emmaaact
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Hey, I recently started year 12 and I’m super nervous about french I worry I won’t be good at it, it will become too difficult. I also find the speaking groups quite uncomfortable and was wondering if anyone had advice for me.
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G11T11
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(Original post by emmaaact)
Hey, I recently started year 12 and I’m super nervous about french I worry I won’t be good at it, it will become too difficult. I also find the speaking groups quite uncomfortable and was wondering if anyone had advice for me.
Hey there,

I just started Year 13 and to be honest I have lost all my motivation of it because of terrible teachers and because frankly I don't even like the subject. I am still struggling with imposter syndrome thinking that I'm not good enough at French. However, it is doable as I managed to just about scrape an A prediction. (not looking forward to my final exam though :|) It is quite good if you enjoy the language.

I would say that a good way to learn writing essays for your mocks to make loads of mindmaps on different kinds of questions that could come up on your book/film, including some nice phrases you might want to use / analysis you want to do. This way, you can try to write out the mindmaps over and over again from memory until it sticks in your head. This makes it a lot easier to lay out a well-structured essay and essentially regurgitate some high-level analysis without having to come up with it on the spot. Some people say that this is a poor way of writing essays, but my grammar is quite poor and spontaneity is quite difficult, so this works for me.

Unfortunately, I can't really help you with speaking as I am struggling with it myself since I barely got any time with our assistant, but as long as you keep up with vocab then you will be fine. Also, remember that nobody cares if you make a mistake / say something wrong. The point of speaking practice is that you try to form your ideas on the spot. This gets better with practice.

Quizlet is a good resource for just passively learning vocab when you have some spare time to get a better understanding of what you're learning.

Finally, don't worry about it too much for now. Do what you can but remember to take a break.

Hopefully this is of some help - if you have any more questions then I can answer them for you.
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emmaaact
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(Original post by G11T11)
Hey there,

I just started Year 13 and to be honest I have lost all my motivation of it because of terrible teachers and because frankly I don't even like the subject. I am still struggling with imposter syndrome thinking that I'm not good enough at French. However, it is doable as I managed to just about scrape an A prediction. (not looking forward to my final exam though :|) It is quite good if you enjoy the language.

I would say that a good way to learn writing essays for your mocks to make loads of mindmaps on different kinds of questions that could come up on your book/film, including some nice phrases you might want to use / analysis you want to do. This way, you can try to write out the mindmaps over and over again from memory until it sticks in your head. This makes it a lot easier to lay out a well-structured essay and essentially regurgitate some high-level analysis without having to come up with it on the spot. Some people say that this is a poor way of writing essays, but my grammar is quite poor and spontaneity is quite difficult, so this works for me.

Unfortunately, I can't really help you with speaking as I am struggling with it myself since I barely got any time with our assistant, but as long as you keep up with vocab then you will be fine. Also, remember that nobody cares if you make a mistake / say something wrong. The point of speaking practice is that you try to form your ideas on the spot. This gets better with practice.

Quizlet is a good resource for just passively learning vocab when you have some spare time to get a better understanding of what you're learning.

Finally, don't worry about it too much for now. Do what you can but remember to take a break.

Hopefully this is of some help - if you have any more questions then I can answer them for you.
Thank you for all of your advice that’s super helpful! I think I’m generally just worried that if I don’t get a high grade in it it could lower my chances of studying something at uni. I’m not sure whether to take that risk.
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historynerd47
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(Original post by emmaaact)
Thank you for all of your advice that’s super helpful! I think I’m generally just worried that if I don’t get a high grade in it it could lower my chances of studying something at uni. I’m not sure whether to take that risk.
I would never normally give advice like this, but I was exactly the same with a-level French and hated it progressively more all the way through. I found speaking in groups so hard and uncomfortable and dreaded lessons. I really really wish I'd swapped it out, I would have performed better and not had an uphill battle for two years
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chloenix
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If you enjoy learning languages genuinely then please don't give up! French and languages subjects in general are so interesting if you enjoy the subject. Don't just choose it if you think you'd be good at it or if it will lead to good opportunities. It is a hard A Level, but as I said, if you enjoy it, it will be fairly easy to get a decent grade! This is because you will naturally immerse yourself in the language, through TV shows, movies, music, YouTube etc, and it'll start to come to you naturally!

And the imposter syndrome happens for everyone, I promise you! That's because the gap between GCSE and A Level is so wide, but I promise you that everyone is in the same boat as you! Just keep on top of your work each week and you will thrive!
And drop the negative outlook it will just weigh you down. There is no reason for you to get a bad prediction unless you don't work hard but if you are committed to working it will be just fine I promise
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G11T11
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(Original post by historynerd47)
I would never normally give advice like this, but I was exactly the same with a-level French and hated it progressively more all the way through. I found speaking in groups so hard and uncomfortable and dreaded lessons. I really really wish I'd swapped it out, I would have performed better and not had an uphill battle for two years
To be honest choosing French was one of the biggest regrets I've ever made. It's too late to back out now though so guess I'll just carry on

(Original post by emmaaact)
Thank you for all of your advice that’s super helpful! I think I’m generally just worried that if I don’t get a high grade in it it could lower my chances of studying something at uni. I’m not sure whether to take that risk.
Don't worry. As long as you put some work in you'll be fine, especially if you enjoy it. However, if you end up hating the subject don't be like me and carry on. I'd honestly rather jump off a bridge than do this crap for another year. I'm not blaming anyone other than myself because I should have realised this before I picked it to study. I'm not trying to throw you off the subject because we're all different, but it's worth making sure you're committed to studying this for the next two years.
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G11T11
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(Original post by chloenix)
If you enjoy learning languages genuinely then please don't give up! French and languages subjects in general are so interesting if you enjoy the subject. Don't just choose it if you think you'd be good at it or if it will lead to good opportunities. It is a hard A Level, but as I said, if you enjoy it, it will be fairly easy to get a decent grade! This is because you will naturally immerse yourself in the language, through TV shows, movies, music, YouTube etc, and it'll start to come to you naturally!

