How can I help with your Spanish GCSE or A level?

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MyLanguageLab
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Hola,
I'm opening up a thread to help students who are studying Spanish GCSE and A level, especially if:
1. you're transitioning from GCSE to A level
2. or you have any questions about the A level literature or film essays, your IRP or general revision help.
Ask away or you can DM me
Last edited by MyLanguageLab; 3 months ago
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randobrowngirl
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what do you think we should do over this longgggg summer to make the transition from year 11 to 12 easier
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MyLanguageLab
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Hi! I answered this in another thread but here you go:


This is what I would suggest to prep this summer so you’re ready for Spanish in Year 12:

1. Download the A-level specification so you can familiarise yourself with the themes that you're going to be studying on your exam board. It's a good idea to think about these topics because you need to be able to develop your own ideas and justify opinions on issues such as culture, tourism, social issues, equality, education, employment etc.

2. Also have a look at the sample exam paper so that you know the style and format of the questions that you will be examined on. This gives you an idea of a benchmark, what you need to be aiming for essentially. You can also do the same for past exam papers, it's a good idea (especially with languages) to listen to the listening exam questions because you'll find there is a fair bit of a jump between GCSE and AS-level (I don't mean to scare you lol).

3. Ask your teacher for the reading list, ie, the film or text that you'll be studying in the first year. Order the book or watch the film (it's also a good idea to get the film version of the book if there is one) and look out for these things: themes (political, social, historical contexts), character analysis, relationships between characters, symbolism, stylistic techniques (if it's a film, you need to pay attention to lighting, camera angles, sound etc). Google or buy study guides and critiques and take a look at some of the past essay writing exam questions see you know what's coming ahead.

4. Start getting into a routine of reading, listening and watching the news. I suggest my students scanned the headlines of newspapers such as BBC El Mundo and El País so that they are comfortable with not only the grammar and vocab but also current affairs. You can subscribe to newsletters or download the app and get notifications. BBC El Mundo is the standard of Spanish you're aiming for with A level.

DM if you need more help, I’m helping my other students with exactly this right now!
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Hanny_its
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Useful revision tips for gcse Spanish
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MyLanguageLab
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(Original post by Hanny_its)
Useful revision tips for gcse Spanish
Hola,

So this is what I recommend my 1:1 students do for GCSE revision and pre-prep:

1. Vocab lists - group up the topical vocab on your syllabus for last year and revise them using apps or writing them down. I would also pre-prep the next syllabus topics that you study at the beginning of September so that you know what's coming ahead.

2. Verb drills - I like my 1:1 students to write them out on flashcards and highlight the -ar, -er and -ir endings so that it's clear to see. Also, it's worth adding them to Quizlet flashcards so that you can 'swipe and learn'. Then, layer that with audio notes on your phone so you can listen to it repeatedly.

3. Go through the corrections your teacher has made for your homework, assessments and any mocks you've taken. I find that a lot of my students make the same mistakes again and again, I call these 'default mistakes' and therefore if you can recognise them and be aware of them, you'll stop yourself from making the same mistakes in the next academic year.

4. Past papers - have a look through the past exam papers so you know what to expect in the final exam. It's worth practising some of them and looking at the examiners' comments in the mark scheme see you know what to watch out for. Do the same for the listening questions, you should be able to find the audio files on the website as well. My students find that they need more listening practice during the holidays so they're prepared for the next academic year.

Hope that helps!!

Drew
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TheHistoryNerd_
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Hello! I'm transitioning from GCSE Spanish to A-level Spanish and while I did get high grades at GCSE, I'm quite nervous for the A-level transition. I've always struggled with learning tenses (at GCSE I tended to learn set phrases e.g: fui and then I'd just sub them in, rather than learning how to change the tense of other words, if that makes sense?) Do you have any tips for how to learn tenses and also any tips on how to revise A-level Spanish. At GCSE I really struggled to revise for Spanish, so felt like I wasn't doing enough (even though I was getting good grades). My revision consisted of past papers and flicking through my vocab book of words that I had to look up. Thanks!
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AmyA123.3
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(Original post by MyLanguageLab)
Hola,
I'm opening up a thread to help students who are studying Spanish GCSE and A level, especially if:
1. you're transitioning from GCSE to A level
2. or you have any questions about the A level literature or film essays, your IRP or general revision help.
Ask away or you can DM me
Hola,
I'm transitioning from year 12 to 13 and I am doing my IRP on an investigation into the propaganda of the Spanish civil war. Do you have any knowledge or potential things I should cover in this?

Muchas gracias,
Amy
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MyLanguageLab
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(Original post by AmyA123.3)
Hola,
I'm transitioning from year 12 to 13 and I am doing my IRP on an investigation into the propaganda of the Spanish civil war. Do you have any knowledge or potential things I should cover in this?

Muchas gracias,
Amy
Hola Amy,

Sure thing! I've written in another thread about IRP techniques so I'll also include them in my answer to you. Also, some of my students are doing preparing similar titles for their IRP and this is what I've suggested they do to begin with:

1. I'd draw a timeline so that you can visualise important dates, events, the main players etc. You'll be making reference to this in your presentation and in the debate see you need to be on top of these facts and stats.

2. Build up your online and offline dossier of data which will include articles, infographics, journals, papers, Wiki, YouTube videos etc. Make sure that for every source you refer to in the IRP or your questions, you have listed the origin of the source, the author and the publication date.

3. For anything on the Spanish Civil War, I definitely save videos from YouTube. There is some really good animated videos that focus on the war, the transition etc. and this allows you to visualise the events.

4. For your online database I’d recommend G-Drive as you can add all of your data here easily, including videos and PPT’s plus when you edit your presentation, you'll be able to see the version history.

