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French Ab Initio Individual Oral Tips + Sample recordings

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    1차원의 그림

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  • Glorious
  • 205 posts
  • Local time: 02:27 pm
  • Exams: Nov 2011
  • Australia


Heya people! I thought I should share some tips for Individual Oral ! :wub:

Strategies you can use to describe pictures in French

The single picture is mainly a test of vocabulary and of how well you can string a series of sentences together. Have a good look at the picture and think of all the things you can say; don't worry about the thing you don't know.

The whole scene

Introduce the whole scene before you start talking about the detail!Where is it? What is happening there?

Typical scene:
  • Families and friends out enjoying a day in the park
  • A classroom, laboratory, library or school playground scene
  • A shopping centre or market scene
  • A hospital, doctor's surgery or emergency room scene
  • A street or community scene
  • A recreational scene; BBQ, meal, banquet etc.
  • A sporting event; footy game, swimming etc.
Some handy standard phrases to start a general description of the scene...:
  • La scène se passe à la campagne
  • La famille se trouve sur la place
  • Au premier plan (in the foreground)
  • A l'arrière-plan (in the background)
  • Au milieu (in the middle)
  • Au fond (at the back)
  • A gauche / à droite / tout près de…
Followed by:
  • il y a…
  • se trouve…
  • se trouvent…
  • on voit…

The details

Now move to the details about the picture. Bring some verbs in by saying what the people are doing!
Example:Les enfants jouent… or Le père dort et la mère lit un journal

Try to pick up any opportunity to say what has just happened or what is going to happen – you get extra marks for this, and there is nearly always a built-in clue or two to help you.
Example: Un taxi vient d'arriver et les enfants vont monter dedans.

Don't forget to say what the people look like!
Example:Les enfants on l'air heureux, mais la mère est en colère et le père semble très fatigué.

If you can't think of anything else, at least say who the people are and describe what they are wearing.

Brainstorm as many sub topics as you can in your preparation time.
  • Who are the people pictured?
  • What age, sex and nationality are they?
  • What is their occupation?
  • What are they wearing? Is it relevant to the activity they are doing at that time?
  • What are people doing in the scene? Are they all doing the same thing?

Overall structure
Structure your description by deciding what you will talk about first.

Ideal structure:
1. Introduce setting
2. Choose one or more characters to examine in detail
  • Describe them; age, sex, personality etc. (Use imagination)
  • Say what they are doing and why
  • Repeat with other people (or animals) in picture
3. Comment on scene and give your own opinion
4. Make a summary comment to make it clear you have finished talking abut the scene.
  • 'I wish I was at the park right now'
  • 'I hate shopping; it's always so crowded.'
  • 'My neighbourhood is full of interesting people.'
How do we do that in French?
1.Build an extensive body of vocabulary for all the situations listed above (remember, you don't have to write the words, you just have to say them)
2.Have lots of conjunctions/linking words at your disposal so that you can smoothly move from one idea to the next and not be limited to a series of short, disconnected sentences.
3.Read aloud. What is in your head won't come out right without practice.

Points to remember

1. Always listen carefully to the examiner's questions to find out exactly what you are being asked, and what tense is being used. You nearly always use the same tense in the answer as in the question.
2. Reply simply and in fairly short sentences, but not just oui or non. Remember, the more correct French you say, the more marks you get.
3. If you can go on talking, do so (but on the subject, of course).
4. If you don't understand the question, ask in French. It's a good idea to be equipped with a set of emergency questions to help you out if you get stuck – though don't overuse them, the examiner will have met this kind of thing before!
  • Voulez-vous répéter la question s'il vous plait? (Will you repeat the question please ?)
  • Je n'ai pas compris la question, Monsieur/Madame
5. Try to use different tenses in your description.
6. Try to introduce a few opinions, using phrases like:
  • A mon avis…
  • Je pense que…
7. If you get stuck with something you are trying to say, try to explain it in another way.

Speaking criteria
1.Physical description of people and things in image. Clothes they are wearing etc. relationship between the various people (present tense)
2.Use of past tense in talking about what they've done recently or beyond.
3.Description of how they lead their lives – likes, dislikes, hobbies, sports, what they do on weekends, jobs etc. (present tense)
4.Description of their family and friends (present / past)
5.Use of future – what they intend doing some time in the future, where they might be going

Grade will be determined by fluency, accent, pronunciation, creativity, accuracy.

Practice Time!
Describe the following pictures (remember to record yourself and listen back to it!)

Posted Image
From Gossip girl

Posted Image

Posted Image
From bigbang Theory

Posted Image
From Glee

I have a couple of recordings of the individual oral which I have no idea what mark they got. I'll attach them here if that helps! :angel:

Attached File  AUDIO SAMPLE track1.mp3   3.93MB   576 downloads

Attached File  AUDIO SAMPLE track2.mp3   3.85MB   315 downloads

Attached File  AUDIO SAMPLE track3.mp3   4.24MB   191 downloads

Attached File  AUDIO SAMPLE track4.mp3   4.89MB   175 downloads

Attached File  AUDIO SAMPLE track5.mp3   4.25MB   206 downloads

Edited by ecieee, Aug 18, 2011 - 01:16.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Ab Initio