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Old 20th May 2009, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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French: Study Skills

How to develop good study habits

1. Learn vocabularly regularly - little and often is the best way.

Following a lesson, look over vocabulary and learn any new words.

2. Learn how to use a dictionary and use it regualrly. Look words up and check words yourself, don't wait for your teacher to find mistakes.

Using a dictionary:

a) You are trying to find out what 'des as de volant' means. You know that volant means a steering wheel. Look up as and you find 3 meanings.

Roman coin
ace (cards, dice)
ace/star (sports)
You choose number 3 because 'Des as de volant' is the name of a road-side cafe in the passage you are reading.

b) You are checking your work. You have written 'la problème'. This looks feminine as it ends in e but when you check in the dictionary it is masculine (s.m = singular masculine) i.e. problème.

3. Revise grammar regularly. Look over grammar points following a lesson and learn structures which are new to you.

4. If you miss a lesson, ensure you collect the work and catch up on what you have missed.

5. Ask for further explanation when necessary, also extra work for your areas of weakness. Don't be afraid to ask questions or admit you don't understand. Your teacher may assume you are OK if your don't say anything.

6. In class, participate, contribute, support for your own benefit. Read newspapers (in English as well as French) so you develop lots of ideas on modern issues which will stand you in good stead for discussion or essays.

7. Be self-disciplined, hand work in regularly, keep to deadlines and organise your private study time sensibly. Try to match your lesson time with your private study time i.e. 3 hours of lessons = 3 hours private study.

8. Organise your notes well in a filing system. Review them regularly. Be prepared to read and research on your own initiative - do not expect to be taught everything.

9. A visit to France is highly recommended.

10. Enjoy yourself! It's a lot of work but will be really rewarding and worthwhile if you persevere.

Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/frenc...dy-skills.html

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

eb-sites you may find useful during your A/S and A2 Studies

http://www.lemonde.fr

Reading some of this newspaper will improve your French comprehension and widen your knowledge of France. The French is fairly dense and difficult sometimes, especially if you are still at A/S level but try skimming the front-page stories once or twice a week. You will recognise some of the international stories e.g. about the Middle East or the S.E. Asia tsunami disaster which will help you understand the gist of what you are reading. You may also search the archives to help you with a course-work topic or presentation.

http://www.voici.fr/

This is great fun! You can read all the gossip 'sur les stars'. Some stars are only popular in France so you may not recognise them but others, for instance Kylie Minogue et Olivier Martinez you will have heard about. Interesting gossip to improve your French!

http://www.gala.fr/

This also has news about the stars but also film reviews and cookery. All quite short pieces, which are easy to follow even if you don't understand every word.

http://www.frenchrevision.co.uk/

Go into the A level section. Here you will find some exam practice, some past papers and some news videos to give you all the latest headlines.

http://www.frenchrevision.co.uk/

If you are interested in film and cinema this is the site for you. There isalso lots of up-to-date and colloquial French to pick up here. (But use it withcare!)

http://viaduc.midilibre.com/

This is an excellent new site about the recently opened and amazing bridge over the river Tarn near Millau. Look at the Viaduc en Images sections with the most interesting photos and descriptions in French, read about l'homme araignée (Spiderman) who climbed it and the visitors from their twin town in England and what they thought about it (in perfect French!)

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

French: Speaking

Depending on the exam board, your speaking test could include many different elements - presentations, questions on a topic, general conversation, roleplay, even interpreting. It might be with a teacher or a visiting examiner. It might be marked on the spot, or it might be sent away.

Whatever format your exam takes, you can still find plenty of good tips to support you.

Know what you actually have to do. Do you know the answer to the following questions?


When is the exam? Orals are usually before study leave and the rest of A-Levels but the dates are often chosen by your school. (This may not seem important but if you've got other exams such as art or music practicals, or even another language, or you've got commitments such as University open days, for example, then you need to sort something out).

What exactly does my exam involve?
How long does the exam last?
What section comes first?
And then?
How many marks are there/how long is it for each section?
What percentage of the overall A-Level is based on the oral?
Who is examining my oral?
Do I have to mention France?
Do I have to ask the examiner questions - if so, how many and in which section?
Do I get preparation time?
If so, can I use a dictionary? (Almost certainly 'no' at A-Level).
Can I choose my topic?
Can I do the same topic for my speech as I did for my coursework/mock?
What happens if my speech overruns the allowed time?
What if I don't understand a question?
Can I say I don't want to talk about a particular topic if I'm really not interested in it?
How many times can I do this?
What can I be asked about- is it only related to France or will I get general questions (for example, Northern Ireland, Single European Currency and GM crops)?
How much are they looking for factual knowledge and how much are they marking the language?
Are opinions important?
If something is in the news that morning (for example, political scandals or sports results) is it likely to feature in the exam?

Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/frenc...eparation.html

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

You've possibly never given a talk before in your whole life, especially in a foreign language.