5. Start a mind map on a clean sheet of plain paper so that you can brainstorm typical arguments, justifications etc. so that you start building up potential sub-themes and avenues of discussion. This allows you to visualise all the different directions your debate can go in and what you'd like to bring up - remember, you're the one choosing the headings so therefore you can direct the conversation so use that to your advantage.

6. Take some flashcards and write a typical question associated with your theme on one side of the flashcard. On the other side, summarise a few possible answers to that question. I call these my 'Model Q&A's'. This will be a continuous process of refining your questions and answers but when you group them together like this in your flashcards, it's easy to edit and visualise your answers which you can then rehearse. These are basically the likely questions you will be asked and that will act as launchpads to your debate and as you justify your opinions.

I have so many other tips but these are some starters. DM me if you need me to explain anything further!

Drew
My Language Lab
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AmyA123.3
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Thank you this helps a lot.
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kissa_kig
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Hi! I just wanted to ask how likely it is to go from a low grade 7 to a grade 9/ high 8 with 3 months of revision? I am currently in year 11 and considering re-taking spanish in november to get a better grade - since I have more time to revise.

Do you also have tips on how to improve spanish writing specifically as I would get an average of 50 % every time I did exams, and it would drag my whole average down by a lot.
Thanks!
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MischievousMinx
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Would you recommend duolingo?
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MyLanguageLab
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(Original post by MischievousMinx)
Would you recommend duolingo?
Hi,

Duolingo is a good app to use but I prefer Quizlet or Memrise personally. I like the different functions you can do with the app. For eg. with Quizlet, you can highlight/bold/italicise your vocab, you can add images, you can copy from other documents etc. I like the UX of the app as well and there's some really good ready made flashcard decks for GCSE and A level vocab topics.

But you can't do any harm by using a few
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MyLanguageLab
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(Original post by kissa_kig)
Hi! I just wanted to ask how likely it is to go from a low grade 7 to a grade 9/ high 8 with 3 months of revision? I am currently in year 11 and considering re-taking spanish in november to get a better grade - since I have more time to revise.

Do you also have tips on how to improve spanish writing specifically as I would get an average of 50 % every time I did exams, and it would drag my whole average down by a lot.
Thanks!
Hola,

You can absolutely achieve this, my own students have made improvements in a short space of time but you have to have a revision timetable for yourself that you stick to and you have to be consistent with it. What exam board are you with please and what are the areas that you've identified that need to be improved?

I'll send you a DM now about writing skills, this is the area most students struggle with a lot because of gender agreement, syntax (word order), extending sentences, using joining words and a variety of tenses, using synonyms etc.

Drew
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ILikeChina87181
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How do the conversation sections in GCSE language exams go? I know that you choose a subject to talk about but what do you say? Do you ask questions? When do you ask questions or respond? Do you initiate the conversation? Sorry I’m studying a language that my school doesn’t offer and I’m planning to take the test soon so I have no idea what to do for this part.
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MyLanguageLab
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Hola,

I can help - lots I can advise you on but could you please tell me your exam board and the date of your exam? DM if easier

Gracias,

Drew
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Ali-liyyah
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Hey! I’m going into Year 13 in September and I wanted to use this summer to get ahead with Spanish and my other A level subjects. For Spanish, I’m struggling with essay writing for the film and book. I am also struggling with the IRP. For my exam next year I wanted to look at the question about whether Gibraltar should be part of Spain or not. Do you have any knowledge and facts about the topic that you wouldn’t mind sharing, and also, what key things do you think I should include? Thanks in advance x
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Moonbow
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Awesome thread!!! Pienso que es genial!!🥳
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TheHistoryNerd_
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Hello, I'm currently doing my transition work for moving into year 12 and I'm struggling on changing a certain verb into the present continuous. The exercise states: 'Change the verbs in the following sentences to the Present continuous.'
The sentence I'm really struggling to do this for is: 'Quien bebe gaseosa en el jardin?' (sorry I don't know how to add accents on here!). Would the verb 'bebe' be turned into you plural as is 'who' referring to a you plural kind of audience. I hope this kind of makes sense? I just don't know what version of the verb (I, you(s), he/she/it, we etc...) to turn it into to match with 'who'. So far I've gone for estais bebiendo. Hope you can help .
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Ali-liyyah
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(Original post by TheHistoryNerd_)
Hello, I'm currently doing my transition work for moving into year 12 and I'm struggling on changing a certain verb into the present continuous. The exercise states: 'Change the verbs in the following sentences to the Present continuous.'
The sentence I'm really struggling to do this for is: 'Quien bebe gaseosa en el jardin?' (sorry I don't know how to add accents on here!). Would the verb 'bebe' be turned into you plural as is 'who' referring to a you plural kind of audience. I hope this kind of makes sense? I just don't know what version of the verb (I, you(s), he/she/it, we etc...) to turn it into to match with 'who'. So far I've gone for estais bebiendo. Hope you can help .
Hey! So in this case, you would use the third person singular (he/she/it) as this is the form that "beber" is in. So the best way to tell what person to change a verb to is to see who the subject previously was. So it would be "¿Quien está bebiendo gaseosa en el jardín?" Hope this helps x
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TheHistoryNerd_
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(Original post by Ali-liyyah)
Hey! So in this case, you would use the third person singular (he/she/it) as this is the form that "beber" is in. So the best way to tell what person to change a verb to is to see who the subject previously was. So it would be "¿Quien está bebiendo gaseosa en el jardín?" Hope this helps x
Thank you so much! Really appreciate it. Spanish grammar is going to drive me mad at A-level!
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