Bubblegum12309
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I got my offer from UCL and it says I need to take up a language because I don’t meet their language requirements (I got a 4, they want a 5). Does anyone know how long the level 1 language course lasts? Also, is it difficult? Which language would you say is the easiest to learn and balance with your initial degree?
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McGinger
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Info on UCL Level 1 - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/languages-inte...french/level-1 and its available in 9 different languages.
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Bubblegum12309
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(Original post by McGinger)
Info on UCL Level 1 - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/languages-inte...french/level-1 and its available in 9 different languages.
Thank you!!!
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anabundanceofas
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Hi! I'm a year 12, so I may not be able to fully answer your question, but it might be best to just revisit the language you did at GCSE and got a 4 in and then work to bump your grade up to a 5. Due to the timings and the government still being unclear on how exams will be graded, it might be best to email the languages department at your secondary school / current sixth form and see if there's any way they can support you in being entered for the mini-exams or something, and whether they would recommend you do the Foundation or Higher tier papers. To my knowledge, speaking exams were cancelled at the start of the 2020/2021 academic year, so you wouldn't need to worry about that.

If you are allowed to do exams or at least get a grade, here are my tips for acing your languages exams:

If you did French or Spanish, there are lots of pre-made vocab sets on Quizlet that you can study. For example, if you're studying GCSE AQA Spanish, that's what you would search up. I'm sure there are sets for German and potentially Italian as well.

For the topics and grammar, go on Seneca and find your target language and your exam board and do as much of the course as possible if there's a chance you can sit your exams. You won't be examined on your knowledge of the content: you just need to be able to have an idea of what is being talked about in texts and audios. Your knowledge of grammar does not need to be complex; just make sure you're able to use verbs, pronouns, adjectives etc. to talk about yourself and your interests. To be able to use verbs in different tenses correctly, draw a table with three columns (one for each time frame), pick the most important verbs you need to know, and conjugate them for the 'I' form.

For the writing exams, my teacher gave us a template to get high marks for the tasks. I did AQA GCSE French, so it might be different depending on your target language and exam board.
- On the Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, you have a 90 word task that's common in both. You'll be given 4 bullet points; make sure you cover all 4 of them.
- Show that you can use the past time frame: the perfect, the imperfect, etc.
- Show that you can use the present time frame: the number of tenses in this time frame depend on the language, but in French this is just the simple present.
- Show that you can use the future time frame: simple future, near future, conditional, etc.
- Use an idiom: Not necessary, so don't shoehorn it in, but it can add a bit of spice to your answer.
- Give opinions and always justify them.
- Use complex grammatical structures. An easy way of doing this is by using modal verbs - to be able to, to want to, to have to, etc. The English 'I can sing' becomes 'Je peux chanter' in French, and that counts as a complex structure.

That's all I can think about for the moment, however, if you do get an answer from the languages department and they decide to enter you for the exams or give you the chance to do some work so they can give you a grade, I have a whole PowerPoint made on how to ace GCSE AQA languages exams that I made to tutor people. If you want it, feel free to just pop me a message and I'll email it to you
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Bubblegum12309
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(Original post by anabundanceofas)
Hi! I'm a year 12, so I may not be able to fully answer your question, but it might be best to just revisit the language you did at GCSE and got a 4 in and then work to bump your grade up to a 5. Due to the timings and the government still being unclear on how exams will be graded, it might be best to email the languages department at your secondary school / current sixth form and see if there's any way they can support you in being entered for the mini-exams or something, and whether they would recommend you do the Foundation or Higher tier papers. To my knowledge, speaking exams were cancelled at the start of the 2020/2021 academic year, so you wouldn't need to worry about that.

If you are allowed to do exams or at least get a grade, here are my tips for acing your languages exams:

If you did French or Spanish, there are lots of pre-made vocab sets on Quizlet that you can study. For example, if you're studying GCSE AQA Spanish, that's what you would search up. I'm sure there are sets for German and potentially Italian as well.

