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Lack of confidence, want to do a language at A-Level... Watch

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    I would like to French at A-Level but I don't have a GCSE in it, my college will accept me still as when we start learning, the course covers the basics for a month or so before moving up. I also have outside help (my auntie is fluent in french) and I seem to have a natural affinity for languages (I'm good at relating words and bascially figuring out what it means without a dictionary)..

    Anyway, I really want to do it but I'm not confident speaking.. in english nevermind in French. I'd constantly worry about my accent, about if I am pronouncing the words properly etc.

    I'm not sure what to do? I do want to do it, but I'm worried about my confidence, or lack of it. In the course we'd have either weekly or fortnightly tests/practices for speaking.. the writing and reading I'm confident I'd be able to get B or A's on, but I fear my speaking would let me down.

    Is there anything that could help me?
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    Moved to the A-levels forum (which means you won't be able to post as anonymous, sorry).
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    You made a very similar thread yesterday and said you got a D in GCSE German. That is really not indicative of a 'natural affinity for languages'. If you took to it like a duck to water then you would have got at least an A without really trying.

    If for some reason you think your D at GCSE German is irrelevant (you sabotaged your own grade somehow, whatever), then as for your main question: you develop that confidence. You're simply forced to. Listening to radio and watching TV/films in the language are a truly enormous help when it comes to picking up the accent and the language more generally, and feeling more secure in the fact that you're not making an arse of yourself when you try to speak in the language.
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    Sorry, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's true that you cover the basics again in the first month or two but they will expect you to already have a good range of (basic) vocabulary if you're going for an A/B grade, so unless you can learn most of the GCSE vocab before A levels and know how to pronounce them properly, then you'd find it very hard. Also, you will most likely, to be heading for a nice grade, need to be familiar with the basic tenses before starting (present, imperfect, past, maybe future/conditional) although many people who had done GCSE French in my school didn't have a clue but tbh but they're not exactly high flyers... Don't worry about your accent - I doubt even how I pronounce my words in English but I relate that to self-confidence - once you've spoken to your language assistant a few times you become a lot more confident since they will most likely be able to understand you, and also don't expect to be anywhere near fluent yet because that takes years!

    PS do you have any experience with the French language yet?

    PM me if you need to!
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    (Original post by Alludeen1)
    Sorry, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's true that you cover the basics again in the first month or two but they will expect you to already have a good range of (basic) vocabulary if you're going for an A/B grade, so unless you can learn most of the GCSE vocab before A levels and know how to pronounce them properly, then you'd find it very hard. Also, you will most likely, to be heading for a nice grade, need to be familiar with the basic tenses before starting (present, imperfect, past, maybe future/conditional) although many people who had done GCSE French in my school didn't have a clue but tbh but they're not exactly high flyers... Don't worry about your accent - I doubt even how I pronounce my words in English but I relate that to self-confidence - once you've spoken to your language assistant a few times you become a lot more confident since they will most likely be able to understand you, and also don't expect to be anywhere near fluent yet because that takes years!

    PS do you have any experience with the French language yet?

    PM me if you need to!
    The basics of GCSE can easily be picked up over a couple of weeks of Summer, if the OP bothers to do it. It's all well and good saying you'll do it but then Summer comes around, and you know the rest.

    You're assuming the OP will have a language assistant. My school didn't employ language assistants.
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    Baguette!
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    (Original post by Ronove)
    The basics of GCSE can easily be picked up over a couple of weeks of Summer, if the OP bothers to do it. It's all well and good saying you'll do it but then Summer comes around, and you know the rest.

    You're assuming the OP will have a language assistant. My school didn't employ language assistants.
    You're right about the summer, you have to actually do the work instead of meaning to do it, but I would say for a A at AS you're going to need to be confident in your ability to construct developed sentences spontaneously pretty soon in the year - either that or you bust your ass off for a year but that's much easier said than done.

    No language assistant??? Well if the OP doesn't have one he'd better be well acquainted with his aunty! How did you practise your speaking? If worst comes to worst you can always talk to yourself in the language (I know that sounds insanely sad but it works OP)
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    (Original post by Alludeen1)
    You're right about the summer, you have to actually do the work instead of meaning to do it, but I would say for a A at AS you're going to need to be confident in your ability to construct developed sentences spontaneously pretty soon in the year - either that or you bust your ass off for a year but that's much easier said than done.