And the imposter syndrome happens for everyone, I promise you! That's because the gap between GCSE and A Level is so wide, but I promise you that everyone is in the same boat as you! Just keep on top of your work each week and you will thrive!
And drop the negative outlook it will just weigh you down. There is no reason for you to get a bad prediction unless you don't work hard but if you are committed to working it will be just fine I promise
^ What this person said. As long as you love languages French will be very enjoyable. I just never particularly enjoyed languages from the start but this was the least worst A Level option for me at the time.

Sorry about my pessimistic outlook but as you can probably tell I'm quite angry about this all and I haven't moved on and accepted it yet :/
Last edited by G11T11; 3 weeks ago
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Kerzen
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Which Board are you sitting, Emma?

Something I would recommend would be that you have a good French dictionary and book on French grammar.

I'm doing a Postgrad and I use the following:

https://collins.co.uk/collections/fr.../9780007556526

https://www.routledge.com/French-Gra.../9781138851108

At your level, you might find this hepful:

https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/cheznous

I know that these things are quite expensive, perhaps your parents could help?
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emmaaact
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(Original post by Kerzen)
Which Board are you sitting, Emma?

Something I would recommend would be that you have a good French dictionary and book on French grammar.

I'm doing a Postgrad and I use the following:

https://collins.co.uk/collections/fr.../9780007556526

https://www.routledge.com/French-Gra.../9781138851108

At your level, you might find this hepful:

https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/cheznous

I know that these things are quite expensive, perhaps your parents could help?
Eduqas! I’m just really worried I won’t be good enough at it.
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G11T11
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(Original post by emmaaact)
Eduqas! I’m just really worried I won’t be good enough at it.
It's not actually as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. It's a lot more work, but as long as you keep on with your vocab then you'll be absolutely fine.
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emmaaact
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(Original post by G11T11)
It's not actually as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. It's a lot more work, but as long as you keep on with your vocab then you'll be absolutely fine.
Thank you that’s quite reassuring!
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redmeercat
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Heya! I ended up getting an A* in French, but I definitely didn't start out doing well... I got Ds all the way through my first term! But French is a skill-based subject, not a content-based subject, on the whole. That means that, unlike in science where it's more feasible to get an A in a particular topic, improvement in French is continuous across the 2 years.

To improve AND become more confident:
- learn vocab consistently , starting with vocab lists, then other words you don't know from the textbook, then from other sources if you have time!
- practice talking to yourself when you're on your own, about what you're doing or perhaps describing a picture! Getting used to the sounds of the language should help
- listen to music and podcasts in French, even if you don't understand a lot. Try to pick out works that you know
- read the news in French
- use an exam board workbook (if one exists for your exam board!) To practice translations
- lawless French blog can help you with grammar
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emmaaact
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(Original post by redmeercat)
Heya! I ended up getting an A* in French, but I definitely didn't start out doing well... I got Ds all the way through my first term! But French is a skill-based subject, not a content-based subject, on the whole. That means that, unlike in science where it's more feasible to get an A in a particular topic, improvement in French is continuous across the 2 years.

To improve AND become more confident:
- learn vocab consistently , starting with vocab lists, then other words you don't know from the textbook, then from other sources if you have time!
- practice talking to yourself when you're on your own, about what you're doing or perhaps describing a picture! Getting used to the sounds of the language should help
- listen to music and podcasts in French, even if you don't understand a lot. Try to pick out works that you know
- read the news in French
- use an exam board workbook (if one exists for your exam board!) To practice translations
- lawless French blog can help you with grammar
Hi this is so reassuring thank you! I’ll check out what you recommended x
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randomsheep11
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Hiya, I'm at university now (2nd year) but I did A Level French! At first I found it really hard and would keep getting E and U grades in my assessments, but as the other poster said, French is a skill based subject so you will improve as you go through the course (I ended up getting a B in the end).

Tips:
Vocab is so key so you know how to express yourself. I assume your teachers will be giving you a textbook for your exam board. Make yourself like a Quizzlet or Memrise (what I used) course and add in all the words in the vocab lists for each topic, and then also every lesson write down new words that you learn and make a habit of adding these onto your online vocab lists. This makes reviewing vocab so so easy For me, I actually found reading and writing to be harder than listening and speaking exams, and for me the big issue was that there's just so much vocab that I had no clue what was going on lol - so make sure you practice a lot!

For the film/book, do yourself a massive favour and buy the "Modern Languages Study Guides". These include so many amazing things: description of historical context, themes, characters, summaries of the chapters, guidance on essays and even essay examples. It will take a while, but throughout your course try to write essays for any possible questions that can come up (e.g. discuss the portrayal of a bunch of different themes or characters or relationships etc. in the story) and get them checked by your teacher. Hopefully by the time the exam comes, in your head you already know what points in what order (order is really key for a good essay) to make - it saves so much time if you don't have to think of ideas and plan your essay on the spot...

Also, speaking French in class discussions should be fun try to be active in the discussions. For me the first year topics were a bit bland, but in second year you get to discuss some juicier topics where your own political opinions can be expressed - honestly it was so fun talking about topics like immigration and crime and discrimination in another language.
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