Revising_for_Modern_Languages_AH

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Revising for Modern Languages
Advanced Higher
DECEMBER 2014
Revising for 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
 Look at the level of difficulty of the Scholar material:
start at level 1, then move on
Listening
 Try taking notes in the target language sometimes as
practice
 Use the language in the transcripts as a source of
preparation for your writing
 Remember that at AH, one of the listenings will be
two people expressing different points of view, so get
used to listening to dialogues, where both points of
view matter
 Once you have done a listening past paper, save it
and revisit it
Listening
 http://french.about.com/od/radio/
 http://www.scoop.it/t/enseignement-et
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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
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important.
At Higher, you are only looking for nuggets of
information: Advanced Higher needs longer
answers, although they still come in order
Think of it as a guided translation
Develop your dictionary skills!
Try the Scholar texts as sources of language which
are at the right level for you
Reading
 Find newspaper articles on subjects you are covering
in school or are interested in to practice reading on
 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 past paper text, and without using a
dictionary, but using the questions, highlight what
you think the key points are: then use an AH
marking scheme to see if you are right
The inferential question at Advanced Higher
 the question is always a 'do you think' or 'what is the
author's opinion' question. The answer you find by
reading the whole text (Now take the article as a
whole. How does the author view…?)
 start with an opinion: it is necessary for the first
mark, and if you do not give one you will get no
marks!
 look for arguments for and against your opinion: you
need both
The inferential question at Advanced Higher
 use the language of argument: this implies: we gain
the impression: the author wants us to see: although,
however, on the other hand, etc
 refer to particular lines: in line 52-53 we can see (do
not quote in the language: paraphrase in English)
and then explain what this means or why it has been
written
 give as many examples as you have time for! (3 for
and 3 against, if you can)
Dictionary skills
 It will take you around 45 seconds on average to look up
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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
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
Translation
 Use the Scholar material as a way of practicising and
being able to check your versions
 When in Scholar, on the left you will see ‘Resources’,
and within that ‘Activities’. Click on there and scroll
down till you see translation exercises.
 You will be led to texts which you can study, then try
the translation.
 Compare your answer with the exemplar given.
Writing
 Advanced Higher directed writing is all about
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structure and argument
Think of your writing as a discursive essay
Sit and write plans for topics you have covered in
class
You cannot simply learn by heart some essays and
hope to find one of them fits
What you can do is have a lot of language ready for
certain topics and be prepared to adapt them to fit
the topic in question
Writing
 It is unpredictable! There will be a choice of topics,
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and you will have covered some of the areas
Choose some areas you find more interesting, and
have plans ready for these
Some topics are almost always there
Have a lot of opinion phrases ready, and be prepared
to adapt them to fit the topic in question
Most important is to put a structure in place: good
practice is to look at a past paper, then write a plan
for your essay
Discursive Writing Structure
Para 1
An introduction to the topic: rephrasing the
question, saying what you are going to look at
40 words
Para 2
Argument 1
Counterargument 1
70 words
Para 3
Argument 2
Counterargument 2
70 words
Para 4
Argument 3
Counterargument 3
70 words
Para 5
Conclusion
40 words
Total
250 -300 words
Para 1
An introduction to the topic: rephrasing the
question, saying what you are going to look at
40 words
Para 2
Argument 1
Counterargument 1
70 words
Para 3
Argument 2
Counterargument 2
70 words
Para 4
Argument 3
Counterargument 3
70 words
Para 5
Conclusion
Reading
40 words
Total
250 -300 words
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