Revising for Modern Languages DECEMBER 2014 Revising for Higher Modern Languages Much of what we need are skills We don’t have formulae, dates and equations We do have verbs! We also have cases We have to revise for: Listening Reading Translation Writing Listening This is very much a skill, which you get better at with practice. So: Watch films and listen to music as much as you can, preferably with sub-titles or text in the language: look at the suggestions Listen to every past paper you can, then listen again with the transcript, to train your ear to hear Use all the Scholar listening material, then listen again with the transcript revealed Listen to radio on the internet Listening http://french.about.com/od/radio/ http://www.scoop.it/t/enseignement-et apprentissage-en-fsl http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/resources/germ an/useful-links/german-radio-stations/ http://german.about.com/od/radio/ http://spanish.about.com/od/radio/ http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/resources/spani sh/useful-links/spanish-radio-stations/ http://learningspanishlanguage.weebly.com/spanish -tv-and-radio-stations.html Reading Reading is another skill: practice again is really important. Take chunks of the foreign language, and try to put together a resume of what it says in your own words. Use Google translate afterwards to give you a rough translation so you can see how you have got on. Take a text, and without using a dictionary, highlight what you think the key points are: again, use Google translate as a sense check Develop your dictionary skills! Dictionary skills It will take you around 45 seconds on average to look up a word in the dictionary: try the test posted on the discussion pages to see how long you take! That means looking up 20 words in a passage will take you 15 minutes. You only have 45 minutes to answer all the questions! Get faster at using the dictionary, practise using the one you will take into an exam Use a dictionary which is right for the task Much of the meaning in a sentence is conveyed by the verb: get used to identifying where the verbs are, by highlighting them Dictionary skills Become familiar with the verb pages: many times when people can’t find a word in the dictionary, it is because it is a form of a verb, and most dictionaries give only infinitives Stick a blank card or a ruler in the verb pages, so you can go to them instantly, and save time Get used to going beyond the head word in the dictionary, practise scanning the examples below, as you will often find the whole phrase you are looking for Translation Look at the PowerPoint on translation Take small chunks out of past papers and try putting them into English: these texts are set at the right level for you. Ask your teacher to look at your versions, or get the marking schemes from the SQA website if you use the actual translation: the last five years are available at: http://www.sqa.org.uk/pastpapers/findpastpaper.ht m Put in subject and level Directed Writing: old Higher Higher directed writing is all about past tenses, so make sure you are good at them: use your dictionary verb pages to check your work: practise using these pages There are six bullet points, of which four are very predictable Sit and write your frameworks for these four bullet points: then learn them Once you have learned them, try putting them into practice by measuring them against past papers, and seeing what you have to tweak: this is key for the prelims For the last two bullet points, you are liable to need a future and conditional tense, and give opinions! Look for more advice next term when we deal with reading Directed Writing: new Higher Higher directed writing is all about past tenses, so make sure you are good at them: use your dictionary verb pages to check your work: practise using these pages Be clear what the past tenses mean and when you would use them There are four bullet points, which are to a certain extent predictable For the last bullet point, you are liable to need a future and conditional tense, and give opinions! Next term we will have a session on writing, which will cover this in more depth Directed writing: old Higher how you travelled to Germany and what you did during the journey where you stayed and how you got on with the whole family how you spent your time at the Christmas market what you thought of the different meals you ate what you did during the time you had to yourself during this visit what you would recommend about being in Germany just before Christmas Directed writing: old Higher How you travelled to Spain and what you did on the journey What you thought of the food and accommodation in Barcelona How you got on with the people in your group and the Spanish people you met How you spent the evenings in Barcelona What you did on your last day in Spain Why you would or would not recommend a trip of this type to Spain. Directed writing: old Higher how many people were in your group and how you travelled where you stayed and what you thought about the town what you did on the days of the competition how you got on with the other teams which were taking part what you did in your free time what benefits you got from being part of a team competing in France. Directed writing: new Higher What your job was and what you thought of the people you worked with What you had to do in your job What you liked/disliked about the job If you would recommend such an experience to others where you found the job advert and how you applied for the job what kind of work you have been doing what you thought about the job whether you would recommend a summer job abroad Opinion writing: old and new This is unpredictable! You can not know what topic will come up, although it will be something you have studied You cannot simply learn by heart some essays and hope to find one of them fits You will be given a topic, then asked usually two or three questions. You have to answer them! What you can do is have a lot of opinion phrases ready, and be prepared to adapt them to fit the topic in question Opinion writing: old and new Collate some of the material you have been listening to, to incorporate it in your essays: so when you are practising listening, take the time to note down some phrases in the target language which you can then put in your writing Look at the transcripts of what you are listening to and identify good phrases and sentences for your bank Have an introduction and conclusion ready Finally, try writing some short plans for essays: structure is important Opinion questions: old Higher Où préférez–vous passer les vacances? Et pourquoi? Qu’est-ce qu’il y a chez vous pour les touristes et pour les jeunes qui y habitent? Was willst du in der Zukunft machen? Mö chtest du auch woanders leben? Y para ti, ¿es importante la tecnología en tu vida? ¿Para qué utilizas tu móvil? ¿Crees que la gente está obsesionada con la tecnología? Opinion questions: new Higher Penses-tu comme Audrey que les langues sont importantes pour l’avenir? Est-ce-que ton lycée/collège te prépare bien pour le monde du travail? As-tu des projets précis pour le futur? Bianca hat eine kleine Familie. Wie ist das mit dir? Hast du eine große Familie? Wie kommst du mit deiner Familie aus? Denkst du, dass es wichtig ist Geschwister zu haben? Warum? Carmen ha hablado de sus pasatiempos y de lo que hace para mantenerse en forma. Y tú, ¿qué haces para estar en forma? ¿Tienes muchos pasatiempos? ¿Crees que es importante tener pasatiempos sanos? Opinion starts and finishes Audrey a parlé des vacances: pour moi, les vacances sont bien sûr importantes. Je voudrais examiner ce sujet un peu. Eh bien, j’espère que j’ai pu parler suffisament au sujet des vacances, et que vous savez ce que j’en pense. Bianca hat von ihrer Familie gesprochen. Ich denke ein bisschen anders, und möchte etwas von meinen Ideen jetzt schreiben. Also, ich hoffe, sie haben jetzt eine bessere Idee von meinen Ansichten zum Thema Familie. Carmen ha hablado de sus pasatiempos, y fue muy interesante. Para mi, las cosas son un poco diferente. Entonces, tiene ahora un idea do lo qu hago yo para mantenerme en forma.