glowanti
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RIP to anyone doing the new GCSE for French. Damn, a reading paper mostly in French where you must answer the questions in French, a spontaneous speaking exam of a full 12 minutes conversation, a spontaneous writing exam where the writing instructions are in French
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username2347359
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rip
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luciie
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That sounds awful
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LamantChenille
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(Original post by caitlinford3)
RIP to anyone doing the new GCSE for French. Damn, a reading paper mostly in French where you must answer the questions in French, a spontaneous speaking exam of a full 12 minutes conversation, a spontaneous writing exam where the writing instructions are in French
I will just say that, obviously that sounds really difficult when you compare it to the current structure of the GCSE, and it is very different, but you will be taught to handle questions like that, and you will have knowledge of how to deal with them. It would be unfair to give questions like that to the current cohort, who wouldn't have been prepared for them, but the people sitting these exams will be prepared properly.

Also, currently the jump from French GCSE to A Level is crazy, it goes from relatively easy and very English based, to quite hard and all in French. As somebody who is currently studying for French at A2, that GCSE sounds like much better preparation for the A Level than the current one, which I personally felt was easy but inadequate. I really struggled in my AS year because, during GCSE, I was basically allowed to memorise a script for my speaking exam. Spontaneity when speaking a foreign language is difficult, but it's the only way to actually learn it properly-if you ever visit France, you're not going to be able to read off a pre-prepared essay. If we start teaching those spontaneous language skills earlier, by the time people get to A Level, they will be able to speak with much more ease.

So basically, yeah it totally is harder than the current GCSE, but long-term that might be a good thing...?
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Daito
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
I will just say that, obviously that sounds really difficult when you compare it to the current structure of the GCSE, and it is very different, but you will be taught to handle questions like that, and you will have knowledge of how to deal with them. It would be unfair to give questions like that to the current cohort, who wouldn't have been prepared for them, but the people sitting these exams will be prepared properly.

Also, currently the jump from French GCSE to A Level is crazy, it goes from relatively easy and very English based, to quite hard and all in French. As somebody who is currently studying for French at A2, that GCSE sounds like much better preparation for the A Level than the current one, which I personally felt was easy but inadequate. I really struggled in my AS year because, during GCSE, I was basically allowed to memorise a script for my speaking exam. Spontaneity when speaking a foreign language is difficult, but it's the only way to actually learn it properly-if you ever visit France, you're not going to be able to read off a pre-prepared essay. If we start teaching those spontaneous language skills earlier, by the time people get to A Level, they will be able to speak with much more ease.

So basically, yeah it totally is harder than the current GCSE, but long-term that might be a good thing...?
Um, kind of an unrelated note but what is A-level language like? I'm considering A-level German and I'm just wondering how the course is structured, what the exam is like etc etc.
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Aishraat
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(Original post by caitlinford3)
RIP to anyone doing the new GCSE for French. Damn, a reading paper mostly in French where you must answer the questions in French, a spontaneous speaking exam of a full 12 minutes conversation, a spontaneous writing exam where the writing instructions are in French
ouch, I think when I did mine it was a round 5 minutes and we were told you had to do 12 minutes for as level.
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Aishraat
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
I will just say that, obviously that sounds really difficult when you compare it to the current structure of the GCSE, and it is very different, but you will be taught to handle questions like that, and you will have knowledge of how to deal with them. It would be unfair to give questions like that to the current cohort, who wouldn't have been prepared for them, but the people sitting these exams will be prepared properly.

Also, currently the jump from French GCSE to A Level is crazy, it goes from relatively easy and very English based, to quite hard and all in French. As somebody who is currently studying for French at A2, that GCSE sounds like much better preparation for the A Level than the current one, which I personally felt was easy but inadequate. I really struggled in my AS year because, during GCSE, I was basically allowed to memorise a script for my speaking exam. Spontaneity when speaking a foreign language is difficult, but it's the only way to actually learn it properly-if you ever visit France, you're not going to be able to read off a pre-prepared essay. If we start teaching those spontaneous language skills earlier, by the time people get to A Level, they will be able to speak with much more ease.

So basically, yeah it totally is harder than the current GCSE, but long-term that might be a good thing...?
I totally agree with you, you saved me having to write all this out (but I couldn't study as/a2 french because my college don't offer languages :/)
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LamantChenille
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(Original post by Daito)
Um, kind of an unrelated note but what is A-level language like? I'm considering A-level German and I'm just wondering how the course is structured, what the exam is like etc etc.
A Level languages are awesome!!

Basically, at AS, the course tends to be broadly divided into large topics, eg.popular culture, the environment, society etc.. You go through all of the sub-topics in class and discuss the issues, learn specialist vocab, and generally develop your language through writing essays, reading articles,comprehension, verbal debate etc.. At AS there are two exams, an oral and a written paper. The oral will nearly always happen before the main exam season, and an external examiner will come to do the exam. It lasts about 15 minutes, and you're given two topic cards on the subtopics you've studied with questions to discuss. You have 15 minutes to prepare and take notes, and then a 15 minute discussion with the examiner. It's actually quite chill, and it's all over really quickly. The written paper will have a listening question, 1/2 comprehensions with written answers in the langauge, some grammar questions and an essay on a topic that you have studied: you get a choice of like 5 topics, and you write it as an argument normally, so a question could be "Should we allow gay marriage" or "What's more important: family or friends". Langauge papers are always reeeaallllllyyy lonnngggg, like 2-3 hours at least; I have a friend who's paper is 4 hours because of extra time :eek: , but the exam isn't normally that time-pressured which is good.

