French, or any language that you’re learning, is often one of those subjects that people either easily connect with or struggle to get the hang of. There are multiple elements involved in language exams that can quickly become overwhelming when you sit down to revise, but don’t worry, that’s why we’re here!
If you’ve got a GCSE French exam coming up and you don’t know where to start with your revision, you can find our top tips right here to make sure you have a clear and structured approach to revising that will set you up for exam success.
Top tips for revising GCSE French
The worst thing you can do is leave your revision to the last minute. Learning a language to the level you need for GCSE is a long-term process. So, trying to squash all your learning into one or two revision sessions won’t work well and your results probably won’t be what you’re hoping for. If you have a GCSE French tutor, they will be able to help you get on top of your revision early and make a plan with you to keep revising as stress-free as possible.
Prioritise reading and listening
As your school teacher has probably already drilled into you, to be successful in languages you need to focus on the four key skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing along with having a good understanding of the grammar. This is a lot to take in, that’s why breaking it down and tackling a bit at a time is going to be advisable here.
At this stage of your language learning, it is better to prioritise reading and listening, because that is how you can learn useful words and expressions and see the right grammar being used in context. Once you have become familiar with the new structures, it will be easier for you to practice and actively use them.
Use a wide range of resources
Having an array of resources to hand is always better than just using one type, especially when it comes to languages. You shouldn’t base your entire learning off one revision guide you have or the YouTube channel you’re subscribed to. It will be most effective to take advantage of a combination of resources including textbooks, listening to French songs, reading extracts from novels, watch French films and the news online, complete grammar exercises, and leave notes with new words on around the house.
Revise little and often
The phrase little and often is definitely applicable for French revision as you will probably find that ‘less more frequently’ is better than ‘more and less frequently’. So, doing four sessions at half an hour a week will be more effective than one long two-hour revision session at the weekend.
Plan out your revision
A structured plan of learning is an important part of language revision. You could start by dividing words into categories when learning them (for example verbs and adjectives) and get familiar with verb tables, have an A4 copy with all the tenses close by at any given time.
Mini steps to vocab success
When learning new vocabulary, follow these steps: 1) learn, repeat, and put aside, 2) revisit and recycle it.
All good French GCSE tutors will tell you that recalling previous knowledge is extremely important when learning the language. For example, if you learn a new word on a Monday, you should then find the best way to remember it – whichever way is most effective for you. Then you should revisit that word on Friday and again the following week, until you’re fully confident that you know it.
Add context to the words
If you can, try and use each word you learn in a real context. For instance, when you see a bridge, point at it, and repeat the word ‘le pont’ and do the same when imagining the beautiful old bridge, you saw when you were in Paris. By doing this exercise, the word ‘le pont’ will be stored in your long-term memory and you will form a stronger connection with it, a feeling, and a memory. It won’t simply be a word on a piece of paper.
Make revision fun
As well as what was described in an earlier tip, you should also try and use fun, spontaneous and light hearted resources that are still linguistically challenging. Whether you listen to a popular song, watch a film without subtitles, or read a poem or novel, the point is to have fun whilst you learn. Even if you only understand a little bit of the vocab, you’ll be surprised at how much your brain can fill in the gaps.
How can a tutor help and where can I find French tutors near me?
A French tutor can make all the difference to your exam revision as they have the knowledge and experience to help you prepare as effectively as possible. Once they have gotten to know you, your learning style, your strengths, and weaknesses, etc they can help you revise in a way that will be most effective for you. This will help you not just remember and practise everything you need for the exam but to genuinely boost your confidence in the subject as that is equally important as the revision itself.
If you’re wondering where you can find a professional and skilled tutor, then look no further than My GCSE Tutor. We operate fully online so you can learn effectively from the comfort of your own home. Simply read the profiles of our online French tutors, decide who you think is the right fit for you. Start your extra learning journey today and get ahead of your French GCSE exam.