For the talk, give yourself plenty of preparation time; pick something you are interested in - if you're bored with the topic, this will come through in the speech and just think how the examiner will feel.
You will probably be questioned on your talk afterwards so make sure it's something you have opinions on and something you can talk about beyond the basic talk itself. You may have to justify something you said in the talk so be prepared to go into it in detail.
You are normally allowed to take pictures, graphs, adverts, etc. into the exam to strengthen your argument so you don't need to learn loads of statistics off by heart but could have a bar-chart/grid with statistics on and mention the chart in the talk, for example, 'there has been a dramatic increase/decline in recent years, as shown on this chart'.
Write it out and make it interesting - you get marks for maintaining the examiner's interest.
Have lots of opinions, reasons, justifications, etc.
Look at the mark scheme - do you fulfil all the criteria? You don't want to lose 20% just because you didn't mention France.
Include some nice A-level phrases/idioms etc., just like you do in essays (but not too many!)
Time it!
Is your teacher allowed to check it?
Work on it with the French assistant, even get them to record it for you.
If you haven't got an assistant, work on it with others in the class.
You'll probably be allowed to take in 'headings' (usually 4 or 5) so choose carefully. Do you want four or five general headings or the first few words of the actual paragraphs?
Don't cheat on the headings, you'll have to hand them in to the examiner afterwards!
Learn your talk - no short cuts here and you'll probably end up reciting it in your sleep. Get people to test you on it, even if it's just for the experience of actually talking to someone.
On the day, look at the examiner, (not at the floor or at your notes) and sound confident and interested.

Questions on the speech

What if you get asked a question you didn't expect?

You choose the topic for the talk, so it's assumed you have something to say about it beyond just the speech itself. This section usually carries more marks than the actual speech, so think in advance about the likely questions you'll get - ask others to think for you. You'll probably be able to think of loads and ask your teacher if anyone has done that topic before and if so, what were they asked? Thinking of the questions is the easy bit. You then have to think what you're going to say if you get asked them.
Don't forget you may be expected to ask the examiner questions in this section (probably three) but try to use different structures and ways of asking questions.
'Do you agree?'
'What do you think of...'
'In your opinion, is there...'
Try to use a range of language here. There is usually a specific number of marks allocated just for your ability to ask questions. But just like the speech, you can plan either whole questions in advance or question structures that allow you to tag something on to it at the end to suit the particular topic, for example:
quelle est votre opinion de...'
'qu'est-ce que vous pensez de...'
'avez-vous jamais...'
'êtes-vous d'accord que...'
Look in the grammar section for help on asking questions and also see the questions section for relevant ones for your topic.
You can always play for time for example - 'That's a very difficult question to answer', 'I'm glad you asked me that' or even just repeat the question, 'Indeed, should we join the Euro'. You could even tie two or three together, 'I'm glad you asked me that. Should we join the Euro? Well that's avery difficult question to answer; personally I think..'. I know it's a bit artificial but it will give you a few seconds thinking space, and it's far better to do this in French than panic and um and ah in English (as long as you don't do it too often).

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

This section usually follows the prepared talk and can be on any topic chosen by the examiner. They usually cover at least two topics. However, remember they're there to test your knowledge of the language, not your deep understanding of European Monetary Union or the pros and cons of genetically modified crops.

Check with your class teacher first, but normally if you get a topic that you're not interested in or know little about, tell the examiner; don't try to talk about something you can't really handle (but be prepared to say why you're not interested in politics or the environment when the future of the planet could depend on it and you're the next generation; your actions might decide whether the Earth survives, for example).'It's boring' really isn't enough for A-Level. You could perhaps say that you don't find it very relevant, or that in your opinion, all the power lies with politicians and it doesn't matter what the man in the street thinks, the politicians will just do what they want to.


If you do say you don't want to talk about a particular topic, have another topic ready just in case they ask you what you are interested in talking about. Don't try to think of one on the spot, else you'll end up saying the first thing that comes into your head, like 'the pros and cons of space exploration in the twenty first Century' and then you'll be stuck with it for the next ten minutes!

Generally examiners are fairly lenient about topics but they're not stupid. If you're the fourth candidate in a row who's said that they're not interested in talking about the drug problem in your area and that they'd prefer to talk about violence on television, forget it! You are expected to have some variety of knowledge.

Again, you might be expected to ask the examiner questions in this section even if you asked them in a previous section as well so don't forget.

Look in the question sections for loads of sample questions for different topics.

This might sound really stupid but talk to yourself. Click on one of the questions and try to answer it or try to talk in your head for two minutes on one of the topics. You probably think it's stupid but it really works - it boosts your fluency, your vocab, your confidence and gives you a chance to get used to including certain phrases and expressions and coping with the unexpected if an unusual topic turns up.

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

You may or may not have roleplays, depending on your syllabus. If you do, you need to know how many you have, what percentage they carry and how much preparation time you get. It's unlikely that you'll be allowed any access to a dictionary. You'll probably do plenty of practice before you go into the exam but don't forget:

Read the instructions carefully. What exactly do you have to do? Do you start or does the examiner? Do you have to ask questions? Are you using vous or tu? Are you allowed to use vocabulary on the sheet or are you expected to use your own words?
If you're given extra material, such as brochures or adverts, (sometimes in English) you need to use them. If you're allowed to make up your own information, then say what you can say. Don't try to be clever and finish by tripping yourself up and doing worse than if you'd kept it just simple.
Don't forget really basic things you learned at GCSE - please/thank you/hello (allô on telephone) /goodbye/...monsieur/...madame.