It's much the same at A2, you'll learn about a different bunch of topics with the addition of two films/books. This is really fun, and it means that your language lessons are basically film/reading time for a term. In the oral at A2, you only get one topic card and for the rest of the oral you deliver a 4-5min speech on an aspect of the film/book (you can learn the speech beforehand), and then talk about the film with the examiner. Again, it's really chill. The exam is very similar, but the essay will be on the other film/book that you didn't talk about in your oral.

I really enjoy A Level. I do French personally, but my best friend does French and German and she loves them both. All I would say is that languages are difficult, and time-consuming, it's definitely not one of those subjects where you can glide through with no revision. It takes time, but it's so rewarding that it's completely worth it for me! Obviously the course may change what with all the educational change going on, but at the end of teh day, languages are languages, so there is less taht you can change-any change will likely be in the style of the examination. Any more questions feel free to ask! Sorry for the essay-I'm passionate!! :P
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LamantChenille
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(Original post by Aishraat)
I totally agree with you, you saved me having to write all this out (but I couldn't study as/a2 french because my college don't offer languages :/)
Thanks!
Ah, that is a bummer, I would hate not being able to take languages. That's quite bad actually! Like, I get colleges not offering niche subjects like Food Tech or something. But languages?!
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Aishraat
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
Thanks!
Ah, that is a bummer, I would hate not being able to take languages. That's quite bad actually! Like, I get colleges not offering niche subjects like Food Tech or something. But languages?!
Yeah I know. I took AQA at GCSE in 2014 June.
When I went for my AS induction about 6 months ago my (now) chemistry teacher said she thought it was ridiculous but I don't think they have the space for it? I am not sure though cause it's a good college and my teachers I think are great most of the time! so I'm not sure why they don't offer it? they don't have the space I think for a languages department but there are just science and humanities sections.
I wish I was able to but it was the closest college for me to go to....... I would've done french if I could've done probably.

How do you think your language skills have developed during your studies?
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Aishraat
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
Thanks!
Ah, that is a bummer, I would hate not being able to take languages. That's quite bad actually! Like, I get colleges not offering niche subjects like Food Tech or something. But languages?!
also, I think this guy would appreciate your help.

unfortunately I have forgotten most of my french
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3991039
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LamantChenille
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(Original post by Aishraat)
Yeah I know. I took AQA at GCSE in 2014 June.
When I went for my AS induction about 6 months ago my (now) chemistry teacher said she thought it was ridiculous but I don't think they have the space for it? I am not sure though cause it's a good college and my teachers I think are great most of the time! so I'm not sure why they don't offer it? they don't have the space I think for a languages department but there are just science and humanities sections.
I wish I was able to but it was the closest college for me to go to....... I would've done french if I could've done probably.

How do you think your language skills have developed during your studies?
Ah, I suppose if there is literally no space, still a bit rubbish though. I definitely think my langage skills have developed a lot, especially this year. I basically have French everyday, and because my best friend does it too sometimes we have conversations en francais It's all good practise! I'm also spending a year in France next year, so I really want to get my French as good as I possibly can before I go away. It's definitely possible to keep up with the french even if you haven't done A level though, have you tried apps like Duolingo? It's a free app, and it's great for daily language learning!

Aha, I just saw your other reply! I'll go see if I can help.
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Aishraat
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
Ah, I suppose if there is literally no space, still a bit rubbish though. I definitely think my langage skills have developed a lot, especially this year. I basically have French everyday, and because my best friend does it too sometimes we have conversations en francais It's all good practise! I'm also spending a year in France next year, so I really want to get my French as good as I possibly can before I go away. It's definitely possible to keep up with the french even if you haven't done A level though, have you tried apps like Duolingo? It's a free app, and it's great for daily language learning!
thanks I'll look it up. are you old enough to like go to france on your own if your studying A-level french? don't think my mum would let me do that even though I am 18. hah.
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LittleIrishGeek
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(Original post by caitlinford3)
RIP to anyone doing the new GCSE for French. Damn, a reading paper mostly in French where you must answer the questions in French, a spontaneous speaking exam of a full 12 minutes conversation, a spontaneous writing exam where the writing instructions are in French
Oh, I'm well and truly screwed then😳 Which exam board are you in? Hope ours isn't like that, but probably is😁
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LamantChenille
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(Original post by Aishraat)
thanks I'll look it up. are you old enough to like go to france on your own if your studying A-level french? don't think my mum would let me do that even though I am 18. hah.
Well, I'm 18! So legally, yes! I'm going to be an au pair, so I'll be working and living with a French family. It's going to be my gap year before uni, so that I can really brush up on my French. My parents are quite chilled, so they're not very bothered, they just think it's interesting, and Paris isn't really that far away!
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Aishraat
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
Well, I'm 18! So legally, yes! I'm going to be an au pair, so I'll be working and living with a French family. It's going to be my gap year before uni, so that I can really brush up on my French. My parents are quite chilled, so they're not very bothered, they just think it's interesting, and Paris isn't really that far away!
I've been to paris before. It's lovely. I wish I could go again

