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Speaking exam help - French Watch

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    Hi
    I'm doing WJEC AS-level French at college. We've just been told our week for the speaking exams is w/c 4th April, so before our Easter holidays. We've had half hour conversation classes once a week since October, in which we get set homework to prepare notes for past conversation questions. I feel like it is a complete waste of time because people (including myself) just write out whole answers for the homework and then read from the sheet. I'm not sure whether you would be stopped for doing this in the exam but it is definitely discouraged. I feel like the classes don't help me to prepare the right amount as we only get 15 minutes preparation time in the exam, AND NO TRANSLATE!
    I do want to get an A in it but what can I do myself to improve this?
    Has anyone got any advice or experience of any language, any exam board, speaking exams in general?
    I am dreading it!
    Thank you
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    (Original post by javvyjingle)
    Hi
    I'm doing WJEC AS-level French at college. We've just been told our week for the speaking exams is w/c 4th April, so before our Easter holidays. We've had half hour conversation classes once a week since October, in which we get set homework to prepare notes for past conversation questions. I feel like it is a complete waste of time because people (including myself) just write out whole answers for the homework and then read from the sheet. I'm not sure whether you would be stopped for doing this in the exam but it is definitely discouraged. I feel like the classes don't help me to prepare the right amount as we only get 15 minutes preparation time in the exam, AND NO TRANSLATE!
    I do want to get an A in it but what can I do myself to improve this?
    Has anyone got any advice or experience of any language, any exam board, speaking exams in general?
    I am dreading it!
    Thank you
    I did this exam last year and my advice is ironic because I did nothing for the exam, but ended up getting 57/60 raw marks. So the biggest piece of advice is to not worry. If you're worrying in the exam, your French will naturally be worse. Think of how you could prepare yourself instead.

    Make sure you're capable of answering all 3 questions on the cards. Try making some notes i.e. advantages and disadvantages of things like tourism, fashion etc.

    In your 15-20 minute preparation time, split the time evenly between both cartes. Instead of writing out an answer, which I know seems like the obvious thing to do, just think of a good, smart answer, or even just, say, a subjunctive phrase you could use to bring in your argument. In mine, I remember saying (about the opinions on the text card): Bien que je comprenne qu'il y a beaucoup d'avantages liés au tourisme, il y a aussi des inconvénients y liés.

    I made notes last year on all the topics but I didn't use them, I'll send you them if it'll help
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    Oh my gosh thank you that helps so much! You did really well if you did no preparation, maybe there is hope for moi? I hate this course so much, I really regret not dropping it in September in favour of something else. It's not realistic conversation if you have to prepare and read off a sheet, it really frustrates me that we have studied French for 12 years and still can't string a sentence together! I got A* at GCSE and now I am mainly getting c's with a few D's for good measure!
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    (Original post by rileystringer1)
    I did this exam last year and my advice is ironic because I did nothing for the exam, but ended up getting 57/60 raw marks. So the biggest piece of advice is to not worry. If you're worrying in the exam, your French will naturally be worse. Think of how you could prepare yourself instead.

    Make sure you're capable of answering all 3 questions on the cards. Try making some notes i.e. advantages and disadvantages of things like tourism, fashion etc.

    In your 15-20 minute preparation time, split the time evenly between both cartes. Instead of writing out an answer, which I know seems like the obvious thing to do, just think of a good, smart answer, or even just, say, a subjunctive phrase you could use to bring in your argument. In mine, I remember saying (about the opinions on the text card): Bien que je comprenne qu'il y a beaucoup d'avantages liés au tourisme, il y a aussi des inconvénients y liés.

    I made notes last year on all the topics but I didn't use them, I'll send you them if it'll help
    Do you have any tips that I could use from now to the exam in order to improve my speaking generally? I've got a mock speaking after the half-term and I am extremely unprepared for it. Do you have any advice about what I should do as soon as I enter the mock and how I should prepare for it?
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    (Original post by javvyjingle)
    Oh my gosh thank you that helps so much! You did really well if you did no preparation, maybe there is hope for moi? I hate this course so much, I really regret not dropping it in September in favour of something else. It's not realistic conversation if you have to prepare and read off a sheet, it really frustrates me that we have studied French for 12 years and still can't string a sentence together! I got A* at GCSE and now I am mainly getting c's with a few D's for good measure!
    Don't worry, everyone who does French at GCSE and does well comes to hate it at AS :lol: You're not alone

    I'll attach my AS notes in case you want them (bare in mind some of these were done earlier on in the AS year so there may be a mistake or two in some of the topics, but there shouldn't be because I went through them with my teachers
    Attached Files
  1. File Type: docx French notes (1).docx (33.1 KB, 108 views)
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    (Original post by SP98)
    Do you have any tips that I could use from now to the exam in order to improve my speaking generally? I've got a mock speaking after the half-term and I am extremely unprepared for it. Do you have any advice about what I should do as soon as I enter the mock and how I should prepare for it?
    All you can really do to prepare is practice. Make sure you have notes on the main topics like advantages and disadvantages of certain things (I attached my notes above if you want to look at them, don't know how useful they are as I never used them). Look through past cards and pretend your teacher is sitting in front of you and think of what you would say. If you are stumped and can't think of anything, work on that topic i.e. update your notes, google "advantages of X" etc. It may be good, if you're motivated, to watch French actualités (news) or read online news articles to keep up to date with the goings on, so you can reference them in the exam. Or you could insert some anecdotes into your notes i.e. if you get a question on the importance on traditions you could explain why your family do at Christmas (briefly) and why it is important to you

    Don't worry about it too much at all because it's worth less than the written paper, and if you keep practicing and improving then by the time the real thing comes around it should be fine. The oral is marked really leniently, it must be. I know I'm fairly good at French for my level but I knew the oral went fairly badly and I managed to score 57/60. My friend who is fairly bad got a high mark, close to full too, so hopefully that's reassuring.

    Make sure you've written exemplar answers for the general conversation which is about your interests, your studies and your future. Some obvious questions that normally get asked are: Favourite subject and why? Least? Most/least difficult/interesting and why? What do you want to do next? Career aspirations? What are your main interests? (For me it was reading les livres de fiction, and of course some of the questions linked to that are "Quels sont tes livres préférés et pourquoi?" "Quel est ton auteur préféré?")

    It's obviously up to you, but I'd say to focus more of your time on the written paper. Don't forget that any notes you make on the oral topics can be reused for essay revision. For the essay, I strongly recommend learning 2 model essays on 2 topics that seem to crop up frequently (YOUTH CULTURE (fashion), education, sport, health), I did a good answer on fashion and it came up so I tried to remember some of the points I used, managed to get 34/35 so was clearly a good idea)

    Bon courage!!!
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    Thanks! The notes are brilliant!
 
 
 
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