Sample questions and answers

Have a look at the roleplay below. It may or may not be similar to the format of your A-level so check with your teacher first but it will be good practice nonetheless:

Candidate's sheet: This sheet lists the details and instructions for your task. You will have to give information and ask questions. You will have to base your answers on any material provided but you may also have to use your imagination.

La situation: Vous travaillez dans l'hôtel 'The Grange' en Angleterre. Un jour, un homme/une femme français(e) téléphone à votre hôtel pour réserver une chambre et vous posez des questions sur la ville.

L'objectif: Obtenir les détails de la réservation et expliquer les possibilités dans votre région pour cet homme/cette femme.

Les questions: La sorte de chambre; le nombre de jours et le nombre de personnes (adultes et enfants) ce qui lui plaît comme distractions/visites/etc.

Vous devez lui expliquer:

ce qu'il y a à voir et à faire dans votre région s'il fait beau et s'il fait mauvais.
ce que vous recommandez et pourquoi.
les heures et les prix (réductions pour enfant? etc.).
les possibilités de restauration.
Vous devez aussi offrir à réserver des visites ou de lui envoyer des renseignements s'il/ si elle veut.
l'examinateur/l'examinatrice commencera la conversation.
Points to note about this role play before you start:

Need to use vous.
Will need to ask questions - check the question section in grammar to help.
Must get details of room as required.
Must explain all four points.
Must remember to offer to make bookings or send info at end.
There's no additional information attached so it's all up to you.
Need to have ideas in mind to answer questions. What is actually in my region? You probably have GCSE vocabulary here to help. 'Dans ma région, il y a.../on peut visiter...' etc.
Remember to stick to vocabulary you know. If you can't remember 'suspension bridge' or 'caves dating from prehistoric times', then don't choose them as a possibility. Stick to things you can do but do them well, for example, not just 'un musée' but 'un musée d'histoire naturelle', not just 'une piscine' but 'une piscine en plein air' etc.
There is some vocabulary on the sheet that can help, for example, 'quelle sorte de chambre...'.
The examiner will start.
Obviously there is no fixed answer to these sorts of questions, but below is an example of a roleplay that may help you. The 'Prompts' column gives you hints of how to score good marks with the structure of your script and what you would need to include. The 'Examiner's script' column provides you with example questions of what might be asked. 'Your suggested script' shows you the kind of response you should give to obtain full/good marks. The 'Comments' column suggests points to aid you with your answer. It is quite a long roleplay, so it might be beneficial to print off the table and learn it from paper:

Prompts: Examiner's script: Your suggested scipt: Comments:
Answer the question and ask if you can help. Allô. C'est bien l'hôtel 'The Grange'? Oui. C'est bien 'The Grange'. Je peux vous aider? Be polite and clear.
Make sure you get all the details you have to. Je voudrais réserver une chambre. Try to add natural comments like 'bien sûr', 'pas de problème', 'de rien' etc.
Bien sûr. Pour quelles dates?
Alors, du 18 août au 2 septembre.
Vous êtes combien?
Make sure gather who it is for. Nous sommes quatre, - moi, ma femme et mes deux enfants. Ils ont huit ans et dix ans. Once again, try to add natural comments.
Quelle sorte de chambre voudriez-vous?
Je voudrais alors une chambre de famille avec WC et douche et si possible avec télévision.
Pas de problème.
Start by finding out what they're interested in. Qu'est-ce qu'il y a à faire dans votre région? À quoi est-ce que vous vous intéresse? s'intéresser à...
Now this is the main bit - you need to suggest activities for
the adults and for
the kids and what to do
's'il fait beau' and
's'il fait mauvais'
so at least four altogether. Ma femme et moi, on s'intéresse beaucoup à l'histoire et à la culture britannique et mes deux enfants sont comme les tous les autres enfants - ils aiment s'amuser - aller au parc, jouer sur la plage et ils sont très sportifs aussi. Alors si vous aimez l'histoire, il y a beaucoup de monuments historiques dans la région et un château à vingt kilomètres; il y a les ruines d'un vieux chàteau fort tout près et s'il pleut, il y a plein de musée - un musée d'histoire locale, un musée d'art et même un musée de poupées et de nounours! The suggestions have to relate to the the previous answer. Don't mention the nightclubs and discos if they're not interested in that sort of thing.
Et pour les enfants vous avez la plage à trente minutes en bus ou en train, il y a deux grands parcs dans la ville et une piste cyclable de quinze kilomètres. Vous pouvez vous arrêter en route et aller boire dans un café ou manger dans un pub! Vous pouvez louer des vélos à la gare, si vous voulez. S'il fait mauvais il y a un grand centre sportif avec une piscine chauffée et des courts de badminton et squash.
Answer the question and don't forget to say why. Qu'est-ce que vous recommandez? Moi, je recommanderais le musée de poupées et nounours - c'est très intéressant et original et c'est le seul musée de poupées dans le monde entier donc c'est à ne pas manquer! Et pour les enfants, la piste cyclable - c'est une journée très agréable et les enfants seront très fatigués après! Conditional tense here! (journée = day!) Future tense!
Lots of extra bits the examiner can ask you here. you won't get them all but you will get some. You must answer the examiner's questions first but this is where you can give times/ prices and offer to make reservations or send further details. Vous avez d'autres détails sur ces activités? Par exemple, est-ce qu'il y a des réductions pour les enfants? / Le musée ouvre à quelle heure? / Est-ce qu'il y a un restaurant là? / Est-ce qu'on peut achéter des souvenirs là? / Qu'est-ce qu'il y a là exactement? Le musée est ouvert tous les jours et c'est deux livres sterling par adulte mais c'est gratuit pour les enfants au moins de douze ans. C'est au centre - ville et il y a un magasin de souvenirs là aussi. Il ne faut pas réserver à l'avance La piste cyclable est gratuite bien sûr mais la location des vélos coûte deux livres sterling par heure par personne et il y a aussi une caution de cinquante livres pour quatre vélos. Si vous voulez, je peux vous envoyer des renseignements - des brochures, des dépliants un plan de la ville etc. Answers all the examiner's questions and even manages to avoid having to offer to book!
Don't throw away marks forgetting to say goodbye! Alors, merci beaucoup. Au revoir. De rien monsieur/ madame. Au revoir. Be polite and you could even offer a hand shake!
Marks

