How to revise for a language GCSE

by Anita Naik

Language exams are designed to test your understanding of a language. Which is why they test your ability to read, write and speak in a variety of situations. Due to this, you will need to have a command of essential verbs and vocabulary and know the elements of grammar.

Also, ensure you know the exam format and what your examining board is testing you on. Usually, it will be listening, speaking, reading and writing. To help yourself revise for all of this, try the following tips.

Focus on vocabulary

When it comes to improving your vocabulary of any language, the earlier you start, the better. The more time you give yourself to expand your knowledge of words and phrases, the easier it will be on exam day. The best way to do this is to have a 'vocab book', where you can jot down any new words or phrases that you might come across in your reading and listening.

Creating topic-specific vocab lists will also be helpful, so be sure to read target texts that are written in a variety of styles. Then note down any words or phrases that could prove useful.

This way, when it comes to revising, you can use the lists to go over the words and get someone to test you. You could also try sticking post-it notes of useful words and phrases around your room for extra help.

Conversation is key

If there's a secret to revising a language, it's working on your conversation skills. Conversing with native speakers regularly is as good as hours in a classroom.

Find yourself a language tutor or students who want to learn English. Better still go online and find some language groups you can converse with. This will all help with both your oral skills and your written ones.

Challenge yourself to think in the new language

Practising and constructing sentences and fake conversations in your head in the language you are learning will help. This kind of visualization leads to a better understanding of the language.

It will also help In the conversation aspect of your GCSE where you need to use present, past and future tenses and as many complicated structures as possible.

One-on-one tutoring is the best and most efficient use of your time

Sitting with a tutor for a few hours, every week is a great way to learn and revise a language.

On top of this, it's better to study a little every day, instead of doing a lot once in a while. You'll learn way more if you spend 30 minutes daily studying rather than say, 8 hours once a week.

Go to where the language is spoken

If you can't travel to the country of origin, seek out native speakers, language films and audiobooks in the language. Exposure to the spoken language is critical when it comes to revising.

For instance, if you are learning French, listen to French radio or watch French TV, or read a French newspaper or journal. It will help you to formulate sentences in your head and make sense of what others are saying.

Reading a wide range of French texts of different styles will also help to expand your vocabulary. Be sure to note down any new words or phrases you find that you think could be useful in the exam.

Do your grammar practice

Revision for the reading exam requires a lot of grammar practice, especially tenses. You must be able to identify the past, present and future tenses. You should also be familiar with all question types, such as what, why and when questions.

Past papers are a great way of revising for the reading paper, as they will help to familiarise you with the words and phrases used for different topics. Other forms of reading practice include reading language novels, or newspapers and blogs in your target language.

Record yourself

When revising flashcards, revision notes, creating sentences using vocabulary all help. Yet the most significant aid for your presentation is recording your voice during a speech as this helps you perfect your pronunciation and identifies errors and mispronunciation.

Also, try to practice your presentations with another person.

Even if it's someone who doesn't speak the language as speaking aloud will help improve your confidence for the day.

For further help in any language look here for tutors in your area.

Tags: GCSEs Languages
Categories: How to revise GCSE