped" by your teachers in school for the oral exam, as it is done in school?
    I know the linguists in ours were told to prepare for all the questions given and then 'suggest' the ones they are comfortable with.
    We had this too so it can't just be your school, not sure how allowed it is though :teehee:

    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    ohhh pleaseeeee tell me it is possible for non-native speakers because my cambridge offer is A*A*A and 2 of my subjects are languages...
    particularly for Edexcel french and spanish???
    I think I can make it in the written paper but it's the oral exam that worries me :confused:
    That is a high offer, mine is only A*AA! What subject?
    I'm on Edexcel for Italian so I will assume it's the same for yours, my advice would be to prepare your debate really thoroughly so you know you definitely have one part to rely on, lots of facts etc. Then make sure you have covered all the topics your teacher might bring up and know what kind of questions there might be e.g. about causes/consequences/effects or whatever. I'd also advise learning some useful debate/linking phrases that could buy you some time while you think of something to say (maybe look at books like mot á mot for french or palabra por palabra for spanish)
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    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    ohhh pleaseeeee tell me it is possible for non-native speakers because my cambridge offer is A*A*A and 2 of my subjects are languages...
    particularly for Edexcel french and spanish???
    I think I can make it in the written paper but it's the oral exam that worries me :confused:
    What are you applying for? MML?

    OP, I do 2 languages at A-Level, one of which I'm fluent in and one in which I'm not and I get similar marks in both so I don't think being a native speaker is necessarily that much of an advantage.
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    I'm predicted 3 A* in A level languages (French, German, Italian) and I'm not native in any of them and didn't even do Italian at GCSE. Obviously I don't have my results yet but my advice would be basically just read which really helps your vocab and makes you sound more natural. I've also got some grammar books so I go beyond the syllabus in that. Spending time in the countries helps your speaking but obviously that's not always possible (I've never been to Italy!) so you can practise with people online or just record yourself speaking and look out for where to improve. Hope this helps
    Woah. Ça, c'est absolument formidable ! Bon courage I do the same, and although I'm predicted an A, I've been told that the option is there for the A*, yet I didn't really want to get my hopes up and I didn't want to jinx myself into complete failure :P Ich wünsche dir 'Viel Glück!'
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    (Original post by constantmeowage)
    Woah. Ça, c'est absolument formidable ! Bon courage I do the same, and although I'm predicted an A, I've been told that the option is there for the A*, yet I didn't really want to get my hopes up and I didn't want to jinx myself into complete failure :P Ich wünsche dir 'Viel Glück!'
    Haha danke, das wuensch ich dir auch! As long as you notice where you are making mistakes and fix them, there is no reason why an A* is not within your grasp
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    (Original post by Etoile)
    my advice would be basically just read which really helps your vocab and makes you sound more natural.
    Right. Reading is considered one of the best ways to improve general language ability - as argued in, for example, "Achieving Success in Second Language Acquisition" by Leaver/Ehrman/Shekhtman. Yet this method is strangely undervalued in many schools, at least in my experience.
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    (Original post by Miss...)
    Such a high offer! I don't know much about languages but with the oral exam, can't you be "helped" by your teachers in school for the oral exam, as it is done in school?
    I know the linguists in ours were told to prepare for all the questions given and then 'suggest' the ones they are comfortable with.
    Our school has an Edexcel examiner guy coming in to do the orals rather than our teachers doing it (I really don't know WHY they decided this was a better way of doing it!!! :confused:)
    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    What are you applying for? MML?
    (Original post by Etoile)
    That is a high offer, mine is only A*AA! What subject?
    No, my offer is for English Lit!! And it just happens that my other 2 A-level subjects are both modern languages therefore required to get A* in a language Churchill are cruel, cruel people. (although i love them for fishing me out of the pool!)
    (Original post by Etoile)
    I'm on Edexcel for Italian so I will assume it's the same for yours, my advice would be to prepare your debate really thoroughly so you know you definitely have one part to rely on, lots of facts etc. Then make sure you have covered all the topics your teacher might bring up and know what kind of questions there might be e.g. about causes/consequences/effects or whatever. I'd also advise learning some useful debate/linking phrases that could buy you some time while you think of something to say (maybe look at books like mot á mot for french or palabra por palabra for spanish)
    Thanks for the advice what are you doing for your debate topic? I'm doing the death penalty for French and gay marriage for Spanish - I know they're pretty overused topics, but I thought it was probably better to do a more simple topic really well (I hope) than struggle with a more complicated topic.
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Right. Reading is considered one of the best ways to improve general language ability - as argued in, for example, "Achieving Success in Second Language Acquisition" by Leaver/Ehrman/Shekhtman. Yet this method is strangely undervalued in many schools, at least in my experience.
    I know, it's terrible! I suppose reading seems like too much effort for a lot of students :rolleyes:

    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    Our school has an Edexcel examiner guy coming in to do the orals rather than our teachers doing it (I really don't know WHY they decided this was a better way of doing it!!! :confused:)


    No, my offer is for English Lit!! And it just happens that my other 2 A-level subjects are both modern languages therefore required to get A* in a language Churchill are cruel, cruel people. (although i love them for fishing me out of the pool!)