For all elements of the exam you need to look at the mark scheme. Ask your teacher for copies if you don't already have them. You'll generally find there are marks for content, accuracy, pronunciation and range/variety of language. But you also need to know how the marks are awarded - do you have to give opinions? Do you have to give specific examples from France?

Make sure you work on all of these when preparing. If you know you have a weakness in one area, concentrate on that but don't forget about the other areas as well.

Mark schemes are kept in the back of the syllabus and websites for the different exam boards (with access to the syllabuses) are in the teachers' section of the s-cool website.

Your teacher may have sample material sent from the exam board of students' orals, showing what constitutes a grade 'A', 'C' etc. Ask if you can borrow them - listen to how well they answer questions and the range of vocabulary, for example. It will give you a good idea of what's expected.

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

Some useful phrases for the general conversation:

J'ai l'intention de... I entend to...
Mon rêve c'est My dream is...
Pour ma part... For my part...
J'ai décidé de... I decided to...
Quelquefois je pense... Sometimes I think...
De temps en temps... From time to time...
Je le trouve... I find it....
Je suis convaincu... I am convinced...
Au fait... In fact...
C'est à dire... That is to say...
Avant tout, j'aime... Above all I like...
Il faut que je réussisse/ sois reçu(e) afin d'aller à I must be successful in order to go to...
Une chose qui m'a surtout intéressé(e)... Something which has interested me above all...
L'anneé dernière nous avons décidé de... Last year we decided to...
Pendant mes vacances-là j'ai beaucoup appris... During my holidays there I learnt a lot
Après avoir étudié... Having studied...
Après être allé(e) à l'université... Having been to university
Je n'aurais jamais eu la satisfaction... I would never have had the satisfaction...
Je ne trouve pas... I don't find...
Phrases useful in a discussion:

Je crois que I believe that
Cependant However
Il s'agit de It's a matter of
Ça dépend de That depends on
Il ne faut pas oublier que... You must not forget
Par exemple For example
À mon avis In my opinion
Je suis d'accord I agree
Je ne suis pas d'accord I don't agree
En plus More over/ as well
C'est vrai que It is true that
Il y a des problèmes bien sûr There are problems of course
Les pours The pros
Les contres The cons
D'une part On the one side
D'autre part On the other side


Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/frenc...ocabulary.html

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

French: Writing

Understand what is expected of you

In this exam you will be expected to perform a number of tasks depending on the exam board. Your writing test could include many different elements - short simple sentence answers, paragraph answers, whole essays and possibly coursework.

It could be a separate exam in its own right (for example, an essay paper) or part of a longer exam (for example, a listening exam where you then have to write an article based on info provided on the tape).

You will be expected to communicate using good sophisticated accurate French to cover serious issues and topics. You will be asked for your opinions and be expected to justify what you have said.

Whatever format your exam takes, you can still find plenty of good tips to support you.

Preparation and technique

Some of the tips here are similar to things you have seen in other sections but some are new.

Read the question and make sure you understand it. It sounds obvious, but you can't answer the question unless you know what you've been asked - for example, is it when or where did the accident take place? Is it why did they protest or how did they protest? You won't get any marks for details that don't relate to the question, even if they're right!
Time. You have to remember the time; there's no point spending ten minutes on a question that carries three marks and then not have time to do a later section that carries ten marks. You have to force yourself to limit time on sections. You can always come back afterwards if you have time spare.
Vocabulary. What if you don't know a key word? Think your way around it. Do you know any other words that mean the same? Could you rephrase it or define it? For example, 'global warming' becomes 'the earth is becoming warmer' and so on. What about 'quelque chose pour...' for example, 'a bottle opener' becomes 'quelque chose pour ouvrir une bouteille'.
Accuracy. You will not get every answer right or know every single word you want for a particular question. Nobody expects you to - not even for a grade 'A'. But don't let problems in a section that you can't do distract you from another section that you can do perfectly well. Accept that there are a few things you can't do and write them off. You'll probably be surprised at what you can do - concentrate on this and pick up as many marks as possible on these parts.
Marks. Read the question and the number of marks allocated to each question. You need to know how much is allocated for content and how much is accuracy. Does four marks mean four details or two details with two marks awarded for accuracy? Make sure you are clear on this. You could be trying to write too much or wasting time on a section where you've already got full marks.
Word limit. The word limit is there for a purpose. Some exam boards have very strict rules about going over word limits, especially on coursework where you have time to plan, draft and re-write. You could be penalised very heavily. What's more, not only is it a waste of time but you may be making more mistakes and actually dragging your grade down. The content and quality are far more important than the number of words.
How the mark scheme works

