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    Good evening all you lovely TSR-ers..

    I'm one of the lucky Year Elevens who has now finished their GCSEs (last one was yesterday - AQA Phys 2&3) and I have a question for anyone taking A-level French. How can I prepare for it? I want to practice as much as possible because I hope to be fluent someday. Do you have to pay for subscriptions to services etc? Got any book recommendations? I'm on WJEC's new spec next year but advice from any exam board candidate will be welcome.

    Thanks! X
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    (Original post by moggygeorgieee)
    Good evening all you lovely TSR-ers..

    I'm one of the lucky Year Elevens who has now finished their GCSEs (last one was yesterday - AQA Phys 2&3) and I have a question for anyone taking A-level French. How can I prepare for it? I want to practice as much as possible because I hope to be fluent someday. Do you have to pay for subscriptions to services etc? Got any book recommendations? I'm on WJEC's new spec next year but advice from any exam board candidate will be welcome.

    Thanks! X
    Congrats on finishing GCSEs *cheers all round*
    If you love French then you're going to love A-level french
    I've just finished my AS French, started A2 this week and its awesome! I do AQA though so probably won't be able to help you with too much
    How to prepare
    1. Get an account on www.quizlet.com or www.memrise.com and start learning some vocab, this will 100% help you on the step up of words and verbs you will come across
    Also: these are free
    Plus: with quizlet/memrise, after you've got your account, PM me, I'll give you my username so you can study some of my AS sets (I warn you I have very little on grammar but maybe you can make your own)
    2. Read French stuff
    This could be magazines or online newspapers such as:
    www.lemonde.fr and www.lefigaro.fr These are great places to start
    Any words you look up/come across, note down in a designated notebook or something, reading news should bring up lots of frequented/common language which will really help with AS
    3. Read actual books
    Reccomendations: literally anything!
    Start with some french readers, you'll find it challenging at first but you have to keep up with it! I read freres de sang and cent vingt minutes pour mourir, find these on amazon, they're called "Teen Readers", I'll see if I can find an URL later...
    Then when you get a bit better at reading, maybe go on to books you've read in English and buy the French version? Lots of my pals went for Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, I went for the Perks of Being a Wallflower novel (le monde de Charlie) but choose whatever you are a fan of
    Then once you're enjoying the reading and are a bit more confortable, start reading actual french novels. I would suggest L'Etranger (one I'm reading now for A2 study)
    Hope this helps,
    Cheese
    XD
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    (Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
    Congrats on finishing GCSEs *cheers all round*
    If you love French then you're going to love A-level french
    I've just finished my AS French, started A2 this week and its awesome! I do AQA though so probably won't be able to help you with too much
    How to prepare
    1. Get an account on www.quizlet.com or www.memrise.com and start learning some vocab, this will 100% help you on the step up of words and verbs you will come across
    Also: these are free
    Plus: with quizlet/memrise, after you've got your account, PM me, I'll give you my username so you can study some of my AS sets (I warn you I have very little on grammar but maybe you can make your own)
    2. Read French stuff
    This could be magazines or online newspapers such as:
    www.lemonde.fr and www.lefigaro.fr These are great places to start
    Any words you look up/come across, note down in a designated notebook or something, reading news should bring up lots of frequented/common language which will really help with AS
    3. Read actual books
    Reccomendations: literally anything!
    Start with some french readers, you'll find it challenging at first but you have to keep up with it! I read freres de sang and cent vingt minutes pour mourir, find these on amazon, they're called "Teen Readers", I'll see if I can find an URL later...
    Then when you get a bit better at reading, maybe go on to books you've read in English and buy the French version? Lots of my pals went for Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, I went for the Perks of Being a Wallflower novel (le monde de Charlie) but choose whatever you are a fan of
    Then once you're enjoying the reading and are a bit more confortable, start reading actual french novels. I would suggest L'Etranger (one I'm reading now for A2 study)
    Hope this helps,
    Cheese
    XD
    Spoiler:
    Show
    If you made it to the end, you've earned a :cookie:
    You are the best. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    (Original post by moggygeorgieee)
    You are the best. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Don't worry about it m8
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    linguee.fr is a great resource!

    P.S Alevel french is no easy task, but you have really got to LOVE and immerse yourself in the language. Try and get your teacher to speak to you in it all the time, speak to your friends, also if you have Facebook and twitter, "like" or "follow" everything in French. Especially stuff you want to do at university. e.g if you want to do business, follow french business news accounts and like french business news pages on facebook.

    Also, this is going to sound extra but ANY word you come across and you dont know (not your vocab lists obviously) I mean in like news and stuff, open the notes on your laptop and write them down with their translations. And just take a little look every day, very soon you will have a massive list and a massive vocabulary.

    Watch films, and try to speak like them. It will feel ridiculous with all the "bah"s and "mais uh" and lingering weird sounding noises...but it works

    P.s These tips work, I got 100% across AS and A2 speaking exams

    Good luck!
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    Definitely agree with everyone who says to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. It's so easy these days with internet and social media – but I'd also say don't just read/watch things just because they're in French, because you'll lose motivation super quickly. Find things you're genuinely interested in, because that gives you an extra push to do it and stops it feeling so much like work.

