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    I'm desperate for some help with the AS speaking exams (specifically in French and Spanish.)

    I'm pretty strong on the reading listening and writing papers, I regularly get really high marks so I'm not worrying about them too much. However, the speaking appears to be my downfall. I'm trying everything I can, I've got the Palabra Por Palabra/Mot à Mot books and I have fortnightly speaking sessions with my teachers, but it's just really hard for me. My mind goes blank and I can't think of stuff to say in English, let alone in foreign languages! My exams are in 2 months and I'm freaking out to say the least; does anyone have any advice?


    Thanks in advance
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    (Original post by BEARichards)
    I'm desperate for some help with the AS speaking exams (specifically in French and Spanish.)

    I'm pretty strong on the reading listening and writing papers, I regularly get really high marks so I'm not worrying about them too much. However, the speaking appears to be my downfall. I'm trying everything I can, I've got the Palabra Por Palabra/Mot à Mot books and I have fortnightly speaking sessions with my teachers, but it's just really hard for me. My mind goes blank and I can't think of stuff to say in English, let alone in foreign languages! My exams are in 2 months and I'm freaking out to say the least; does anyone have any advice?


    Thanks in advance
    Sounds like you're letting your nerves get the better of you!

    To win the battle:

    a) Know your topics. If you can't think of what to say, even in English, that does rather imply that you're not too confident about your actual facts.

    b) Get some phrases that you can use to give yourself breathing space. Things like: Vamos a ver, Pues veamos, Bueno, es que... in Spanish; and Eh bien, alors voyons in French - are useful "noise" when you're thinking.

    c) To deal with nerves before the exam, do some deep breathing exercises: breathe in deeply to a count of 4, then breathe out slowly to a count of at least 8. Do this three or four times, concentrating just on your breathing and nothing else. It works a treat.

    d) In the exam, if your mind goes blank: take another of these deep breaths and then, as you breathe out, ask the examiner if he could please repeat the question as you didn't hear him/her well - Por favor, podría usted repetir la pregunta, ya que no le he entendido muy bien? - S'il vous plaît, pourriez-vous répéter la question, je vous ai mal entendu? This just serves the purpose of giving you a bit of space and it avoids that dreadful oppressive silence!

    e) And finally, as I have said elsewhere on this forum: practise speaking French regularly, even if you're not discussing your topic areas. See if you can get together with your classmates during your lunch break and just chat in French with them, every day, for ten to fifteen minutes. This is informal, so don't talk about your exam topics, just talk about your day, your music, your plans, whatever. You'll make loads of progress and it will be virtually effortless. And it will make walking into that exam room a lot less daunting in two months' time!
 
 
 
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