Grade: Standard of language:
A Excellent response. Question answered fully; extremely clear and effective structure; (excellent knowledge of French-speaking country language virtually flawless with very few errors.
B Very good response. Question answered very well with very good structure (and knowledge of country Very accurate - few errors, usually minor.
C Good relevant answer; clear logical organisation; sound accuracy but errors in more difficult language.
D Satisfactory answer; lacks clarity in places or relies heavily on any source material; accuracy is variable with some very basic errors.
E A few relevant points are made. Frequent defects in organisation; limited knowledge of country concerned; high number of basic errors which hampers understanding.
N Very limited answer - largely irrelevant and disorganised. Very limited knowledge of France. Frequent basic answers with only a few parts accurate.
U Question not really understood. Virtually no knowledge of country. No real appropriate language.

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Re: French: Study Skills

These could be comprehension questions or translations, mini-essays or summaries of texts.

They could be asking for your opinion or simply asking for information from a text or both.

Again: make sure you know what to do! (Remember marks, word limits, do what you can do well...)

The priority here is to get your message across so that a native speaker would understand exactly what you are saying. Probably half the marks are given for conveying the content, so don't assume you won't get any marks if the French is quite simple. Don't try to write sophisticated French, trip yourself up and fail to answer the question. It is better to keep it in straightforward French and get your message across. If you're able to do the task accurately using sophisticated French, all the better!


Use vocabulary and structures that you know well, especially if you're asked to develop something further. You then can choose how to go about this. You are asked to convey the meaning, not do a word-for-word translation so the fact that you don't know some words may not be the end of the world. You may not actually need that word or may be able to get around it. Look at the 'Vocabulary' Learn-It in Preparation and Technique.

There will be certain phrases that you use throughout your A-Level course that you can use to help structure written work. Look at the 'Essays' Learn-It for more advice on this.

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Re: French: Study Skills

Guidelines and practical tips

To produce good quality essays in French it is important not to think it out in English and try to translate it.

Widen your French vocabulary as much as possible. Use the new words you have learnt as much as possible.

Learn phrases, clauses and sentences that will be useful in an essay. Try to develop a good French style.

Stages of essay writing

Think strategicaly about how to approach a writing assignment.

Taking in the title. Underline keywords and if necessary check their meanings. Think about the title.
Gathering material. Collect notes from various sources.
Generating ideas. Get your ideas down on paper, jot down thoughts, sample sentences.
Planning. Organise your notes into a simple and coherent outline plan.
First draft. Check your work for structure and language mistakes as you go along.
Reviewing. Read over your work and correct errors and omissions
Final draft. Word process or write legibly. Your general presentations should be good - first impressions do count!.
Exam Essays AS

You will write a piece of French usually a letter, report or article from a printed stimulus.

Read the question carefully and make sure you understand it. Don't rush to start writing.
Use your phrases and vocabularly well. Write as fluently as you can. Don't repeat phrases, use a variety.
Check your work carefully and methodically.
Keep within thw word limit - most important!
Exam Essays A2

You will not have time to do all the 7 steps in an exam!

Choose your title carefully. By now you should know what kind of essay you prefer writing so choose carefully.

Usually there are 3 types:

creative e.g.writing about a photo, a newspaper article
discursive e.g. current affairs, European issues, social problems.
task based e.g. a letter, and advert, a report.
A good essay will include:

A relevant introduction. Keep it fairly breif, get down to the business of the essay quickly.
A coherent development. Sort out your points and present them in a strctured way, giving your essay a beginning, a middle and an end.
A strong conclusion. The conclusion should show the reader that you have really 'answered the question' or 'repsonded to the title'.
Don't forget:

Check your work e.g. go through the verbs then the adjectives, gender spelling.
Count the words. It is very important to keep within the word limit. If your essay is too long, it could cut out your conclusion and therefore lose you marks.
Use as many tenses as you can (correctly!).
Discursive essays

Learn a few of these to use in essays.

tout d'abord first of all
d'une part... d'autre part on one hand... on the other hand
par contre on the contrary
bien que although
cependant however
néan moins never the less
il est donc question de... it is therefore a question of
il paraît donc évident que... it appears therefore clear that
quant à as for/ regarding
au niveau (international) at the (international) level
il fant donc rappeler que it is necessary therefore to remember
il est certain que it is certain that
l'important, c'est the important thing is
il ne faut pas oublier que you must not forget that
en conclusion in conclusion
tout bien considéré all things considered
finalement finally
aprés tout after all
en fin de compte at the end of the day
ce que je dis, en fait, c'est... what I am saying, in fact, is...
Creative writing

Some phrases and clauses.

