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    Hello!
    After thinking I entirely messed up my GCSE, I was overjoyed to find out I got an A* in French (and all 10 of my subjects!!) and realized I was capable of doing it at a level (something I always wanted to do but fear of failure). I'm really excited to get started, but I know how hard langauges are and since I'm aiming for Oxford, I really need an A grade at AS.

    1) What are the best work books for AS French, or text/revision books you would recommend?
    2) My weakest point is speaking, specifically pronounciation. Speaking is such an integral part of AS French, and although I got a high A in the speaking unit at GCSE, it was still lower than the other units. How do I improve this?
    3) What's the best way to organize revision? For GCSE I did most my revision on Memrise but my notes were a shambles.

    Thank you! Any help much appreciated!!
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    I'm going into year 13 and studying french... it's linear. So theres no AS, just a mock A level and predicted grade.
    As for improving your speaking, simply speak more. Every day, go to France if you can.. maybe your school will have a french trip? Forcing yourself to speak french more and more and it'll become easier and you won't even need to think to ace your speaking exams.
    A level french is quite different to GCSE, you don't just have to know the language but you have to understand the topics and know a lot of information about France.. e.g. I studied French cinema, culture, food as well as family, internet life and a lot more. So keep notes on all this information and keep your folders divided between speaking/writing/listening etc.
    You'll also have to study a book and film (both French of course) so if you want to be ahead of the game ask your teacher at the start of the year what movie/book you're going to be doing and read/watch it in your spare time
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    (Original post by dlaws.)
    I'm going into year 13 and studying french... it's linear. So theres no AS, just a mock A level and predicted grade.
    As for improving your speaking, simply speak more. Every day, go to France if you can.. maybe your school will have a french trip? Forcing yourself to speak french more and more and it'll become easier and you won't even need to think to ace your speaking exams.
    A level french is quite different to GCSE, you don't just have to know the language but you have to understand the topics and know a lot of information about France.. e.g. I studied French cinema, culture, food as well as family, internet life and a lot more. So keep notes on all this information and keep your folders divided between speaking/writing/listening etc.
    You'll also have to study a book and film (both French of course) so if you want to be ahead of the game ask your teacher at the start of the year what movie/book you're going to be doing and read/watch it in your spare time
    Thanks a lot for your advice, really useful! The reason I specified AS is because I'm unsure if I'll take it for the full two year course or get a standalone AS level and pursue chemistry instead.
    Unfortunately there is no French trip Out of my year group of 350 i believe only 6 are taking French, which probably explains it. It is one of the only subjects with no trip (which makes no sense, surely languages are the only subjects that NEED trips?) My family doesn't really go on holiday so actually going will be hard, but I know my aunt often visits Marseille so maybe I could go with her one time.
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    buy a huge lever arch file and organise it - i have sections for language work (articles), film/book stuff, grammar, essays and assessments. keep everything. also would recommend learning vocab every week using memrise or whatever else suits you, especially topic specific vocab.
    for speaking ask your teacher for some time each week to work on your speaking, pretty good as you can get targeted feedback. there are also apps like hellotalk where you can talk to natives
    i've heard good things about mot à mot for vocab, francaisfacile (website) is decent for practising grammar too
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    The poster above is so right about lever arch folders, they're literally a life saver for A-Level languages. Compared to my other subjects, for languages I seemed to get so many handouts and have so many loose sheets of paper, but it wasn't really a problem once I put them into my folder (which was organised into different sections of the course). I'd recommend putting really important stuff at the beginning of the folder - things like grammar rules and verb conjugation tables which you'll probably need to go back to quite a lot throughout the course.

    'Mot à Mot' is fantastic for vocab learning, because it categorises the words into topics, so if you're writing an essay about the environment (for example), you can go to that section and find topic specific vocab. It also has loads of great essay phrases at the beginning which help make your essays sound more sophisticated - whenever I used phrases from there my teachers seemed very impressed! I also bought 'Action Grammaire' which is the grammar equivalent of 'Mot à Mot', but I don't think that was as useful because my teachers gave us printed hand-out sheets with most of the grammar stuff we needed to know, so I rarely used the book.

