Best way to self-study GCSE Spanish entirely independently? Watch

burninginme
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I know there's quite a few organised self-study courses about which change anywhere from £250 - £350, but I've not got that sort of money to spend on doing a GCSE. The problem is, GCSE's aren't very user-friendly when trying to organise to do them entirely self-study, outside a class-room environment.

Firstly, what exam board and specification is best suited to self-study, there are so many! Is there any major difference between exam boards or do the specifications all cover essentially the same thing? Obviously, as I'm doing it outside a class-room, I'd obviously want it to be entirely exam-based, with no coursework - are most of the specifications exam-based, or are there coursework elements?

Also, what is the best way to learn everything on the specification in a structured, local way? I like to feel there's some structure to my learning and a feeling that I'm moving in a steady direction towards my goal. Is there any good causes that are designed for GCSE and cover the GCSE sylabus comprehensively? Is there any single book which covers the material, or am I going to have to improvise with lots of different materials?

Also, what are the practicalities of finding a centre which will allow me to sit GCSE Spanish is an external candidate? The actual exam part isn't as straight forward as most GCSE's as there's an actual speaking part where a real person has to assess your spoken ability in the language, rather than simply just a written exam paper. How expensive would the exam part be, and how open are schools and colleges to external candidates?

Thanks for any advice.
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im so academic
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what year are you in? because there is no point doing gcse spanish whislt doing your a levels.
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*sweetness*
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go to spain if you can, surround yourself with spaniards... deffos the easiest way to pick it up as your forced to speak it. its scary but thats what i did
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Miss.Naughty
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Key Stage Spanish revision book by CPG (I think it's called), try and get hold of some tapes where you can practise listening to the accent and conversations.

Revision sites, go to google.com and type 'Spanish revision' or something like that in search engine, it's bound to come up with sites with useful basic vocab, and basics.
Also try and find a site with a decent cyllabus, so you can go through stages of that.

I was with AQA for GCSE Spanish, and i found the course okay, but i did have a teacher...

Oh and get you hands on a decent spanish/english dictionary, does wonders!

If you want any other information, just quote me.
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burninginme
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(Original post by im so academic)
what year are you in? because there is no point doing gcse spanish whislt doing your a levels.
Well, I'm starting AS Levels in September, the I've decided I want to do a language degree, I've always been interested in languages and have dabled in a few but circumstances never allowed me to do a language at GCSE level in school, and I'm at a significantly disadvantage applying to do a language degree without even a GCSE in a language, so I'm trying to make up for that disadvatage really. My aim is to do a GCSE Spanish this year, and AS Spanish this year, or prehaps A2 if that's possible in a year.
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bbbert
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If you want to learn a language before uni you dont need to do the a'level.. just study in your own time. Just get some materials and make it a hobby, watch tv online in your chosen language, read, write etc. Get the Michel Thomas Spanish Cd course from your library. Start on foundation then go onto advanced. Its the best course around. Dont think the only way you can learn is through a recognised educational system. Look at language forums, people are teaching themselves languages within a few months. Some speak 8+ languages, all self taught.
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burninginme
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(Original post by bbbert)
If you want to learn a language before uni you dont need to do the a'level.. just study in your own time. Just get some materials and make it a hobby, watch tv online in your chosen language, read, write etc. Get the Michel Thomas Spanish Cd course from your library. Start on foundation then go onto advanced. Its the best course around. Dont think the only way you can learn is through a recognised educational system. Look at language forums, people are teaching themselves languages within a few months. Some speak 8+ languages, all self taught.
Well, I'm lead to believe that if I don't have at least a GSCE in a foreign language this will significantly hinder my chances of getting a place on a degree course? As probably 80-90% of people applying will have done it to at least GCSE. However, I"m a little confused now. Is it worth messing about studying to take the GCSE as an external candidate, or would I be better to just focus on learning Spanish to get to a proficient level, rather than aiming for the GCSE primarily? If I speak a second language self-taught, will that make up for the lack of formal qualification in languages? I just think it's possible that if they can't see GCSE or A Level language they'll just dismiss your application.
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burninginme
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Also, how does one go about choosing an exam board to enter on? All the examination boards seem pretty similar specification wise. And for the spoken assessment, I'd assume someone has to physically come from the exam board, which, would likely increase the exam fees significantly?
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julija
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Oh I just wanted to create the same thread
But my question also is: how long would it take me to learn whole GCSE cyllabus spending one hour EVERY day?
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generalebriety
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(Original post by Miss.Naughty)
Key Stage Spanish revision book by CPG (I think it's called), try and get hold of some tapes where you can practise listening to the accent and conversations.

Revision sites, go to google.com and type 'Spanish revision' or something like that in search engine, it's bound to come up with sites with useful basic vocab, and basics.
Also try and find a site with a decent cyllabus, so you can go through stages of that.

I was with AQA for GCSE Spanish, and i found the course okay, but i did have a teacher...