For the topics and grammar, go on Seneca and find your target language and your exam board and do as much of the course as possible if there's a chance you can sit your exams. You won't be examined on your knowledge of the content: you just need to be able to have an idea of what is being talked about in texts and audios. Your knowledge of grammar does not need to be complex; just make sure you're able to use verbs, pronouns, adjectives etc. to talk about yourself and your interests. To be able to use verbs in different tenses correctly, draw a table with three columns (one for each time frame), pick the most important verbs you need to know, and conjugate them for the 'I' form.

For the writing exams, my teacher gave us a template to get high marks for the tasks. I did AQA GCSE French, so it might be different depending on your target language and exam board.
- On the Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, you have a 90 word task that's common in both. You'll be given 4 bullet points; make sure you cover all 4 of them.
- Show that you can use the past time frame: the perfect, the imperfect, etc.
- Show that you can use the present time frame: the number of tenses in this time frame depend on the language, but in French this is just the simple present.
- Show that you can use the future time frame: simple future, near future, conditional, etc.
- Use an idiom: Not necessary, so don't shoehorn it in, but it can add a bit of spice to your answer.
- Give opinions and always justify them.
- Use complex grammatical structures. An easy way of doing this is by using modal verbs - to be able to, to want to, to have to, etc. The English 'I can sing' becomes 'Je peux chanter' in French, and that counts as a complex structure.

That's all I can think about for the moment, however, if you do get an answer from the languages department and they decide to enter you for the exams or give you the chance to do some work so they can give you a grade, I have a whole PowerPoint made on how to ace GCSE AQA languages exams that I made to tutor people. If you want it, feel free to just pop me a message and I'll email it to you
Thank you for taking the time to inform me of this!! I really appreciate it! I took Bengali at GCSE and UCL don’t offer that (not that I’d take it anyway because it was torture). I am thinking of taking Spanish tho idk - I’m trying to figure out which language is the easiest to learn because obviously I’m going to be occupied with my Anthropology course. What language did you take? How was it?
And yes please! I would really like that PowerPoint you mentioned, thank you!!
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anabundanceofas
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(Original post by Bubblegum12309)
Thank you for taking the time to inform me of this!! I really appreciate it! I took Bengali at GCSE and UCL don’t offer that (not that I’d take it anyway because it was torture). I am thinking of taking Spanish tho idk - I’m trying to figure out which language is the easiest to learn because obviously I’m going to be occupied with my Anthropology course. What language did you take? How was it?
And yes please! I would really like that PowerPoint you mentioned, thank you!!
I did GCSE AQA French at Higher Tier and I got a 9. I've taken French since year 7 and I am currently taking it for A Level; it was a reasonably doable language to pick up because English isn't my first language and I've had experience learning a language. I think the key to cracking a language at GCSE is learning the vocab, having basic grammar under your belt, and just playing the exam game to get the grade.

I've only had about 3 months' worth of learning Spanish and that was in year 7; from what I can remember, the beginner stuff is quite simple to pick up, and you have a lot of resources that you can use. I can't make a judgement on which one is harder, though from things I've seen online over the years, Spanish is generally an easier language to pick up for English speakers.
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Bubblegum12309
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(Original post by anabundanceofas)
I did GCSE AQA French at Higher Tier and I got a 9. I've taken French since year 7 and I am currently taking it for A Level; it was a reasonably doable language to pick up because English isn't my first language and I've had experience learning a language. I think the key to cracking a language at GCSE is learning the vocab, having basic grammar under your belt, and just playing the exam game to get the grade.

I've only had about 3 months' worth of learning Spanish and that was in year 7; from what I can remember, the beginner stuff is quite simple to pick up, and you have a lot of resources that you can use. I can't make a judgement on which one is harder, though from things I've seen online over the years, Spanish is generally an easier language to pick up for English speakers.
Yeah I figured too after doing some research on google. I got the ppt, thank you! I think I’m going to be taking Spanish then hehe
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