    Thanks for the advice what are you doing for your debate topic? I'm doing the death penalty for French and gay marriage for Spanish - I know they're pretty overused topics, but I thought it was probably better to do a more simple topic really well (I hope) than struggle with a more complicated topic.
    Ouch! I'm sure you'll manage it though, they wouldn't have made you the offer otherwise. No problem, I'm doing whether gay couples should have the right to have a family (i.e. marriage and children rolled into one topic :lol:). I agree, much easier to find information about topics like those too and it's easier to have a clear cut opinion
    P.s. irrelevant but I like your username
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    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    ohhh pleaseeeee tell me it is possible for non-native speakers because my cambridge offer is A*A*A and 2 of my subjects are languages...
    particularly for Edexcel french and spanish???
    I think I can make it in the written paper but it's the oral exam that worries me :confused:
    It is definitely possible for non native speakers to get an A* in a language A level. Cambridge's offer is harsh but if they gave you the offer then they probably felt you could achieve it, and the tutors have probably been spotting potential for years . I think all the people in my year at Trinity (Oxford) doing French and Spanish got A*s in both languages and none of them are native speakers. The best bet is to be really clear on the specification and what they want, no matter how annoying those learning objectives are!

    As for the oral, if you can you should chat to any French people you know to get more and more comfortable with the language.
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    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    ohhh pleaseeeee tell me it is possible for non-native speakers because my cambridge offer is A*A*A and 2 of my subjects are languages...
    particularly for Edexcel french and spanish???
    I think I can make it in the written paper but it's the oral exam that worries me :confused:
    Hey, I was wondering whether you could give me some tips with languages at A2, since we study the same with the same board.

    Do you find them confusing? I'm doing AS and I often get confused between the two. And are the topics exactly the same? Is A2 a big step up?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by L1000)
    Hey, I was wondering whether you could give me some tips with languages at A2, since we study the same with the same board.

    Do you find them confusing? I'm doing AS and I often get confused between the two. And are the topics exactly the same? Is A2 a big step up?

    Thanks
    Hi there Yes, I would say that A2 is a big step up, just as AS is a big step up from GCSE. You're probably finding already at AS that you are marked more on the quality of your arguments in essays than on the quality of your language; at A2, this is even more the case. In the written exam there will be a translation but this isn't worth many marks, most of it rests on 2 essays. The discursive essay is basically like a written debate about a social/ethical topic, and these topics are quite a bit of a step up from AS. (Look at past papers on the Edexcel website for examples of essay questions.) Then the second essay is on a research-based topic which can be historical study, geographical study, aspect of french-speaking society, literature or film. Questions are quite general eg "write about the importance of one character in the film" or "write about the importance of one person from the historical period", because you can have studied any film/book/period/etc. Most of your marks for this essay depend on the amount of research & understanding of your topic that you demonstrate. Then for the oral you have to prepare a debate with the examiner on a topic that you have chosen, and then discuss two more topics that the examiner selects. This is as much about the quality of your arguments and your ability to debate convincingly as your ability to express yourself in the language. Have a look at the specification on the Edxecel website for more details about all of this

    With regards to getting confused, I think everyone does sometimes. I think it is possible to minimise confusion through putting equal (and large!) amounts of effort into both , and also by choosing different topics for the 2 orals. However, if you're finding confusion between languages a really big problem at AS, you might want to think about dropping one for A2. Ask your teachers' advice.

    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by iamsherlocked)
    Hi there Yes, I would say that A2 is a big step up, just as AS is a big step up from GCSE. You're probably finding already at AS that you are marked more on the quality of your arguments in essays than on the quality of your language; at A2, this is even more the case. In the written exam there will be a translation but this isn't worth many marks, most of it rests on 2 essays. The discursive essay is basically like a written debate about a social/ethical topic, and these topics are quite a bit of a step up from AS. (Look at past papers on the Edexcel website for examples of essay questions.) Then the second essay is on a research-based topic which can be historical study, geographical study, aspect of french-speaking society, literature or film. Questions are quite general eg "write about the importance of one character in the film" or "write about the importance of one person from the historical period", because you can have studied any film/book/period/etc. Most of your marks for this essay depend on the amount of research & understanding of your topic that you demonstrate. Then for the oral you have to prepare a debate with the examiner on a topic that you have chosen, and then discuss two more topics that the examiner selects. This is as much about the quality of your arguments and your ability to debate convincingly as your ability to express yourself in the language. Have a look at the specification on the Edxecel website for more details about all of this

    With regards to getting confused, I think everyone does sometimes. I think it is possible to minimise confusion through putting equal (and large!) amounts of effort into both , and also by choosing different topics for the 2 orals. However, if you're finding confusion between languages a really big problem at AS, you might want to think about dropping one for A2. Ask your teachers' advice.

    Hope this helps
    Thanks so much for your advice/help! It was so useful.
    I think I will have to drop one as a result of the confusion between them both.
    It's more of the vocab getting confused, rather than tenses etc.
    Yeah, I have found the the quality language plays little in regard to the marks than the actual arguments itself. Which I have found quite difficult.
    I would say that I am the same standard in both languages.

    From your opinion, which one would be the best to drop? By 'Usefulness'-wise? And which do you find more difficult at A2?

    Thanks again for your help
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    (Original post by L1000)
    Thanks so much for your advice/help! It was so useful.
    I think I will have to drop one as a result of the confusion between them both.
    It's more of the vocab getting confused, rather than tenses etc.
    Yeah, I have found the the quality language plays little in regard to the marks than the actual arguments itself. Which I have found quite difficult.
    I would say that I am the same standard in both languages.

    From your opinion, which one would be the best to drop? By 'Usefulness'-wise? And which do you find more difficult at A2?

    Thanks again for your help
    Which two languages are you taking, French and Spanish?
 
 
 
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