How do I prepare for the listening exam?

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In short, get listening to as much French as possible!  It may seem simple and obvious but it is honestly the best way to improve your listening skills and it will also help your pronunciation when it comes to the speaking exam.

Listen to French through as many means as possible, even just in the background.  Listening to French radio, music and audiobooks for about 10 minutes a day are a great way to start.  At the beginning you may feel like you do not understand anything - this is completely normal! However, what you don't realise is getting your ears used to hearing French on a regular basis will really help you improve. 

Once you've given this a go, the next stage is to start watching videos, series and films with English (or French, if you're feeling confident) subtitles. 

The main difficulty is only knowing a limited number of words, so really try and learn your vocabulary.  If you keep hearing the same word when you're listening to French, look it up and make a note in your own vocabulary book. 

It is definitely difficult trying to understand French but don't panic, you don't need to understand every word!  The examiners want you to be able to understand the main ideas and pick out some key details, but it really isn't necessary to understand every word to do well.

So my advice... start listening to some French now!

Hannah S. GCSE French tutor, A Level French tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, ...

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is an online A Level French tutor with MyTutor studying at Birmingham University

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