1. Telling stories in the past.

il y a deux mois 2 months ago
aprés avoir fini after finishing
comme elle sortait as she was going out
à ce moment - là at that moment
pendant son séjour during his stay
longtemps for a long time
de temps en temps from time to time
au printemps in the spring
en éte/automne/ hiver in the Summer/Autumn/Winter
c'était le deux janvier it was the 2nd of January
vendredi dernier last Friday
je l'ai dit I told him
hier yesterday
avant - hier the day before yesterday
hier matin yesterday morning.
2. The future

tout de suite immediately
dans deux heures in 2 hours
vers huit heures ce soir about 8 o'clock this evening
la semaine prochanie next week
à l'heure on time
nous arriverons vers midi we will get there about midday
3. Joining words

d'abord first of all
puis then
aprés cela after that
un pen plus tard a little later
une heure plus tard an hour later
une fois arrivé(e) after arriving
enfin at last
malagré tout despite everything
4. Descriptions

un veil homme an old man[/td
aux cheveneus blancs et courts with white short hair
il portrait kes lunettes he was wearing glasses
il était petit he was short/small
une jeune fille a young girl with blonde hair
elle portait un jean et un T-shirt bleu she was wearing jeans and a blue T-shirt
âgée de seize ans aged 16
elle écoutait la musique she was listening to music
qui portait une boîte who was carrying a box
There is usually a journalistic style essay in the creative section you will probably use third person singular and plural a lot in this type of writing so make sure you have revised your verbs thoroughly!

Task based writing

Ensure you can lay out a letter in the correct way:

1. A formal letter

Bristol le 14 mai (usually you put the town and date)

Monsieur / Madame (Dear Sir/ Madam)

Veuillez agreér, Monsieur / Madame l'assurance de nos sentiments distingués
OR
Je vous prie d'agreér Monsieur / Madame l'expression de mes sentiments les plus distingués
(Yours faithfully)
2. A more informal letter to someone you know (or at least their name)

Chamonix le 20 novembre

Cher Madame Marceau (Dear Mrs Marceau)

Bien cordialement (Your Sincerley)

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Re: French: Study Skills

Topic choice:

Choose your topics carefully. They must be topics you are interested in and also where research is going to be reasonably easy. You may be able to choose a 'creative' style essay.

Topic title:

Once you have chosen your topics, work out your titles. Spend some time on this. It is important that it is not vague but quite specific - maybe a question?

Plan:

Make a plan. You should note down the main points of your:

Introduction
Main point
Conclusion
At this point you can still discuss your work with your teacher who can offer you some help and guidance. A good plan will stand you in good stead and will help you when you are writing up.
Research:

Use as many resources as you can e.g.

Film
TV programme
Radio programme
Magazines
Newspapers
Books
Internet
The internet is brilliant but often it is hard to sort through the vast amount of material it brings up. Don't depend on it solely, use a variety of sources.
Always record your research. You will need to make up a bibliogrpahy, i.e. a list of your sources at the end of your essay.

Timetable:

Make (and keep to it!) a timetable of your work. Don't leave writing up the essay until the night before the deadline date!

For example:
October 1 : Decide on topic and title
November : research and notes
December : Draft essay and check
January : Write up
When you write up make sure you give concrete examples for each point you make.
Check your word count. (your computer can do this for you!). Adjust it as necessary. Word process your work using double spacing.
Check the accuracy of your French. Check spellings and verbs in particular.
You will get a good mark if you:

write clearly
use your research well
give your opinions well
plan and sequence your work well
are accurate and use a variety of structure
Ideas for coursework topics

Look at your course book. Some of the chapters might give you ideas e.g.

Feminism
Enviroment
Health and Fitness
Travel
Don't forget: Your work must always be firmly rooted in France or French culture.


You may be able to link your coursework with a particular topic you are interested in e.g 'Combatting Racism in French football' or 'A French film director', or link to another subject you are studying, e.g. an aspect of French theatre.

You should make sure however that it's not like an essay you are doing for another subject!

If you read French newspapers and magazines, watch French films you may find other ideas to work on.

Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/frenc...oursework.html

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: French: Study Skills

Listening exam

Understand what is expected of you

Listening is probably the topic where most students feel they are weak. You can't revise this topic very easily at home and it's far more daunting than a normal written exam. Don't panic - it's the same for everyone. Exams vary across boards but essentially they are testing your ability to understand a variety of French across different topics, different styles etc. and questions range from fairly straightforward simple answers to much more complicated ones. You may have true/false questions, gap-fill exercises, multi-choice questions, or full sentence answers in English or in French.

You may also have to use the information on the tape to produce summaries or written work detailing or arguing for/against what is on the tape. Don't panic if some of this doesn't seem to match what you've done in class. Check which ones apply to you.


Exam technique

However, there are points that can help. They might seem obvious but you'd be surprised!

