From GCSE to A Level, I like the fact that you learn topics which are day to day in your lives. This means that you are more interested in them because you meet them regularly, just in another language. I think it’s good to learn a new culture and the ways that French-speaking countries differ from ours. Also, learning a different language, in my opinion, is useful for the future.
At the start of the A Level, I would like to have known the extent to which you cannot prepare for the speaking exam. At GCSE, you can prepare your answers for different topics and be sure that you will receive some of these questions but at A level, the exam is more open so you need to think of the best answers in your head during the moment. In my opinion, this is harder to stay fluent and concise whilst speaking which can affect your marks.
For new Year 12s, I would recommend listening and watching to as much French as possible because, after a long period of not hearing the language, you will find it harder to understand but also more difficult to speak which is very important in the course.
Other than French, I study Biology and English Language. After Sixth Form, I am planning on going to university. Even if I don’t study anything to do with French, I believe that it will still help me in the future whether I visit a francophone country, or for communication within a job.
I love studying A Level French because it provides a great insight into the culture of France and the aspects of it that are possibly unknown to those outside of France. Also, you learn a lot of techniques about the spoken language that you didn’t know at GCSE, and it helps to all-round improve your ability to speak and comprehend others. In the second year of the course you do an independent research project about a topic of your choice which links to France.
My advice to new Year 12 students is make sure to surround yourself with the language as much as possible – watch films, TV shows, listen to music, podcasts and anything you can find. It really helps to improve the way you speak as you can pick up the accent faster and it helps to make you sound more seamless when you’re talking.
As well as French I am studying Art and Psychology. After Sixth Form I would like to go to university and am considering taking my French learning further.