MattW02
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Can anyone who got an A* in A-Level French and is not a native speaker tell me what they did for it?
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redmeercat
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Hey! Got my results today and got an A*. For me, the main things were to practice and to be very thorough with learning vocab - on quizlet and/or memrise there is so much A level vocab, and learning the vocab for each topic before you start it (when possible) can really give you an edge. By practicing, I mean listening, reading and writing as much as you can. Personally, I used HelloTalk to practice grammar, but I also know people use liked to keep a diary in French... anything works as long as it is regular and as long as it tests you on what you've been learning! The downside of a diary is that you don't get corrected, but honestly just using the language is enough! A lot of people particularly struggle on the speaking and listening parts, and for those, I'd recommend
a) music and podcasts in French - I listened to Les Grosses Tetes every week for a few months and understood very little (native speaker gameshow thing) but I learnt how to listen for the words that I did know, and that was key. French music (let me know if you need recommendations!) also helps because you're more likely to listen more regularly!
b) Talking to yourself or your dog/ cat/ pet rock in French. Getting used to speaking and using the language is key to success, and speaking to yourself means that there isn't the added pressure of someone who needs to understand! Ideally, you'll make sense anyway, but it's easier to practice on your own sometimes! I often just sit with my dog and tell her about my day for 5-10 mins, trying to use the vocab I've learnt recently. Soon enough the words will start to roll off the tongue more easily!

Finally, I'd recommend going through the film and the book and noting down anything that you might use as evidence in an essay. My film was La Haine, so I had about 5 double-sided sheets full of observations and quotes (e.g. a certain camera angle that might mean something, a costume, a series of events of something like that). This means that, rather than always falling back on the one or two pieces of evidence that you can remember, you have options. You probably will end up with a few different quotes and things that you use in almost every essay, but doing this lets you find what you want to use.


To summarise (I'm sorry, I'm sleep deprived so this might be a bit waffly!)
- practice as much as possible
- learn lots of vocab
- don't be afraid to make mistakes or to not understand - getting used to experiencing the language is a big part of it
- practice essays/ summary questions/ translations are good.

(I did AQA, btw)

Websites/ resources:
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/m...?fnStp=dshView
https://www.lemonde.fr/
https://www.linguee.fr/francais-angl...discutant.html
https://app.memrise.com/home/
https://quizlet.com/meercatred/folde...el-french/sets
https://www.hellotalk.com/?lang=en
https://radiolingua.com/coffeebreakfrench/
https://www.rtl.fr/emission/les-grosses-tetes
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ces+de+margaux
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MattW02
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(Original post by redmeercat)
Hey! Got my results today and got an A*. For me, the main things were to practice and to be very thorough with learning vocab - on quizlet and/or memrise there is so much A level vocab, and learning the vocab for each topic before you start it (when possible) can really give you an edge. By practicing, I mean listening, reading and writing as much as you can. Personally, I used HelloTalk to practice grammar, but I also know people use liked to keep a diary in French... anything works as long as it is regular and as long as it tests you on what you've been learning! The downside of a diary is that you don't get corrected, but honestly just using the language is enough! A lot of people particularly struggle on the speaking and listening parts, and for those, I'd recommend
a) music and podcasts in French - I listened to Les Grosses Tetes every week for a few months and understood very little (native speaker gameshow thing) but I learnt how to listen for the words that I did know, and that was key. French music (let me know if you need recommendations!) also helps because you're more likely to listen more regularly!
b) Talking to yourself or your dog/ cat/ pet rock in French. Getting used to speaking and using the language is key to success, and speaking to yourself means that there isn't the added pressure of someone who needs to understand! Ideally, you'll make sense anyway, but it's easier to practice on your own sometimes! I often just sit with my dog and tell her about my day for 5-10 mins, trying to use the vocab I've learnt recently. Soon enough the words will start to roll off the tongue more easily!

Finally, I'd recommend going through the film and the book and noting down anything that you might use as evidence in an essay. My film was La Haine, so I had about 5 double-sided sheets full of observations and quotes (e.g. a certain camera angle that might mean something, a costume, a series of events of something like that). This means that, rather than always falling back on the one or two pieces of evidence that you can remember, you have options. You probably will end up with a few different quotes and things that you use in almost every essay, but doing this lets you find what you want to use.


To summarise (I'm sorry, I'm sleep deprived so this might be a bit waffly!)
- practice as much as possible
- learn lots of vocab
- don't be afraid to make mistakes or to not understand - getting used to experiencing the language is a big part of it
- practice essays/ summary questions/ translations are good.

