To succeed in GCSE French, it is important to have a strong understanding of the French language and vocabulary. Having a GCSE French tutor is a great way to help build confidence in those areas.
GCSE French was the most popular modern language subject in 2021. The French language is spoken by more than 270 million people across the world and is the most widely learned language behind English. It is considered the lingua franca of diplomacy in the modern era, as well as being the native language of world-leading thinkers in philosophy, literature, science, and political theory. GCSE French fosters an understanding of French customs, furnishes a student with practical skills for visits abroad, and strengthens a student’s written and verbal communication skills.
It is important to identify which exam board your child’s school is following for GCSE French as syllabi do vary. For example, different boards tend to put different emphasis on the importance of situational role play or general conversation topics in the Speaking component of the examination. Your child’s exam board is one of the most useful preliminary pieces of information that you can provide, should you give us a call. It is also important to know whether your child is being put forward for a Foundation or Higher tier qualification, if applicable.
The main exam boards for GCSE French are:
Although course content varies according to the exam board, GCSE French examinations assess a student’s competency in four key components of the language: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
It can be difficult for students to excel in all four areas, most pupils naturally are weaker in one or two areas and stronger in others. With the help of a GCSE French tutor, they will be able to help build on the weaker areas, to bring them on par with the stronger areas.
The Reading component aims to help students develop their abilities in reading comprehension and the critical analysis of French texts. A student is assessed on their ability to:
The Writing component aims to help students develop their abilities in communicating in writing for varying purposes and registers. A student is assessed on their ability to:
The Listening component aims to help students develop their abilities in understanding and responding to spoken language for varying purposes and registers. A student is assessed by their ability to:
The Speaking component aims to help students develop their abilities in communicating and interacting in speech for varying purposes and registers. A student is assessed on:
For all four components of the French GCSE exam, the key to success is for your child to have a solid understanding of grammar and a bank of interesting and varied vocabulary. The support of a GCSE French tutor can often be helpful when learning vocabulary. They have a wealth of experience when it comes to helping students get to grips with tenses and other difficult vocabularies.
It is also important to build your child’s confidence and familiarity with the language and culture through exposing them to as much spoken French as possible. This exposure could be in the form of travel or simply listening to the radio for 15 minutes every day. While speaking French may be uncomfortable for some at first, practising everyday conversation topics with a native speaker or qualified tutor can help candidates really distinguish themselves from the rest of the field. As ever, more general question practice, exam technique, and timing are also vital.
You may find it useful to understand how your child’s GCSE French exams will be marked. This is so that you know how to help them to obtain the best mark that they can achieve. All the exam boards publish detailed guidance on what they are looking for, including specimen marked answers. Some exam boards even go as far as publishing an indicative list of vocabulary that a student should know. This is why it is so important to know which exam board your child will sit.
Your child needs to know exactly what the examiner wants from them in every type of question- be it a variety of tenses or the correct adjectival agreement. Your child then needs to learn how to ‘tick the boxes’ on the mark scheme to ensure they pick up as many marks as they can.
It is really important to start revision early enough and organises their revision well. Ideally, it is good to get a strong revision plan together by the January of the exam year. It can sometimes be difficult to know the best way to structure revision. By having a GCSE French Tutor to understand the order in which to prioritise each part of your revision.
Students should actively revise key grammar (conjugations and tenses), as well as vocabulary, connectives, and opinions. French revision can also be passive: playing a French show (e.g. France24) or podcast at the breakfast table or in the car can help your child familiarise themself with common French speech patterns or structures. For students aiming for an 8 or 9, reading a familiar English text in French translation (e.g. Harry Potter) can improve comprehension speed, introduce new and impressive vocabulary, and prepare them for further study. It is also a great idea to spend time with a native French speaker/ is fluent in the language. A GCSE French tutor is a great way of doing this. They can help build on fluency and vocabulary complexity.
Coronavirus contingency arrangements for the 2022 exam cycle remain the same as last year’s. There is currently one government mandated change in the syllabus: “exam boards will not have to include vocabulary that is not on the vocabulary lists for assessments in GCSE modern foreign languages”.
Sitting important public exams comes with pressures that your child may never have experienced before. Although a small amount of pressure can help your child’s performance on the day, it is important they have some time to unwind. It is important for students to take some time to relax, taking time to do something social and something they love.
The best way of supporting your child throughout their GCSE French exams. Is to give them the tools and skills to succeed. An effective way to do this is having a GCSE French tutor. We will ensure your GCSE French tutor has a wealth of experience in teaching French. They will help build your child’s confidence in tackling exams, through building their knowledge of the syllabus.
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