Oh and get you hands on a decent spanish/english dictionary, does wonders!

If you want any other information, just quote me.
No. This is terrible advice. You don't learn from revision books, you revise from them. They're designed to jog your memory and nothing more.

Get a textbook. Doesn't matter whether it's geared to GCSE or higher, but any textbook will do. I learnt GCSE Spanish from Caminos 3 (didn't need 1 or 2 because of my knowledge of French and Latin, but it was clearly a steep learning curve) and a tape full of listening exercises.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by burninginme)
Also, how does one go about choosing an exam board to enter on? All the examination boards seem pretty similar specification wise. And for the spoken assessment, I'd assume someone has to physically come from the exam board, which, would likely increase the exam fees significantly?
Have you asked your school whether they'd enter you for the exam? Mine did.
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generalebriety
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(Original post by julija)
Oh I just wanted to create the same thread
But my question also is: how long would it take me to learn whole GCSE cyllabus spending one hour EVERY day?
An hour?! Uh, about four months if you're very good at languages, up to two years if you're not. I did it in six weeks, but I had experience of languages in general, experience of very similar languages, experience of self-teaching languages, and about 4-6 hours to spare each day.
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ecokid
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(Original post by julija)
Oh I just wanted to create the same thread
But my question also is: how long would it take me to learn whole GCSE cyllabus spending one hour EVERY day?
GCSE's are pretty easy to pull off if you have the syllabus in front of you. Most people have 2 hours of language teaching a week at school, plus say 2 hours homework. So that's a minimum of 4 hours per week over two years.

So if you were studying 1 hour every day, including holidays and weekends. I can see you doing it in a year, providing that you're smart, well organised and motivated! It's best to give yourself a realistic target, which takes into account that you'll also have your AS work to do.
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Redpanda91
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(Original post by burninginme)
Well, I'm starting AS Levels in September, the I've decided I want to do a language degree, I've always been interested in languages and have dabled in a few but circumstances never allowed me to do a language at GCSE level in school, and I'm at a significantly disadvantage applying to do a language degree without even a GCSE in a language, so I'm trying to make up for that disadvatage really. My aim is to do a GCSE Spanish this year, and AS Spanish this year, or prehaps A2 if that's possible in a year.
Are you taking a language A-level at all? Because if you are you can do joint honours at uni, with one language started from scratch i.e. spanish. that's what I'm doing But I may be doing GCSE from September..
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ecokid
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I'm actually thinking of self-teaching myself A-level french whilst i'm at University, as i already have the GCSE and really want to improve my languages but i don't want to pay the hefty tuition price! Also the classes tend to be late and i don't want to be walking home in the dark after being robbed last April. Would this be achievable? I study English Literature, which means i have very few contact hours and can organise around my timetable.

A word of warning- most language courses do expect you to have at least the language you want to study at A-level. Have you considered taking a gap year out and using that time volunteering in Spain? It would help so much when you did go to university as nothing beats the real thing. Unlike others, you'll have 2 years of speaking the language in the native country after your degree, which would look great on your CV!
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Miss.Naughty
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(Original post by generalebriety)
No. This is terrible advice. You don't learn from revision books, you revise from them. They're designed to jog your memory and nothing more.

Get a textbook. Doesn't matter whether it's geared to GCSE or higher, but any textbook will do. I learnt GCSE Spanish from Caminos 3 (didn't need 1 or 2 because of my knowledge of French and Latin, but it was clearly a steep learning curve) and a tape full of listening exercises.
:rolleyes: You could still learn a lot, as a beginner to the language, from a revision guide, just like a dictionary. There are plenty of stuff in there to help you learn along the way, i know thats what i did.
For example, in the guide i had there was numbers at the beginning and how to pronounce them, i think i would call this help and not terrible advice.

Plus everyone's different anyway and therefore will learn differently, and find some bits hard or easier than others. Each to their own.
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ecokid
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Revision guides are helpful. They pinpoint the crucial areas you need to cover - which you then need to flesh out from a textbook!
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Miss.Naughty
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(Original post by ecokid)
Revision guides are helpful. They pinpoint the crucial areas you need to cover - which you then need to flesh out from a textbook!
This is exactly what i meant -
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generalebriety
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(Original post by Miss.Naughty)
:rolleyes: You could still learn a lot, as a beginner to the language, from a revision guide, just like a dictionary.
(Original post by Miss.Naughty)
This is exactly what i meant -
Not what you said, though, is it? You told him the "best way to self-study GCSE Spanish entirely independently" (as in the title) was to get a revision guide. That's *******s.
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Miss.Naughty
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(Original post by generalebriety)
Not what you said, though, is it? You told him the "best way to self-study GCSE Spanish entirely independently" (as in the title) was to get a revision guide. That's *******s.
I was giving suggestions as to how the OP, could learn independently.
Does not mean the OP, had to, it was simply a suggestion from a past GCSE Spanish student.
I may not have been clear, yes, but that is what i meant.
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