(I did AQA, btw)

Websites/ resources:
https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/m...?fnStp=dshView
https://www.lemonde.fr/
https://www.linguee.fr/francais-angl...discutant.html
https://app.memrise.com/home/
https://quizlet.com/meercatred/folde...el-french/sets
https://www.hellotalk.com/?lang=en
https://radiolingua.com/coffeebreakfrench/
https://www.rtl.fr/emission/les-grosses-tetes
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ces+de+margaux
That is genuinely the MOST useful thing I have ever read thank you so much !!! Congrats on your A* too! What song reccomendations do you have? I know stromae but that's pretty much it. For some reason my school is doing Eduqas and it's a pain cos there are so little resources
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redmeercat
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(Original post by MattW02)
That is genuinely the MOST useful thing I have ever read thank you so much !!! Congrats on your A* too! What song reccomendations do you have? I know stromae but that's pretty much it. For some reason my school is doing Eduqas and it's a pain cos there are so little resources
Well, it depends what you like, but some different options could be

BB Brunes
Zaz
Louane
Joe Dassin (guilty pleasure 😂)
Angèle
Mamma Mia Paris cast (great because you might already know the words in English!)
Michel Sardou (kinda oldschool)
Joyce Jonathan
And of course the great Céline Dion!

Films: (some with fairly important themes, some just nice)
- La Haine
- Les Choristes
- la Famille Bélier (my fave)
- Dix Jours d'Or (bit odd, tbh, but it's quite good!)
- School Life (also Netflix, so I couldn't tell you the French title)
- the African Doctor
- He Even has Your Eyes
- Disney.

TV
- La Mante (very good, but too intense for me most of the time!)
- Call my Agent
- Extra French (YouTube)
Anything on TV5Monde.. I've seen some good documentaries on there!

Books
- No et Moi (common one to study... Not my fave but it's an alright first read!)
- Un Sac de billes
- La Filled de papier
- Bakhita (my fave, but very long!)
- Les Misérables/ other classics (ifgif you buytbuy these,v get the version for Le Back because it's a concise version, and much more manageable!)
- Harry Potter - you know the story already, so you can focus on understanding the vocab and grammar more!
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redmeercat
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(Original post by nataliemuh)
URGENT PLS ANSWER ASAP: hey I’m a level 2021 I’m predicted a B bc of my ‘end of year 12 exams’ which were taken in September which were terrible for me bc we only started the book no et moi during lockdown and our teacher never did online lessons even though at the time my biology and geography the ones you’d least expect to do online lessons which we only really started two weeks before year 12 ended. I complained bc french is a spoken language it’s oral aswell out grade but we just got sent powerpoints and got told to read it ourself. And idk if they did that for you but only one native french speaker is in my class and at the time the english version was sold out and it wasn’t till year 13 October 2020 we found an english pdf. Long story short since Sep 2020-nov my essays for La Haine went from 1D-1A and and no et moi 1D-A-2A* howeverrrr, I’m trying to find the 2019 exam paper writing which would have been your mocks for year 13 I presume. Is there any chance you can find the notes or remember the questions bc my whole class needs it and they all rely on me since I’m the top of the class, we need it for a lesson tomorrow she set us for homework exam writing 2019 but didn’t tell us it hasn’t been released yet by aqa since the 2020 exam material didn’t get used they’ll use 2019 ones aswell. We’re all needing to do the essay by tomorrow or she’ll fail us and as you know we will be graded on teacher assessments this year so I don’t want to go from As and A*s to an F. She’s the kind of teacher to blame us even though we left a note on google classroom that we can’t find the question last week but she hasn’t checked it yet. Please help me.
I'm sorry, I don't remember. I did so many practice questions that they all just blur together! If you've been asked to do a task that you objectively cannot do, though, and your teacher isn't answering emails, it would be completely reasonable to contact your head of year to ask for support.
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nataliemuh
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(Original post by redmeercat)
I'm sorry, I don't remember. I did so many practice questions that they all just blur together! If you've been asked to do a task that you objectively cannot do, though, and your teacher isn't answering emails, it would be completely reasonable to contact your head of year to ask for support.
Yeah thank you for your help! My school cares more about their reputation it’s one of the schools that care more about their grades in the students well-being so there’s not much I can really do. Is there any way that you could possibly like find it in your notes or ask any of your peers that were in your class because I really don’t want to fail because I have no doubt that they would generally fail my whole class even though they do care about the grades my school are really strict with punishments Like if you roll up your skirt outside of school and to someone sees you like a teacher at a park or something you literally get suspended that’s how serious they are :/
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redmeercat
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(Original post by nataliemuh)
Yeah thank you for your help! My school cares more about their reputation it’s one of the schools that care more about their grades in the students well-being so there’s not much I can really do. Is there any way that you could possibly like find it in your notes or ask any of your peers that were in your class because I really don’t want to fail because I have no doubt that they would generally fail my whole class even though they do care about the grades my school are really strict with punishments Like if you roll up your skirt outside of school and to someone sees you like a teacher at a park or something you literally get suspended that’s how serious they are :/
I'm sorry, that must be really hard. Most of my friends burnt all their notes at the end of sixth form and I don't have my papers as my teacher kept them.
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tinygirl96
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Notes and flashcards are ideal revision tools
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