    No language assistant??? Well if the OP doesn't have one he'd better be well acquainted with his aunty! How did you practise your speaking? If worst comes to worst you can always talk to yourself in the language (I know that sounds insanely sad but it works OP)
    For the two languages I did at school we just talked a bit in class. Not much though, it has to be said. For Spanish, which I self-taught, I paid a tutor for maybe three sessions where I could get a little practice, and I also had a practice session with one of my French teachers who had taught me GCSE Spanish after school. My actual Spanish speaking ability came from radio and TV and talking to myself, though - I was already presenting the finished product in the practice sessions.
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    For starters, I didn't have a very good GCSE year. I was expected an A* in German but when it came round to the exams, I was going through a rough time with family and wasn't focused enough to get the grades I was hoping for. I do have a natural affinity for languages. My whole family knows at least one or two languages and in the last year (after dropping out of college) I taught myself Latin and got A grades in the exams. I'm not asking you whether I should do it or not, I was only asking for tips and advice on how to get better and increase my confidence when speaking.

    I am close with my auntie and she's agreed to help me learn and be there for me to practice speaking with her and such. The french course also has a language assistant that students sit down with once a week and go over things.

    And please don't assume I wont be bothered or whatever. If needs be, I will sit over summer and learn as much as I need to. I'm not a laid back person when it comes to my own studying, so please don't assume I am. Like I said, I got a D in my German. Yes, I regret it and should have focused more, but I am happy that I at least got a D due to my circumstances and having explained this to college and showed them that I was predicted an A*, they are happy to have me on the French course. So I'm not looking for answers as to why I should or shouldn't do it, I was asking how to improve my confidence.

    Hence why this was originally posted in the Mental Health forum.. since it's about confidence, not A-Levels. -___-
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    (Original post by Khione)
    For starters, I didn't have a very good GCSE year. I was expected an A* in German but when it came round to the exams, I was going through a rough time with family and wasn't focused enough to get the grades I was hoping for. I do have a natural affinity for languages. My whole family knows at least one or two languages and in the last year (after dropping out of college) I taught myself Latin and got A grades in the exams. I'm not asking you whether I should do it or not, I was only asking for tips and advice on how to get better and increase my confidence when speaking.

    I am close with my auntie and she's agreed to help me learn and be there for me to practice speaking with her and such. The french course also has a language assistant that students sit down with once a week and go over things.

    And please don't assume I wont be bothered or whatever. If needs be, I will sit over summer and learn as much as I need to. I'm not a laid back person when it comes to my own studying, so please don't assume I am. Like I said, I got a D in my German. Yes, I regret it and should have focused more, but I am happy that I at least got a D due to my circumstances and having explained this to college and showed them that I was predicted an A*, they are happy to have me on the French course. So I'm not looking for answers as to why I should or shouldn't do it, I was asking how to improve my confidence.

    Hence why this was originally posted in the Mental Health forum.. since it's about confidence, not A-Levels. -___-
    To answer your question, confidence shouldn't be a big issue.
    I have always been very reserved, and not very confident with speaking. I took 2 languages at A-level, 3 at uni.
    For a long time, I would say nothing really, and more dominant speakers would do all the talking. I picked up the grammar etc ok, and I listened to the TV for pronunciation etc, but my ability to actually hold a conversation was very limited. I have found, however, that over the eyars, I have gradually become more confident in speaking it, and that you get over the lack of confidence fairly easily (language speaking wise).

    It's certainly not a good trait to have for a language learner, and will hold you back a bit I've found, as most linguists tend to be the very expressive, outgoing types, but overtime, you'll improve, and it shouldn't be a problem.

    For what it's worth, I got A's in French and German at A-Level and my best mark actually came in my German speaking (full UMS there) despite lacking confidence to speak in class.
    IF you're good enough, I don't see why you shouldn't study it
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    (Original post by Khione)
    For starters, I didn't have a very good GCSE year. I was expected an A* in German but when it came round to the exams, I was going through a rough time with family and wasn't focused enough to get the grades I was hoping for. I do have a natural affinity for languages. My whole family knows at least one or two languages and in the last year (after dropping out of college) I taught myself Latin and got A grades in the exams. I'm not asking you whether I should do it or not, I was only asking for tips and advice on how to get better and increase my confidence when speaking.

    I am close with my auntie and she's agreed to help me learn and be there for me to practice speaking with her and such. The french course also has a language assistant that students sit down with once a week and go over things.

    And please don't assume I wont be bothered or whatever. If needs be, I will sit over summer and learn as much as I need to. I'm not a laid back person when it comes to my own studying, so please don't assume I am. Like I said, I got a D in my German. Yes, I regret it and should have focused more, but I am happy that I at least got a D due to my circumstances and having explained this to college and showed them that I was predicted an A*, they are happy to have me on the French course. So I'm not looking for answers as to why I should or shouldn't do it, I was asking how to improve my confidence.