Read the question. It may sound obvious, but you can't answer the question unless you know what you're listening for - e.g. is it when or where did the accident take place? Is it why did they protest or how did they protest? You won't get any marks for details that don't relate to the question, even if they're right!
Make sure you answer in the correct language. Most listening exams have sections to be answered in French and other sections to be answered in English. The normal rule is that you answer in the same language as the question - if the question is in French, the answer is in French etc. It is easy to get so into the exam that you don't even notice the language has changed and keep using the language from one section in the other section. When you have to answer in French, check the accuracy of your work - there is often credit awarded for your French as well as your understanding of the tape.
Time. Lots of exam boards now allow you to use personal stereos. This may seem great, as you can listen to the track as much as you want. But you have to remember the time; there's no point spending ten minutes on a question that carries three marks and then not have time to do a later section that carries ten marks. You have to force yourself to limit time on sections. You can always come back afterwards if you have time spare.
Accuracy. You will not get every answer right or perhaps not even be able to do every question. Nobody expects you to - not even for a grade 'A'. But don't let problems in a section that you can't do distract you from another section that you can do perfectly well. Accept that there are a few things you can't do and write them off. You'll probably be surprised at what you can do - concentrate on this and pick up as many marks as possible on these parts.
Marks. Read the question and the number of marks allocated to each question. If it carries three marks, you'll need to make three points. Here, minor details can be important - e.g. not just 'he used to go swimming every week' but 'he usually used to go swimming every week', not just 'scientists can't find a cure for this condition' but 'scientists can't find a cure for this condition yet.' etc.
Numbers. Yes even at A-level numbers are still common in listening exams - prices, times, temperatures, statistics etc and students still find them difficult. Split the numbers up as they're said, keep repeating the number in your head until you can work it out, even write the number out long hand (there's normally enough space on the exam paper for rough work). These are really fairly straightforward questions and marks are easily gained here but you won't get anything for being close - you need to get it right.
Practice. It's far more difficult to practise for your listening exam compared with written exams but there are still chances - work with an assistant if you have one, work in class, exchange, pen-pals, holidays in France, practice tapes/student tapes that your teacher might have. (I'm sure you can get copies but you'll have to do the work here. You can't expect your teacher to run off a dozen copies of a revision tape for a class of 17 and 18-year olds.). Most of all don't panic - you're no different from anybody else here and you're probably far more able than you imagine.
For both the AS and A2 you should practice listening to the radio and/or a practice tape which maybe your teacher could record for you. Take a tape in and ask politely!

Usually you will be required to listen to a recording then answer questions in French and then do an English summary.

But exam requirements vary - check with your teacher.

You can improve your listening by:

practice
listening out for key words
reading the questions carefully to focus your listening

Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/frenc...d-example.html

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Re: French: Study Skills

Reading exam

Understand what is expected of you

Exams vary across boards but essentially they are testing your ability to understand a variety of French across different topics, different styles etc. and questions range from fairly straightforward simply answers to much more complicated ones.

You may have true/false questions, gap-fill exercises, multi-choice questions, full sentence answers in English or in French. You may also have to use the information in the passages to produce summaries or written work detailing or arguing for/against what is in the original texts. Don't panic if some of this doesn't seem to match what you've done in class. Check which ones apply to you.

Exam technique

Read the question - I know it sounds stupid, but you can't answer the question unless you know what you're looking for - e.g. is it when or where did the accident take place? Is it why did they protest or how did they protest? You won't get any marks for details that don't relate to the question, even if they're right!
Make sure you answer in the correct language. Most reading exams have sections to be answered in French and other sections to be answered in English. The normal rule is that you answer in the same language as the question - if the question's in French, the answer's in French etc. It's easy to get so into the exam that you don't even notice the language has changed and keep using the language from one section in the other section. When you have to answer in French, check the accuracy of your work - there is often credit awarded for your French as well as your understanding of the text.
Time. You have to remember the time; there's no point spending ten minutes on a question that carries three marks and then not have time to do a later section that carries ten marks. You have to force yourself to limit time on sections. You can always come back afterwards if you have time spare.
Accuracy. You will not get every answer right or perhaps not even be able to do every question. Nobody expects you to - not even for a grade 'A'. But don't let problems in a section that you can't do distract you from another section that you can do perfectly well. Accept that there are a few things you can't do and write them off. You'll probably be surprised at what you can do - concentrate on this and pick up as many marks as possible on these parts.
Marks. Read the question and the number of marks allocated to each question. If it carries three marks, you'll need to make three points. Here, minor details can be important - e.g. not just 'he used to go swimming every week' but 'he usually used to go swimming every week', not just 'scientists can't find a cure for this condition' but 'scientists can't find a cure for this condition yet.' etc.
Practice: Use any resources you can for reading practice - French magazines, pen pals, texts you've found on the Internet, any reading resources in your text book (many have reading passages at the back), any revision/reading material that your teacher might have.
Dictionaries: Unlike GCSE, you won't be allowed a dictionary, so you'll have to learn vocabulary as thoroughly as possible, but don't panic about words you don't know. There will be words that are new to you but you may not need to know them - read the questions thoroughly for each text and find the information that goes with that question; you only need to understand those parts of the passage that relate directly to the questions.

Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/french/reading/asa2.html

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
le tabagisme = addiction to smoking
le tabagisme passif = passive smoking
le SIDA = AIDS
l'alcool = alcohol
un toxicomane = drug addict
le cancer du poumon = lung cancer
un préservatif = a condom
le sexe sans protection = unprotected sex
un centre de réadaption = a rehabilitation centre
le stupéfiant = drug / narcotic
Feminine:
la drogue = drugs
la toxicomanie = drug addiction
la cirrhose du foie = cirrhosis of the liver
la gueule de bois = hangover
l'ivresse = drunkeness
la conduite en état d'ivresse = drink-driving
la poussée de stupéfiants = drug-pushing
la guérison = cure
l'interdiction = ban
la boulimie = bulimie
Plural:
les drogues dures = hard drugs
Verbs:
se droguer = to take drugs
boire à l'excès = to drink to excess
fumer = to smoke
nuire à = to harm
empêcher = to prevent
répandre = to spread

Source taken from:http://www.s-cool.co.uk/alevel/frenc...cs/health.html

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
le vin = wine
un régime équilibré = a balanced diet
l'alcool = alcohol
un additif = additive
un gastronome = a gourmet
un repas = a meal
un en-cas = a snack
un viticulteur = wine grower
Feminine:
la nourriture = food
la matière grasse = fat content
la consommation = consumption
la cuisine traditionnelle = traditional cooking
la cuisine saine = healthy cooking
la culture biologique = organic farming
la santé = health
la forme = fitness
l'anorexie = anorexia
la boulimie = bulimie
Plural:
les fast-foodeurs = those who eat fast food
les boissons (f) (non-) alcoolisées = (non-) alcoholic drinks
Verbs:
manger = to eat
boire = to drink
être au régime = to be on a diet
perdre du poids = to lose weight
maigrir = to get thinner / lose weight
devenir populaire = to become popular

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
le permis de conduire = driving licence
le code de la route = Highway code
un couloir de bus = a bus lane
un péage = a toll
le chemin de fer = the railway
le réseau autoroutier = the motorway network
l'excès de vitesse = speeding
un poids lourd = a HGV
un routier = lorry driver
un embouteillage = traffic jam
Feminine:
la circulation = traffic
une voiture particulière = a private car
une subvention = a subsidy
la sécurité routière = road safety
une zone piétonne = pedestrian area
une piste cyclable = a cycle track
la capacité = capacity
une amende = a fine
Plural:
les transports en commun = public transport
les heures d'affluence = rush hour
Verbs:
conduire = to drive
décongestionner = to relieve congestion
réduire = to reduce
encourager = to encourage
interdire = to ban
polluer = to pollute
permettre (à) = to allow

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
le tourisme = tourism
l'afflux = influx of people
un estivant = holiday maker
un voyage = a trip
le circuit touristique = the tourist circuit
le coût de la vie = the cost of living
un retour à la nature = return to nature
Feminine:
le haut saison = high season
l'industrie de tourisme = the tourist business
la vie nocturne = night life
une croisière = a cruise
l'évasion = escape
la détente = relaxation
une auberge de jeunesse = a youth hostel
Plural:
les vacances (f) = holidays
les distractions (f) = things to do
Verbs:
partir en vacances = to go on holiday
se détendre = to relax
abîmer = to spoil
apporter = to bring

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Old 20th May 2009, 12:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
un journal = a newspaper
l'Internet = the Internet
un journaliste = A journalist
un éditeur = a publisher
un rédacteur = an editor
un quotidien = a daily
un quotidien populaire = a tabloid
un exemplaire = a copy
le divertissement = entertainment
Feminine:
la télévision = the television
la presse = the press
la vie privé]p;e = private life
la publicité = advertising
une émission = a programme
la libre parole = free speech
la liberté de la presse = the freedom of the press
une diffusion = a broadcast
la rubrique (sportive) = the (sports) section
Plural:
les médias = the media
les ventes = sales
Verbs:
s'ingérer dans la vie privée de... = to invade on the private life of...
éditer = to publish
éduquer = to educate
stimuler = to stimulate
museler la presse = to muzzle the press
étouffer = to hush up

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Re: French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
le mariage = marriage
le divorce = divorce
l'homme au foyer = house husband
un mari / un époux = husband
le planning familial = family planning
le comportement = behaviour
le foyer = the home
le concubinage = living together
Feminine:
la famille (monoparentale) = (single parent) family
l'union libre = living together
la conflit des générations = The Generation Gap
la cohabitation = living together
une épouse / femme = wife
la natalité = birth rate
la cellule familiale = the family unit
la progéniture = offspring
Plural:
les frictions parents-enfants = parent-child conflicts
les mœurs = morals
vivre = to live
négliger = to neglect
s'occuper des enfant = to look after the children

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Re: French: Key Vocabulary for Topics

Masculine:
le CRS= riot police
un crime = a crime
un délit = an offence
le taux = rate
le vol = theft
le viol = rape
le meurtre = murder
un procès = a trial
l'emprisonnement = imprisonment
un témoin = a witness
la criminelle = criminal / murderer
Feminine:
la peine de mort = the death penalty
la criminelle = criminal / murderer
la police = the police
une infraction = an offence
la punition = punishment
une cour = a court
une amende = a fine
la délinquance = delinquancy
la chasse = hunt
la prison = prison
Verbs:
faire une virée = to go joyriding
exercer un effet de dissuasion = to act as a deterrent
tirer sur = to shoot at
commettre = to commit
détourner = to hijack
écrouer = to lock up
faire sauter = to blow up
exécuter = to execute

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Top income brackets should be taxed at 99%.
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Instead of increase GST, what other more progressive wealth tax options (e.g. Replace
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