    In terms of speaking, the main thing is to practise as much as possible and over time you'll see yourself improving. At GCSE speaking was also my weakest point because I wasn't confident at all with French pronunciation, but at A-Level my highest marks came from the speaking exams. I think this was because the classes focused a lot more on being spontaneous and speaking French all the time - unlike at GCSE where the classes are mainly taught in English and you don't really get as much time to practise speaking (from my experience, the classes were so big that the teacher didn't have as much time to help everyone), with A-Level the classes are smaller (so you get more time with the teacher), and they're mainly taught in French to help immerse you in the language. At the start it might seem a bit scary and you'll probably feel like you've been thrown in at the deep end, but you improve so much faster than at GCSE and speaking French becomes second nature.
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    Just got an A in French AS, I would agree with the above poster - Mot à Mot is wonderful! Also, download a french radio app or something to listen to, it did wonders for my pronunciation!!!
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    (Original post by kilner)
    Hello!
    After thinking I entirely messed up my GCSE, I was overjoyed to find out I got an A* in French (and all 10 of my subjects!!) and realized I was capable of doing it at a level (something I always wanted to do but fear of failure). I'm really excited to get started, but I know how hard langauges are and since I'm aiming for Oxford, I really need an A grade at AS.

    1) What are the best work books for AS French, or text/revision books you would recommend?
    2) My weakest point is speaking, specifically pronounciation. Speaking is such an integral part of AS French, and although I got a high A in the speaking unit at GCSE, it was still lower than the other units. How do I improve this?
    3) What's the best way to organize revision? For GCSE I did most my revision on Memrise but my notes were a shambles.

    Thank you! Any help much appreciated!!
    You improve your speaking and accent first by listening. Listen to a variety of accents speaking a variety of texts. Try to identify where you really need to improve and work on those things. For instance, most native English speakers find differentiating between 'dû' and 'doux' very difficult, as well as clearly differentiating the nasal vowels. The most difficult word for this is correctly pronouncing 'pantalon'. Try it.

    Do you have a French 'assistant(e)' at your school? If so, use him or her for practising your accent. It's totally invaluable.
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    Hi there! I was literally in the same boat as you around this time last year, but I have to say that once you get into the lessons, it's not that bad.

    "1) What are the best work books for AS French, or text/revision books you would recommend?"
    It depends on what your school has as their exam board: mine is with AQA for the A-Level, so we use their textbooks. As well, go over your notes from GCSE, just to reinforce your knowledge on the vocabulary. As well, if you can, get a copy of a French-language book, for example, Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan. I'm reading it for my A-Level course, but it does also help having it to read in order to learn more of the language (and if you aren't fully confident in the language, then you can usually find an English translation of the book for sale!).
    2) My weakest point is speaking, specifically pronounciation. Speaking is such an integral part of AS French, and although I got a high A in the speaking unit at GCSE, it was still lower than the other units. How do I improve this?
    My best advice is practice, practice, practice! Get together with friends in your class and just practice having a conversation! In my class, we speak usually in what's known as "Franglais", but even with our slightly broken French, we somehow manage to gain further knowledge of the vocab we've been learning. If your school does a trip to France for your class, then try and get on it, because it gives you the opportunity to actually put what you've learned into practice! Another tip that I've found is working for me is to watch French films, or listen to French music. An artist I've found online who I listen to a fair amount is Sara'h, she does covers of popular music in French, and each video includes lyrics. You can find her video for "Despacito" here - we listen to her a lot in our class!
    3) What's the best way to organize revision? For GCSE I did most my revision on Memrise but my notes were a shambles.
    Memrise and Quizlet do help, but I personally don't really use them much either. I will sometimes just do a weekly review session in my room of an evening, where I reread my notes, then test myself on the vocabulary just to keep it fresh in my mind. If I've been working on the film, I'll probably rewatch it, or read reviews about it, and if working on the book, I either reread a chapter, passage or listen to the audiobook version. As well as using French music (which I mentioned above), I also read through French news sites, as it prepares me for the second year of my course where we go more in depth into what's going on in the French-speaking world (or le monde francophone) in terms of politics, etc. Using those really helps, and hopefully it will help you too!

    If you have any other questions about doing the A-Level course, then feel free to message me! Bonne chance !
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    You improve your speaking and accent first by listening. Listen to a variety of accents speaking a variety of texts. Try to identify where you really need to improve and work on those things. For instance, most native English speakers find differentiating between 'dû' and 'doux' very difficult, as well as clearly differentiating the nasal vowels. The most difficult word for this is correctly pronouncing 'pantalon'. Try it.

    Do you have a French 'assistant(e)' at your school? If so, use him or her for practising your accent. It's totally invaluable.
    We had one that left last year! However there are are two native members of staff (seperate to the MFL department) who may be able to help
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    (Original post by kilner)
    We had one that left last year! However there are are two native members of staff (seperate to the MFL department) who may be able to help
    Definitely - flatter them by trying to speak French to them, then exploit them for their accents!
 
 
 
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