A-level french? Watch

bluelou
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Any opinions on the subject? What's it like for those who have taken it? Please help


[I am considering taking this next year as it's well respected and may help my carreer. In year 10 i was very passionate about the subject and got to the stage of translating many things in my head in everyday life. But in year 11 got a teaching change and everything was designed for just passing the exam and like memorising stuff. I lost interest.I really messed up my speaking and got a worse grade than my mock from nerves, and i don't think i did too good on the listeninig either. However i got A* on coursework and felt the reading went very well, being one of my stronger french skills. Can i cope with A level french?]
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ninety_nine
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It's very difficult from what I hear, it becomes the downfall for a lot of people (even those who got A*s at GCSE).

If you're really passionate about it then do it, but bear in mind it will take more effort than most other A levels if you want to do really well.
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Bandit Queen
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I really believe you could cope with the A Level; bear in mind that you *have* to do some French every day. This is the only way to get a good mark, because unlike science subjects, you can't cram for the exams. You do have to spend a lot more tim on it than other subjects but if you have a natural aptitude for it, and if you think that you could work all year, then this is the A Level for you!

A lot of vocab you'll need to learn yourself, but overall it was my joint favourite A Level and I can highly recommend it. You won't regret it!

You're very welcome to PM any specific requests (I did AQA).
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Gooner
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As others have said, it's a very doable subject at A-Level if you do work on it every day. Unlike GCSE you can't cram and if you do, you'll no doubt fail. You'll have to split your time up well to succeed, i.e. knowing how much time you're going to need on a specific topic, and how long you should be spending on a specific grammar point etc. You need to also get practice in. This is where languages come into their own - you can learn as much French as you like, but if you don't practise you'll have minimal chances of success with writing and listening for instance. All in all though, I found it a very enjoyable A-Level, despite some of the topics being quite bland Any more questions and I'll be happy to answer them whether they be via this thread of PM
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smooth3k
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Agree completely with Ellie & Gooner, although I wouldn't say you need to do it every day. Sure, it definitely would help, but my friends and I got through it without doing so, so don't let it put you off too much Having said that we were on Edexcel, so other boards might be different

Best advice I can give is to get hold of the Michel Thomas Advanced French course if you can. It's very good at teaching grammar points in an understandable way, and really helped bring me up to speed. The Pimsleur level 3 French courses are also nice for conversational skill, and help build fluency.
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rainbow drops
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i am on OCR which i think is the harshest board for A level french. i really love the lessons though, i think studying a language is incredibly rewarding, and you should definitely go for it just make sure you're committed because you really will have to work hard.
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Gooner
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Yeah. I'm with OCR, and they are pains:sadnod:
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rainbow drops
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(Original post by Gooner)
Yeah. I'm with OCR, and they are pains:sadnod:
the world of work section can go die. PAINFULLY.

is the second year any better as opposed to AS? *hopes in vain*
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lazzyfuzzylou
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It's bloody hard. I got full marks at GCSE, but struggled through the AS - retook both written exams - got an A eventually. Then at A2, got a D on coursework, and a B on speaking and the exam.

You've got to really love this subject and put SO much time into it to get anywhere near an A.
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Gooner
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(Original post by rainbow drops)
the world of work section can go die. PAINFULLY.

is the second year any better as opposed to AS? *hopes in vain*
Sadly no!:p: The AS papers are a God send in comparison:p: Take this as an example - 2007's AS papers' listening stuff was on the building of the Eiffel Tower (for past of it) I think, so not too bad. This year for the A2 paper, one of the listenings was on "Les piles usagées" (used batteries:p:) Imagine my face when I opened the paper...:p:
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OllyThePhilosopher
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The title of this thread mad me sick in my mouth a little bit. I hear it's hard as well but if you are passionate about it and have the time then go for it.
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Sine
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(Original post by bluelou)
Any opinions on the subject? What's it like for those who have taken it? Please help


[I am considering taking this next year as it's well respected and may help my carreer. In year 10 i was very passionate about the subject and got to the stage of translating many things in my head in everyday life. But in year 11 got a teaching change and everything was designed for just passing the exam and like memorising stuff. I lost interest.I really messed up my speaking and got a worse grade than my mock from nerves, and i don't think i did too good on the listeninig either. However i got A* on coursework and felt the reading went very well, being one of my stronger french skills. Can i cope with A level french?]
I am just like u .I think i got an A in my orals ,A in my listening but the other two,A* hopefully.I got better in my mocks as well.The speaking I had revised for so much and then my mind wen blank as soon as she put on the tape,I got all nervous.I am also pasisonate about the subject.I even listen to French music and also,watch French channels sometimes .I loove French..So,Id like to know the answer to this question as well plz ppl....
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Gooner
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(Original post by lazzyfuzzylou)
It's bloody hard. I got full marks at GCSE, but struggled through the AS - retook both written exams - got an A eventually. Then at A2, got a D on coursework, and a B on speaking and the exam.