My parents would freak I think!

hope you have loads of fun there!
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LamantChenille
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(Original post by Aishraat)
I've been to paris before. It's lovely. I wish I could go again

My parents would freak I think!

hope you have loads of fun there!
Aha thank you! I've been to other towns in France before (Lyon, Nancy, Marseilles), but never Paris, so I'm really looking forward to living there
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veryambitchious
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I myself did AQA French GCSE last year and I have to admit, if I weren't fluent in French, I would have struggled with AS level French since the jump is indeed quite big.
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Daito
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
A Level languages are awesome!!

Basically, at AS, the course tends to be broadly divided into large topics, eg.popular culture, the environment, society etc.. You go through all of the sub-topics in class and discuss the issues, learn specialist vocab, and generally develop your language through writing essays, reading articles,comprehension, verbal debate etc.. At AS there are two exams, an oral and a written paper. The oral will nearly always happen before the main exam season, and an external examiner will come to do the exam. It lasts about 15 minutes, and you're given two topic cards on the subtopics you've studied with questions to discuss. You have 15 minutes to prepare and take notes, and then a 15 minute discussion with the examiner. It's actually quite chill, and it's all over really quickly. The written paper will have a listening question, 1/2 comprehensions with written answers in the langauge, some grammar questions and an essay on a topic that you have studied: you get a choice of like 5 topics, and you write it as an argument normally, so a question could be "Should we allow gay marriage" or "What's more important: family or friends". Langauge papers are always reeeaallllllyyy lonnngggg, like 2-3 hours at least; I have a friend who's paper is 4 hours because of extra time :eek: , but the exam isn't normally that time-pressured which is good.

It's much the same at A2, you'll learn about a different bunch of topics with the addition of two films/books. This is really fun, and it means that your language lessons are basically film/reading time for a term. In the oral at A2, you only get one topic card and for the rest of the oral you deliver a 4-5min speech on an aspect of the film/book (you can learn the speech beforehand), and then talk about the film with the examiner. Again, it's really chill. The exam is very similar, but the essay will be on the other film/book that you didn't talk about in your oral.

I really enjoy A Level. I do French personally, but my best friend does French and German and she loves them both. All I would say is that languages are difficult, and time-consuming, it's definitely not one of those subjects where you can glide through with no revision. It takes time, but it's so rewarding that it's completely worth it for me! Obviously the course may change what with all the educational change going on, but at the end of teh day, languages are languages, so there is less taht you can change-any change will likely be in the style of the examination. Any more questions feel free to ask! Sorry for the essay-I'm passionate!! :P
I was kind of on the border as to whether or not I should do A-level German but really after reading that I think that I will. Like the only thing that really sounds overly daunting is the 15 minute, next to no prep talk with the examiner but then that just takes practice I guess. Speaking of, how did you find the verbal assessment?
Thanks for your help btw
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glowanti
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(Original post by LamantChenille)
I will just say that, obviously that sounds really difficult when you compare it to the current structure of the GCSE, and it is very different, but you will be taught to handle questions like that, and you will have knowledge of how to deal with them. It would be unfair to give questions like that to the current cohort, who wouldn't have been prepared for them, but the people sitting these exams will be prepared properly.

Also, currently the jump from French GCSE to A Level is crazy, it goes from relatively easy and very English based, to quite hard and all in French. As somebody who is currently studying for French at A2, that GCSE sounds like much better preparation for the A Level than the current one, which I personally felt was easy but inadequate. I really struggled in my AS year because, during GCSE, I was basically allowed to memorise a script for my speaking exam. Spontaneity when speaking a foreign language is difficult, but it's the only way to actually learn it properly-if you ever visit France, you're not going to be able to read off a pre-prepared essay. If we start teaching those spontaneous language skills earlier, by the time people get to A Level, they will be able to speak with much more ease.

So basically, yeah it totally is harder than the current GCSE, but long-term that might be a good thing...?

I agree with everything you say - I didn't say it was a bad thing, I simply said it would be a lot harder and more like AS French as opposed to the old GCSE. This is because there's so many people who fail French even with this system - it's one of the more commonly failed GCSE's and I'm the only person in my whole school taking French on to A-Level

(Original post by LittleIrishGeek)
Oh, I'm well and truly screwed then😳 Which exam board are you in? Hope ours isn't like that, but probably is😁

AQA but since all GCSE's are reforming your exam board has probably changed their structure too

(Original post by Aishraat)
ouch, I think when I did mine it was a round 5 minutes and we were told you had to do 12 minutes for as level.
Yup haha!
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