French requires different study techniques for the various sections. To focus on the oral, my advice is to really push yourself on the basics. For example, the first topic to cover is ‘moi-même.’ Try to talk strictly about yourself for as long as possible. This means just your personality, qualities and flaws – NOT your hobbies, family, friends, school, etc. By the time my oral came around, I could talk about myself for 10 minutes without mentioning anything else except in the context of examples.
I would say, ‘Je suis ambitieuse et je travaille d’arrache-pied car j’attache une grande valeur à l’éducation. Peut-être que je suis trop sérieuse car je suis rarement vraiment décontractée. Par example, je suis assez renfermée et privée, surtout en rencontrant de nouvelles personnes…’
Brainstorm what you could possibly say and then look up how to say it all. Don’t limit yourself when practising – keep looking for new ways to express yourself. Work off that brainstorm of key ideas (in English or French), glancing at it every time you run out of things to say.
Also, perfect your grammar. It is a huge confidence-builder and opens up a much wider range of conversation. I would advise reading the SEC’s marking schemes and examiners’ reports on the orals to see the common mistakes. I had the intermediate book ‘grammaire progressive du français’ which really cleared up rules for me. I did it at home and didn’t even finish it, but it was a massive help.
They will love you for making a confident effort. If you want to improve your accent (and a good accent really impresses), consider typing the French text into Google translate and then getting the software to pronounce it for you (there is a button to hear the text read). It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good and definitely good enough for LC standard. Having said that, do not use the programme go actually translate – only to pronounce.
Finally, do not learn off loads of material for the oral! This is pointless – genuinely anything could be the focus and you won’t be able to adapt unless you know how to compose a sentence naturally. When you practise, make up the sentences as you go along each time. The brainstorm is only for topics, not a script.
As English, it was honestly my ‘bête noire’ for the LC. I worked really hard and gave it loads of time but was approaching it in entirely the wrong way. I was underprepared for my Christmas test and freaked out in the exam, giving myself a low mark. I decided not to let that happen again and to focus a ton on English and getting through the mock for English with a clear head. I though the mocks went really well, but my mark didn’t improve at all despite my level head! I realised that I needed external help because I just wasn’t cracking it. I brought in a tutor (Sean McNulty from http://www.schooldays.ie/grinds/leaving-cert-grinds-in-dublin-south if you’re interested) who had helped a cousin of mine pass the exam. While I don’t want this post to just be an ad, I think it’s only fair that I say that I would never have made the progress I made in English without him. He really made the whole course accessible and made me understand exam technique so much better. If you are struggling, I would definitely contact him.
I needed outside help in English, and sometimes recognising that is the best thing you can do for your study. After all, nobody said you had to do it alone! Take all the help you need – that’s what it’s there for.
- Он жестом попросил ее возобновить поиск. - Но пока этого не произошло, мы в цейтноте. Сьюзан открыла рот, желая сказать, что она все понимает, но ее слова были заглушены внезапным пронзительным звуком. Тишина шифровалки взорвалась сигналом тревоги, доносившимся из служебного помещения «ТРАНСТЕКСТА».