How to revise A-level French?

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ggilys
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#1
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Hi, please don't think this is a stupid question, as I am actually really struggling. I just wanted to know if anyone had any good ways of revising A-level French, as I feel like I'm just repeatedly banging my head against a wall. I was quite good at it in GCSE and I got a 9 (by working hard obv), but ever since I moved into year 12 trying to improve any further just seems impossible. I sit there trying to do grammar exercises or Quizlet flashcards for hours but none of it goes in and my scores are not satisfactory. This year has caused me to despise revising French, and what used to be my favourite lesson is very quickly becoming my most hated. I am the only person in my class who is monolingual and the stress of very obviously being the worst in a very competitive class is really getting to me and I'm wondering if I should just cut my losses this year and drop it. I am open to any and all suggestions, if anyone has any language-learning Hail Marys that would be absolutely incredible. Literally any technique / textbook / etc. that anyone knows would be helpful
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penguingirl18
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(Original post by ggilys)
Hi, please don't think this is a stupid question, as I am actually really struggling. I just wanted to know if anyone had any good ways of revising A-level French, as I feel like I'm just repeatedly banging my head against a wall. I was quite good at it in GCSE and I got a 9 (by working hard obv), but ever since I moved into year 12 trying to improve any further just seems impossible. I sit there trying to do grammar exercises or Quizlet flashcards for hours but none of it goes in and my scores are not satisfactory. This year has caused me to despise revising French, and what used to be my favourite lesson is very quickly becoming my most hated. I am the only person in my class who is monolingual and the stress of very obviously being the worst in a very competitive class is really getting to me and I'm wondering if I should just cut my losses this year and drop it. I am open to any and all suggestions, if anyone has any language-learning Hail Marys that would be absolutely incredible. Literally any technique / textbook / etc. that anyone knows would be helpful
It's not stupid. What specifically are you struggling to revise, or is bringing down your scores? I did grammar worksheets, but mostly just using grammar helped me remember it. (You could try finding a video-call pen pal to practice using grammar/vocab in real time?) Try thinking out dialogues or writing letters, blog posts, etc. on a topic you find interesting to practice grammar and vocab. I write sentences using exam vocabulary to revise vocab and topic info simultaneously. Videos, movies and podcasts you find interesting are also useful practice.
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ggilys
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#3
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(Original post by penguingirl18)
It's not stupid. What specifically are you struggling to revise, or is bringing down your scores? I did grammar worksheets, but mostly just using grammar helped me remember it. (You could try finding a video-call pen pal to practice using grammar/vocab in real time?) Try thinking out dialogues or writing letters, blog posts, etc. on a topic you find interesting to practice grammar and vocab. I write sentences using exam vocabulary to revise vocab and topic info simultaneously. Videos, movies and podcasts you find interesting are also useful practice.
I struggle with speaking mostly (that's a whole other can of worms tho, my accent apparently sounds like every other European accent apart from French) but my reading / writing / listening is nowhere at the standard it was at for my GCSEs. I have mocks in less than a month and I have just sat at my desk and cried at how difficult I found the past papers. I don't even know if there's any point in me trying to fix it at this point, or whether I should maybe just accept that I'm not good enough at it to ever pursue the language in the capacity I would love to and give up
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penguingirl18
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(Original post by ggilys)
I struggle with speaking mostly (that's a whole other can of worms tho, my accent apparently sounds like every other European accent apart from French) but my reading / writing / listening is nowhere at the standard it was at for my GCSEs. I have mocks in less than a month and I have just sat at my desk and cried at how difficult I found the past papers. I don't even know if there's any point in me trying to fix it at this point, or whether I should maybe just accept that I'm not good enough at it to ever pursue the language in the capacity I would love to and give up
You can do it. Don't give up! (I remember somewhere reading about someone who failed a French exam eight times and is now fluent in French and has lived in France, so even if you aren't doing well now, that doesn't mean you can't become fluent in it.) The jump from GCSE to A level is supposed to be one of the hardest jumps in language fluency. Immersion can improve your language skills quickly, so try to immerse yourself as much as possible. If you read the news or read fiction, read it in French; watch French podcasts and Netflix, listen to French pop music, etc. Someone on TSR recommended to me FaceTiming with a pen pal they found through this website: https://mylanguageexchange.com/ Do grammar exercises, but think of grammar in terms of how you use it, e.g. think of subjunctive 2 as hypotheticals instead of memorizing the term; it's much easier to remember that way because it's relevant to how you're speaking/writing. Vocabulary is honestly easiest to pick up in context, but for rote learning, putting it in sentences is more memorable. As far as accent, I would try listening to recordings from native speakers and practicing copying their pronunciation. I hope this helps! Languages can be hard, but the more you live it as part of your everyday life, the more fluent and "at-home" in the language you become.
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bluemoon03
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#5
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#5
(Original post by ggilys)
Hi, please don't think this is a stupid question, as I am actually really struggling. I just wanted to know if anyone had any good ways of revising A-level French, as I feel like I'm just repeatedly banging my head against a wall. I was quite good at it in GCSE and I got a 9 (by working hard obv), but ever since I moved into year 12 trying to improve any further just seems impossible. I sit there trying to do grammar exercises or Quizlet flashcards for hours but none of it goes in and my scores are not satisfactory. This year has caused me to despise revising French, and what used to be my favourite lesson is very quickly becoming my most hated. I am the only person in my class who is monolingual and the stress of very obviously being the worst in a very competitive class is really getting to me and I'm wondering if I should just cut my losses this year and drop it. I am open to any and all suggestions, if anyone has any language-learning Hail Marys that would be absolutely incredible. Literally any technique / textbook / etc. that anyone knows would be helpful
Hello! I'm sorry to hear you're finding french hard and stressful. I'm doing it at uni and found the a-level tricky but it can be so rewarding and I promise it will come together if you keep working at it. Some of my best advice would be to find things you like that you can engage with in the language and immerse yourself in that. Literally any interest you have you can probably find french YouTube videos etc on it. In terms of actual exam practice, I know past papers can be really tricky but they're so helpful to learn from! If you have time I'd recommend doing some (or at least parts of some), marking them using mark schemes online then (most importantly), making lists of errors, new vocab etc that you can look over and learn from in future. For speaking, lots of listening practice should help and also just speaking french to yourself (or ideally other people if you can find a way of doing that, perhaps online or with the people in your class). You can do it! Getting a 9 at GCSE is a huge achievement and shows you're capable. Lmk if you have questions, I can do my best to help but honestly I think it will eventually click/fall into place. Again, my best advice would be to try to make it as fun as possible and remember why it is you wanted to study french in the first place. It can be a challenge but it's so rewarding and a skill that will serve you for the rest of your life. Bonne chance !
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