    Hence why this was originally posted in the Mental Health forum.. since it's about confidence, not A-Levels. -___-
    At no point did I assume you personally wouldn't be bothered to do things over Summer, it was very much a statement about something that happens to most people when they think they'll do something over Summer. That should be obvious to the vast majority of people who read my post; not you, however.

    Nor did I suggest that you got a D in German because you were lazy - I added that perhaps you sabotaged your own grade 'or whatever' since I wasn't prepared to assume that a D in German meant you didn't have a 'natural affinity for languages' as you claimed you did. Yet somehow you were still able to interpret that as a slight on you and reply with a whole load of attitude.

    I wish the best of luck with your French A-level but I suggest you work on your reading comprehension and your bad attitude.
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    Oh, la tension.
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    I don't have a bad attitude, you insinuated that having a D in German meant that I did not have a natural affinity for languages. And maybe you should check your own reading skills because no where in my original post did I ask for advice on whether I should do French or not. Maybe if you actually answered my question and not judge my capabilities, I'd reply with a little less 'attitude'.
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    (Original post by Khione)
    I don't have a bad attitude, you insinuated that having a D in German meant that I did not have a natural affinity for languages. And maybe you should check your own reading skills because no where in my original post did I ask for advice on whether I should do French or not. Maybe if you actually answered my question and not judge my capabilities, I'd reply with a little less 'attitude'.
    I said that a D in German meant that either you did not have the 'natural affinity for languages' you claimed to have, or that you perhaps sabotaged your grade somehow 'or whatever', meaning that there was perhaps some other reason for you not achieving an A in it that was ultimately of no interest to me or the conversation if it were the case. I was therefore passing no judgement on your ability to do French - I was allowing for the idea that you achieved a D for good reasons.

    You asked whether you should do French or not in a post yesterday. You do not post in a vacuum, regardless of whether you try to use the anon function to avoid people realising it was you essentially posting the same thread again because you didn't like the answers to the last one.

    No seriously, work on your comprehension. And I take back my wish of good luck. Unfortunately it sounds like you could've done with it.
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    That thread was asking advice on whether I should, this thread was meant to give advice on how I could boost my confidence in regards to speaking French. Please, in future, post in the respective threads. I didn't use the anon feature to avoid people knowing it was me, I used it because I wanted to and to be honest, that's none of your business. I didn't mind the answers I got on the last thread, they were useful. Unlike your answers on this thread.

    I don't think that last comment, however, is needed.

    I also don't appreciate the fact you seem to be judging my reading and comprehension skills? Is that why you came to this thread? To assess my skills and give me feedback. It's not wanted, nor needed, so please don't.

    I'm sick of this community, I asked a question about my confidence, and the first person who posts comments about my D in German, made judgements about my comments on how I do have a natural affinity for languages. And then proceeded to give me brief advice, basically saying I have to have the confidence.. I have no choice.

    This has happened to me multiple times and I really do not like it. This post was in the mental health forum because I was hoping to get a couple sensitive people tell me how to boost my confidence when speaking in front of classes or when learning a language and having to sit through tests where my speaking is assessed. But instead, it got moved, due to the post apparently being about A-Levels (>_<) and then I get a couple of people bringing up the fact I got a D in German, whether or not I can be assed to do the work and then I get barraged with you, Ronvoe, going on about my comprehension skills and reading, etc, when that has nothing to do with my question, nor is it helpful.. at all.

    So thank you to those who did actually give me advice, I will take that on board and try my hardest on learning the basics before September, and then I will continue to try my hardest for the next two years whilst I sit doing French A-Level.
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    Well I do GCSE french now. At first, I was extremely scared about it. I had to start at y11 because I moved schools, and the last time I did ANY french was in year 8. So I think you can guess how confident I was.
    It came to a stage, early in the year when I just decided: Do it.
    It is hard, but if you want to do it, be prepared and ready. Best of luck.
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    (Original post by Khione)
    That thread was asking advice on whether I should, this thread was meant to give advice on how I could boost my confidence in regards to speaking French. Please, in future, post in the respective threads. I didn't use the anon feature to avoid people knowing it was me, I used it because I wanted to and to be honest, that's none of your business. I didn't mind the answers I got on the last thread, they were useful. Unlike your answers on this thread.

    I don't think that last comment, however, is needed.