You've got to really love this subject and put SO much time into it to get anywhere near an A.
:ditto: I got 100% in each GCSE French exam. I came to AS French, and struggled to get that A!:p: It's quite a step up, but as I say, with work it can be done;yes;
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rainbow drops
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(Original post by Gooner)
Sadly no!:p: The AS papers are a God send in comparison:p: Take this as an example - 2007's AS papers' listening stuff was on the building of the Eiffel Tower (for past of it) I think, so not too bad. This year for the A2 paper, one of the listenings was on "Les piles usagées" (used batteries:p:) Imagine my face when I opened the paper...:p:
haha yeah, some of the second years at my school were really unhappy about that. i really don't understand, the stuff we have to know for our exams seems to be far above that of the other exam boards, and it can be so unpredictable. our AS listening and translation tasks were really harsh this year, i found some of the french piece impossible to translate back into english because i didn't have the slightest idea about what some of the phrases were, they were really obscure and odd . it's not faiiirrrrrr! evil evil OCR.
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Gooner
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(Original post by rainbow drops)
haha yeah, some of the second years at my school were really unhappy about that. i really don't understand, the stuff we have to know for our exams seems to be far above that of the other exam boards, and it can be so unpredictable. our AS listening and translation tasks were really harsh this year, i found some of the french piece impossible to translate back into english because i didn't have the slightest idea about what some of the phrases were, they were really obscure and odd . it's not faiiirrrrrr! evil evil OCR.
I totally agree, AQA French seems a walk in the park in comparison:p: Death to the OCR bot:^_^:
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Joanna May
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I love French. I hate my French teachers, but that's a different matter. I found it relatively easy, although I did have a bad patch with my AS grades because I got a B the first time round, despite never having gotten below an A in the whole year. With resits though, I have a very comfortable A that will help me if I have a slightly bad year this year.

I've never found French hard, got an A* at GCSE. People talk a lot about it being a massive step up from GCSE, but I never found that. It's just different. At GCSE, it's all about being able to talk about yourself really, whereas with A level its more about France and French culture. So I wouldn't say it's any harder, just different. I did notice a pattern though. In my class, anyone who got less than an A overall at GCSE really does struggle to get a C at AS. People with A*s all got As and Bs, and people with As tended to get Bs or Cs, but those with only a B at GCSE tended to struggle a lot.

As for the people who talk about having to put a lot of work in, that's never been true for me. I have no idea what percentage I got for GCSE, but aaside from the blip I mentioned when I got a B at AS not an A (missing out by 3 marks, then in resits getting it up to 282/300), I've never got below an A in a class essay. I have a French lesson every day, but outside lessons I never do any real French work. I learned statistics for my exams a couple of hours before I sat them, and read a couple of French novels before one of my university interviews, but aside from that, I don't sit there and learn vocab every week or whatever. However, everyone's different, so some need to do more work than others.
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Fillette
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I think to enjoy french is the most important thing- burying yourself in grammar books, though important, can get tedious. So immerse yourself in it; listen to the radio, read french comics, and then as your level progresses try some books in French- like teenage books which will improve your understanding of grammar and sentence structure. Watch French films as well, we have a massive culture of French cinema which spans across the decades, and some of the best European cinema is French.You'll find you understand it more and more as you listen + read more in French. Iron out grammatical problems at the beginning; so if you're taught the subjunctive tense for example, try to get it nailed as soon as you learn it! This means you can move on to the fun stuff- like reading stories in French. If you want an advice on where to get books in French, or films, on any radio stations, PM me
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Joanna May
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Amelie Nothomb is a good writer if you're interested in French literature. I think she's Belgian herself, but she writes in French. They're relatively short books, with interesting stories. I'd recommend Acide Sulpherique and Mercure.

Also, Bonjour Tristesse is a good book, although it takes a while to get anywhere. Candide was enjoyable for me, but I know a lot of people who studied it in class despised it.
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Gooner
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(Original post by Joanna May)
I love French. I hate my French teachers, but that's a different matter. I found it relatively easy, although I did have a bad patch with my AS grades because I got a B the first time round, despite never having gotten below an A in the whole year. With resits though, I have a very comfortable A that will help me if I have a slightly bad year this year.

I've never found French hard, got an A* at GCSE. People talk a lot about it being a massive step up from GCSE, but I never found that. It's just different. At GCSE, it's all about being able to talk about yourself really, whereas with A level its more about France and French culture. So I wouldn't say it's any harder, just different. I did notice a pattern though. In my class, anyone who got less than an A overall at GCSE really does struggle to get a C at AS. People with A*s all got As and Bs, and people with As tended to get Bs or Cs, but those with only a B at GCSE tended to struggle a lot.

As for the people who talk about having to put a lot of work in, that's never been true for me. I have no idea what percentage I got for GCSE, but aaside from the blip I mentioned when I got a B at AS not an A (missing out by 3 marks, then in resits getting it up to 282/300), I've never got below an A in a class essay. I have a French lesson every day, but outside lessons I never do any real French work. I learned statistics for my exams a couple of hours before I sat them, and read a couple of French novels before one of my university interviews, but aside from that, I don't sit there and learn vocab every week or whatever. However, everyone's different, so some need to do more work than others.
People who got A*s in my school got Es at AS
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Joanna May
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(Original post by Gooner)
People who got A*s in my school got Es at AS
Blimey. I think in my class of 14, five people got A*s and two of us got As and the rest Bs. I didn't realise people dropped that far, unless theywere really unlucky?
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