The Listening Comprehension section of the Junior Cert French paper is vitally important as it carries up to forty seven percent of the overall marks for the exam.
Cian Hogan, who has been teaching French at The Institute of Education since 2001, explains how students can prepare effectively for this part of the exam….
- Focus on the past, present and future tenses. At the very least, you must be completely familiar with key irregular verbs (Aller, Avoir, Etre, Faire, Vouloir, Pouvoir and Devoir.)
- Concentrate on core vocabulary. In particular make sure that you know all the vocabulary associated with: people and places, dates, food, the weather, clothing and news items.
- Practice makes perfect! Most students fail to practice the Listening comprehension regularly and independently. A very common error that Junior Certificate students make is to concentrate exclusively on the written sections of the examination. Don’t forget that the Listening Comprehension is worth more marks than any other section.
- Learn key phrases and idioms instead of entire passages.
- Answer as many of the past papers as you can.
- Basic spelling errors and a lack of grammatical accuracy cause students to lose marks in the Junior Certificate French paper. As you prepare for the examination you need to focus on basic vocabulary and those key past, present and future tenses.
This website is an essential starting point for anyone serious about improving their examination technique. Don’t confine yourself to the papers, make sure you read both the marking schemes and the Chief Examiner’s reports.
While Google translate is not very good at translating, if you set the language from French to French, it can provide you with extremely useful pronunciation help.
The BBC language web site has some useful resources that very relevant to the Junior Certificate syllabus.
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