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    Hey all!
    So I've just completed my first full week of lectures at university, and I've gone into university as a mature student, after several years of not being in education.
    I'm studying a joint honours course in French and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and I'm also taking an extra 20 credits in beginner's Spanish.

    With TESOL I've found it really enjoyable and quite easy to keep up with the work, reading and what's expected of us (I started TESOL a week before languages). With French, I feel like someone's thrown me in at the deep end and I'm trying desperately not to drown.
    I do have issues with anxiety, and I'm putting a lot of my concerns down to that, as I know often it clouds my judgements on situations that I'm in.

    It seems that everyone in my French class are really confident and comfortable, and talented. I feel like I'm a complete and utter mess and that I don't belong. Am I alone in feeling "wow, this is extreme?" or has everyone else just got a better game face?

    Either way, I'm persevering. In the first half of the course, most of the marks are made up of simply completing the work on time, and having it well presented. I'm just hoping I can pull through and succeed.
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    (Original post by Whispers)
    Hey all!
    So I've just completed my first full week of lectures at university, and I've gone into university as a mature student, after several years of not being in education.
    I'm studying a joint honours course in French and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and I'm also taking an extra 20 credits in beginner's Spanish.

    With TESOL I've found it really enjoyable and quite easy to keep up with the work, reading and what's expected of us (I started TESOL a week before languages). With French, I feel like someone's thrown me in at the deep end and I'm trying desperately not to drown.
    I do have issues with anxiety, and I'm putting a lot of my concerns down to that, as I know often it clouds my judgements on situations that I'm in.

    It seems that everyone in my French class are really confident and comfortable, and talented. I feel like I'm a complete and utter mess and that I don't belong. Am I alone in feeling "wow, this is extreme?" or has everyone else just got a better game face?

    Either way, I'm persevering. In the first half of the course, most of the marks are made up of simply completing the work on time, and having it well presented. I'm just hoping I can pull through and succeed.
    If you've been out of education for a while then it is not surprising that you are feeling less confident than the younger whippersnappers who have just come from school. But don't let that discourage you as mature students are generally better at sticking at things and getting through difficult patches. So hang on in there!

    Regarding your French, I may be in a position to advise you as I am a French teacher. In my experience, most people who struggle with French have difficulties with the grammar which is very tricky. So you might be well advised to work on this in your own time in order to get everything back up to scratch. I use this book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/French-Gram.../dp/095706120X because it covers the basics as well as really very advanced stuff (the "beyond" in the title really does go well beyond A level!) and it has really helpful answers with extra explanations of areas where students tend to make mistakes.

    Vocabulary is always an issue and this is something you are going to need to build up over time. For learning vocab, there are various strategies:

    - topic-based: make lists of vocab according to their specificity; group vocab together is smaller related groups. For example, if you're studying the topic of health, you can make various sub-groups: healthy food; unhealthy food; exercise; science (eg nutrition) etc. Just organising the vocab helps you learn it! Then you can try using words from each group in sentences.

    - families: when you learn a word, learn other derived words. For example, if you take the word "conduire", go to a dictionary and get the other words that relate to it: le conducteur/la conductrice; la conduite. Again, just doing that basic research will help fix the vocab in your mind but you will also find that your range of vocab suddenly expands massively with very little effort.

    - then there's the classic "Write, Look, Cover, Repeat" method. The physical act of writing down words helps you memorise them. Take a piece of paper, draw a vertical line down the middle and write the English word on the left and the French equivalent on the right. Memorise the list, then cover the French side and tick off all the ones you remember. Then repeat until you know them all. It is important to do this several times with each list so that the vocab goes into your long-term memory.
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    (Original post by Anna Schoon)
    If you've been out of education for a while then it is not surprising that you are feeling less confident than the younger whippersnappers who have just come from school. But don't let that discourage you as mature students are generally better at sticking at things and getting through difficult patches. So hang on in there!

    Regarding your French, I may be in a position to advise you as I am a French teacher. In my experience, most people who struggle with French have difficulties with the grammar which is very tricky. So you might be well advised to work on this in your own time in order to get everything back up to scratch. I use this book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/French-Gram.../dp/095706120X because it covers the basics as well as really very advanced stuff (the "beyond" in the title really does go well beyond A level!) and it has really helpful answers with extra explanations of areas where students tend to make mistakes.

    Vocabulary is always an issue and this is something you are going to need to build up over time. For learning vocab, there are various strategies:

    - topic-based: make lists of vocab according to their specificity; group vocab together is smaller related groups. For example, if you're studying the topic of health, you can make various sub-groups: healthy food; unhealthy food; exercise; science (eg nutrition) etc. Just organising the vocab helps you learn it! Then you can try using words from each group in sentences.

    - families: when you learn a word, learn other derived words. For example, if you take the word "conduire", go to a dictionary and get the other words that relate to it: le conducteur/la conductrice; la conduite. Again, just doing that basic research will help fix the vocab in your mind but you will also find that your range of vocab suddenly expands massively with very little effort.

    - then there's the classic "Write, Look, Cover, Repeat" method. The physical act of writing down words helps you memorise them. Take a piece of paper, draw a vertical line down the middle and write the English word on the left and the French equivalent on the right. Memorise the list, then cover the French side and tick off all the ones you remember. Then repeat until you know them all. It is important to do this several times with each list so that the vocab goes into your long-term memory.
    Thank you so much! I shall check out that book
    It has got a little easier as my nerves have settled, and I'm starting to find it slowly coming back to me bit by bit. Those are great tips for learning vocab, I'm going to give them a good go.

    I shall hang in there and thank you again for your reply
 
 
 
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