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Cantonese Speaking help

I will be doing Chinese/Spoken Cantonese Higher GCSE with Edexcel in the summer '22 season. I speak and write the language fluently as it is my mother tongue. However, I want to know how does the GCSE work? For example, are we allowed to use informal words such as instead of 是, instead of 不, 鐘意 instead of 喜歡, instead of 他/她 , etc., especially in the speaking? I know that Edexcel said the examiner is not allowed to use it but, as students, are we? These are words that are from the spec but the version that most fluent Cantonese speakers (eg the ones from Hong Kong and Guangzhou) would use.

I am not sure on this because I have never attended Chinese school and only intend to do the exams as a private entry
Original post by Zantu
I will be doing Chinese/Spoken Cantonese Higher GCSE with Edexcel in the summer '22 season. I speak and write the language fluently as it is my mother tongue. However, I want to know how does the GCSE work? For example, are we allowed to use informal words such as instead of 是, instead of 不, 鐘意 instead of 喜歡, instead of 他/她 , etc., especially in the speaking? I know that Edexcel said the examiner is not allowed to use it but, as students, are we? These are words that are from the spec but the version that most fluent Cantonese speakers (eg the ones from Hong Kong and Guangzhou) would use.

I am not sure on this because I have never attended Chinese school and only intend to do the exams as a private entry


Hi I went to Chinese school and completed the Chinese GCSE exam. The exam is in formal/traditional Chinese not simplified form. Hope this help!
Reply 2
Original post by Student PA
Hi I went to Chinese school and completed the Chinese GCSE exam. The exam is in formal/traditional Chinese not simplified form. Hope this help!

So even during the Speaking, I will have to speak in formal Cantonese? And do you have like a general conversation pack like one we have with AQA (ik this from French) and I am not sure abt Edexcel where the questions in the general conversation would only be chosen from the pack
hey, im a native chinese speaker who will be doing the exams soon as well.

have you had any updates about whether we need to speak in formal cantonese or not?
Hi I’m a Chinese speaker, I think I kind of have an idea which Cantonese words you are using, and I think you kind of have to strike a balance between informal and formal. Overall you should be speaking more in formal, but too impress you can add a little bit of colloquial language in between, as long as your overall tone(formal/informal) does not change.
Hi! i've just come back from having my oral, and the examiner said that it's ok for us to use 口語, but it should be in formal language!
Reply 6
Original post by Felicitycat
Hi I’m a Chinese speaker, I think I kind of have an idea which Cantonese words you are using, and I think you kind of have to strike a balance between informal and formal. Overall you should be speaking more in formal, but too impress you can add a little bit of colloquial language in between, as long as your overall tone(formal/informal) does not change.

Hi ya!
Thank you for the help, but I had already done the speaking earlier this week (25/4 🥲). I did manage to ask the teacher beforehand, and she was really nice and told me to just use the language as if you are talking to a native (as long as all the words used are not swearing and is school appropriate). I also listened to listening past papers and noted down the informal words that I have listened to thus I knew I can use them.

However, one thing I would advise all Edexcel MFL students who also does an AQA language coming across this thread (like me, I do AQA French in school and Edexcel Chinese) is that the timings are different. In AQA, role play is advised to be less than 1 minute whilst photo card is 3 minutes, whilst in Edexcel, role play is (apparently) 2 minutes min and photo card being 3-5 minutes (I think). Therefore please PREPARE THE ANSWERS ACCORDINGLY. I ran out of things to say in role play after 1 minute 20.
Hi, may I know how and where do you enter into GCSE Cantonese exam as a private candidate? I tried a few Chinese centre around but they only offer Mandarin.Thanks.
Reply 8
Original post by annyip82
Hi, may I know how and where do you enter into GCSE Cantonese exam as a private candidate? I tried a few Chinese centre around but they only offer Mandarin.Thanks.


If you already know Cantonese fluently, you can ask your school's exam officer(s), they may need to check your actual level of fluency as my school only allowed me if I got an 8 or above in a sample paper that they gave me (reading and writing only, then marked by a Mandarin teacher in school). Usually the school will pay it if you are already an existing student of the school, but they are not required to offer it. However, even if you are 100% fluent, I do recommend you to have a look at Edexcel's Chinese GCSE Specification and do some of the past papers as some of the wordings will be different to how we usually say it in everyday conversation. If you do want to attend a Chinese school to sharpen up, I know two around London that offers lessons, but are somewhat expensive.

Edexcel Chinese GCSE Sample Assessment Materials
Edexcel Chinese GCSE Specification
[url=https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/support/support-topics/exams/past-papers.html?Qualification-Family=GCSE&Qualification-Subject=Chinese%20(2017)&Status=Pearson-UK:Status%2FLive&Specification-Code=Pearson-UK[excludedFace]s-smilie[/excludedFace]pecification-Code%2Fgcse17-chinese]Edexcel Chinese GCSE Past Papers

Chinese Schools in/around London that I know are offering lessons for GCSE Cantonese:
Tower Hamlet Chinese School
Greenwich Chinese Community School

Also found one in Birmingham: The Birmingham Chinese School

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