    I also don't appreciate the fact you seem to be judging my reading and comprehension skills? Is that why you came to this thread? To assess my skills and give me feedback. It's not wanted, nor needed, so please don't.

    I'm sick of this community, I asked a question about my confidence, and the first person who posts comments about my D in German, made judgements about my comments on how I do have a natural affinity for languages. And then proceeded to give me brief advice, basically saying I have to have the confidence.. I have no choice.

    This has happened to me multiple times and I really do not like it. This post was in the mental health forum because I was hoping to get a couple sensitive people tell me how to boost my confidence when speaking in front of classes or when learning a language and having to sit through tests where my speaking is assessed. But instead, it got moved, due to the post apparently being about A-Levels (>_<) and then I get a couple of people bringing up the fact I got a D in German, whether or not I can be assed to do the work and then I get barraged with you, Ronvoe, going on about my comprehension skills and reading, etc, when that has nothing to do with my question, nor is it helpful.. at all.

    So thank you to those who did actually give me advice, I will take that on board and try my hardest on learning the basics before September, and then I will continue to try my hardest for the next two years whilst I sit doing French A-Level.
    I said you're forced to develop the confidence. Not this nonsense that you're suggesting here about having the confidence being a prerequisite for taking the qualification. In everything but languages I was very, very reserved when it came to taking part in class discussions, and quite socially anxious. It did nothing to hold me back. I won't keep harping on about your reading comprehension, but... you get the point.
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    (Original post by Ronove)
    I said you're forced to develop the confidence. Not this nonsense that you're suggesting here about having the confidence being a prerequisite for taking the qualification. In everything but languages I was very, very reserved when it came to taking part in class discussions, and quite socially anxious. It did nothing to hold me back. I won't keep harping on about your reading comprehension, but... you get the point.
    I never meant to mean it was a prequisite, I simply read what you put as that I had to have the confidence, either by developing it or by having it prior to taking the course. But, to be honest, I know I will develop it, what I'm asking is how.

    I'm sorry if I seemed rude or obnoxious, I've had quite a stressful couple weeks and it seemed to all come out earlier. However, you have been quite rude and short-tempered with me, which I did not appreciate.

    Anyway, again, thank you everyone for the advice. I will take it in and try develop my confidence before hand and I have a time to meet with my auntie this week to start going over the basics again.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I would like to French at A-Level but I don't have a GCSE in it, my college will accept me still as when we start learning, the course covers the basics for a month or so before moving up. I also have outside help (my auntie is fluent in french) and I seem to have a natural affinity for languages (I'm good at relating words and bascially figuring out what it means without a dictionary)..

    Anyway, I really want to do it but I'm not confident speaking.. in english nevermind in French. I'd constantly worry about my accent, about if I am pronouncing the words properly etc.

    I'm not sure what to do? I do want to do it, but I'm worried about my confidence, or lack of it. In the course we'd have either weekly or fortnightly tests/practices for speaking.. the writing and reading I'm confident I'd be able to get B or A's on, but I fear my speaking would let me down.

    Is there anything that could help me?
    As for confidence when speaking - try not to see the teacher as some sort of shark, like I did. They're a human being and they want you to do the best possible. They had to do this kind of exam at some point, and they've probably sat through loads of speaking exams. In my first exam I ended up walking out crying because I was so nervous! I have to say, the exam system doesn't help those with nerves because I kept on stammering since I sensed time ticking away and it all became a vicious circle :z Now I treat exams like a normal conversation - try to have a more natural conversation with your teacher/examiner/assistant if you can rather than a monologue, and don't be afraid to get something wrong in class - it's how you get better at languages! And try to make yourself feel good on the day of the exam - try to get your friends or family to compliment you on how you look or something, I know it sounds trivial but it gives you an extra bit of confidence!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I would like to French at A-Level but I don't have a GCSE in it, my college will accept me still as when we start learning, the course covers the basics for a month or so before moving up. I also have outside help (my auntie is fluent in french) and I seem to have a natural affinity for languages (I'm good at relating words and bascially figuring out what it means without a dictionary)..

    Anyway, I really want to do it but I'm not confident speaking.. in english nevermind in French. I'd constantly worry about my accent, about if I am pronouncing the words properly etc.

    I'm not sure what to do? I do want to do it, but I'm worried about my confidence, or lack of it. In the course we'd have either weekly or fortnightly tests/practices for speaking.. the writing and reading I'm confident I'd be able to get B or A's on, but I fear my speaking would let me down.

    Is there anything that could help me?

    Always Remember "Winners are to busy to be sad, to positive to be doubtful, to optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated."
 
 
 
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