amelf

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About amelf

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Exams
    Nov 2010
  • Country
    Singapore
  1. It is frustrating but the rule is this: - If any of your education (primary, middle school, high school) was done in a Bilingual/French/Italian, etc. school, you can't take that language for level B. Therefore, if you went to a French/bilingual middle school, you can't take French level B. The Chinese students you mentioned were not enrolled in a bilingual (Eng-Chinese) or Chinese school, they just took Mandarin classes at a native level in an English-speaking school. You cannot take French because you went to a French/bilingual school at some point. It is unfair, but there is nothing you can do about this (unless you take level A, which can be a disaster if your grammar and conjugation are not excellent). I hope this will help.
  2. I would also rule out German, it is one of the hardest (if not the hardest) European language. As a French teacher, I will be biased, but I would go with French over Spanish, simply because both languages have an equal share in the difficulty department. I speak both French and Spanish, and both are beautiful and elegant languages; but really, they have similar issues with conjugation, vocabulary, grammar (gender, accents, agreements, etc.). In addition, French is the official language of many international organisations (English and French are required languages in UN organisations, and I think it is important in ICAO, IATA).
  3. Hi Paperboat, As a French teacher, I know of only one non-native French who took French HL, it was in Singapore, and she had a lot of native French friends with whom she was speaking regularly, watched francophone tv/movies, etc. She truly was immersed in francophonie. French HL is really hard, it not only requires a lot of proficiency in grammar, vocabulary, and conjugation but also critical skills. I would not say it is impossible, but it will require a lot of work: - Paper 1: texts are long, the vocabulary is complex, and questions focus mainly on comprehension (not so much grammar). This section requires a regular reading of newspaper (Geo Ado, Le Monde, Le Figaro, French blogs, B1-B2 short novels), as well as a regular practice of past papers. - Paper 2: for a non-native, this is the hardest part in my opinion. This is where you need to show off all of your grammar and conjugation skills. - Oral: good luck, for you will need to practice. You can either have private tuition with a native tutor who is familiar with IB, or you can register to some free time-share website (they practice French with you, and in exchange, you practice English with them). Another aspect that is often overlooked is the role of watching movies/series in French: as you hear French, your brain will pick up a lot of things (pronunciation, sentence structure, confidence). Good luck.
  4. If I may ... If you are struggling in Spanish then French will be a nightmare. And I agree with what has been said above, languages are very important if you are aiming for a business major. Now if you target Ivy League universities, they may not like the ab initio thing so take Spanish B SL and work hard. As a French teacher, I took over some really hard core desperate cases and trained them to get As, so it is possible, you just need to get organised well in advance. Good luck.
  5. Hi Jw201, I am a French teacher, but I think I may be able to offer some comments. I think it all depends on which major you will be studying in university. If you aim to study science, then I would not worry, I don't think universities will focus on your Spanish ab initio. However, if you are going for social sciences, political sciences, etc. then you will have to endure and go for level B SL. The good thing is that you already know that getting an A in Spanish B will be a challenge and something you can prepare for ahead of time. Since you already know it will be challenging, make an action plan ahead of time: 1. Establish your monthly study goals: list all the content that should be known for the exam (grammar, vocabulary themes, and conjugation). This way, you will make sure to respect a timeline to cover all the requirements. Pay special attention to the lessons that are the hardest. 2. Have study sessions: 1 session = 1 goal. 3. Immerse yourself in the linguistic culture to improve your vocabulary and the ways in which you structure sentences: - Find well-known journals (El Pais, for example) and read 1 article per week (great for reading exam practice). Choose articles that are related to the curriculum vocabulary topics (the environment, technology, health, etc.). - Watch movies, even if it has subtitles, it will help you for your speaking exam, your brain will pick up new words. Similarly, choose movies/documentaries related to the curriculum and vocabulary topics. This is exactly how I became fluent in English. However, while I am not a Spanish teacher I think that some words in South and Central America are different from Spanish from Spain, so choose wisely the origin of the material. 4. Practice makes perfect: practice with as many past papers as possible. With my students, I do a whole exam per week (paper 1 & 2 + oral exam). Your teacher will probably not have the time to do this, but you can get a private tutor. If private tuition is too expensive there are websites in which you can 'share time': find a Spanish who wants to improve his/her English, and he/she can correct your grammar in exchange. It's free and you won't struggle to find someone who wants to learn English. 5. Strategy for the reading exam = based on all the past papers you completed, think about the formats of questions they usually ask, how to best answer it, what are the most common tricks. Final and best: Regularity will be essential. I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best. Amelf,
  6. I like crisis management, I have dealt with some pretty desperate cases for IB French and we aced the exam. Whether you choose German B or Arabic A it is going to be extremely challenging, but it won't be the last challenge of your life. 1. Establish your monthly, weekly, and daily study goals: list of grammar, vocabulary themes, and conjugation that are required for the exam and implement them within your goals. This way, you will make sure to respect a timeline to cover all the requirements. 2. Have 1 or 2 daily study sessions with 1 goal for each. Regularity will be essential. No regular session = failure, as simple as that. 3. Immerse yourself in the linguistic culture to improve your vocabulary and the ways in which you structure sentences: - Find well-known journals and read x number of articles per week (great for reading exam practice). For my students I recommend 2 short articles per week. Choose articles that are related to the vocabulary topics. - Watch movies, even if it has subtitles, it will help you for your speaking exam, your brain will pick up new words. Similarly choose movies/documentaries related to your vocabulary topics. 4. Practice makes perfect: practice with as many past papers as possible. With my students, I do a whole exam per week (paper 1 & 2 + oral exam). 5. Strategy for the reading exam = based on all the past papers you completed, think about the formats of questions they usually ask, how to best answer it, what are the most common tricks.
  7. Here are my tips: - Prepare as many past papers as possible. - Read newspaper articles extracted from French magazines and that talk about topics relevant to the exam (I would say one a week) + extract vocabulary - For complex sentences in grammar: learn ready made sentences so you don't forget the word order example: it is easier to remember "Elles ne se sont pas levées" than "subject+ne+PR+aux+pas+PP" Good luck! An IB French teacher.