    Also, a lot of teachers tell you to watch the news. That's really great for formal French – which you definitely need for A-level – but I'd also advise watching talkshows because you'll get a natural, unscripted French as it's spoken by normal people.
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    To add to what has been said already (I take German but it's just as applicable to French):


    Vocab. You're going to get a lot of vocab to learn; over the Christmas holidays I had to learn over 200 words. My advice is to save yourself the pain of cramming the night before your vocab test - spaced repetition works much better. Download Anki (spaced repetition flashcard software) on your computer and your phone/tablet/whatever. Ask your AS teacher for vocab lists in advance, and put them all into Anki as sentences with words that need learning bolded. For example, one of my flashcards is "Er führt die Aktion dagegen." on one side, "He is leading the campaign against it." It's a fantastic learning tool, if used properly, and in my experience more effective than stuff like Memrise, Duolingo, etc because you're forced to make your own flashcards.


    Listening. It's very important that you get good at understanding the language as it's spoken. My method for this is rewatching TV shows I have on DVD with German audio and subtitles. Don't be tempted to put on English subtitles. Watch through things you're familiar with, then move to unfamiliar things. Watch French films, watch French news, with French subtitles. You'll improve your reading and listening comprehension. When you come across a word you don't know, add it in context to an Anki flashcard (subs2srs is quite good for this - lets you convert sections of films to flashcards!).


    Writing. Write, write, write. I'm on the old WJEC syllabus and 35 marks on the AS exam are just for the writing section; you need to get good at it. Whenever your teacher sets a writing task (which should be often, we tend to get two a week), do much more than the minimum, especially if it's something which interests you. As an example, my teacher once set an essay with no word limit, so I wrote just over 3000 words. It was fantastic practice for the writing section (even if that section is limited to 200 words) because I learned a lot of new vocab, sentence structures, etc.
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    (Original post by hopingmedicinae)
    linguee.fr is a great resource!

    P.S Alevel french is no easy task, but you have really got to LOVE and immerse yourself in the language. Try and get your teacher to speak to you in it all the time, speak to your friends, also if you have Facebook and twitter, "like" or "follow" everything in French. Especially stuff you want to do at university. e.g if you want to do business, follow french business news accounts and like french business news pages on facebook.

    Also, this is going to sound extra but ANY word you come across and you dont know (not your vocab lists obviously) I mean in like news and stuff, open the notes on your laptop and write them down with their translations. And just take a little look every day, very soon you will have a massive list and a massive vocabulary.

    Watch films, and try to speak like them. It will feel ridiculous with all the "bah"s and "mais uh" and lingering weird sounding noises...but it works

    P.s These tips work, I got 100% across AS and A2 speaking exams

    Good luck!
    Thank you!!!!!! #lifesaver
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    (Original post by thatllbeme)
    To add to what has been said already (I take German but it's just as applicable to French):


    Vocab. You're going to get a lot of vocab to learn; over the Christmas holidays I had to learn over 200 words. My advice is to save yourself the pain of cramming the night before your vocab test - spaced repetition works much better. Download Anki (spaced repetition flashcard software) on your computer and your phone/tablet/whatever. Ask your AS teacher for vocab lists in advance, and put them all into Anki as sentences with words that need learning bolded. For example, one of my flashcards is "Er führt die Aktion dagegen." on one side, "He is leading the campaign against it." It's a fantastic learning tool, if used properly, and in my experience more effective than stuff like Memrise, Duolingo, etc because you're forced to make your own flashcards.


    Listening. It's very important that you get good at understanding the language as it's spoken. My method for this is rewatching TV shows I have on DVD with German audio and subtitles. Don't be tempted to put on English subtitles. Watch through things you're familiar with, then move to unfamiliar things. Watch French films, watch French news, with French subtitles. You'll improve your reading and listening comprehension. When you come across a word you don't know, add it in context to an Anki flashcard (subs2srs is quite good for this - lets you convert sections of films to flashcards!).


    Writing. Write, write, write. I'm on the old WJEC syllabus and 35 marks on the AS exam are just for the writing section; you need to get good at it. Whenever your teacher sets a writing task (which should be often, we tend to get two a week), do much more than the minimum, especially if it's something which interests you. As an example, my teacher once set an essay with no word limit, so I wrote just over 3000 words. It was fantastic practice for the writing section (even if that section is limited to 200 words) because I learned a lot of new vocab, sentence structures, etc.
    Thanks so much.
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    (Original post by Gatlema)
    Definitely agree with everyone who says to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. It's so easy these days with internet and social media – but I'd also say don't just read/watch things just because they're in French, because you'll lose motivation super quickly. Find things you're genuinely interested in, because that gives you an extra push to do it and stops it feeling so much like work.

    Also, a lot of teachers tell you to watch the news. That's really great for formal French – which you definitely need for A-level – but I'd also advise watching talkshows because you'll get a natural, unscripted French as it's spoken by normal people.
    ah. I see - thanks for the advice :-)
 
 
 
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