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TEF : French Language test inquiry

TEF : French Language test inquiry

Old Jan 21st 2004, 9:55 am
  #1  
Jamill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default TEF : French Language test inquiry

Hi guys,
In a bid to improve my marks from mere 67 (marginal pass) to something more
future proof, I have decided to bite the bullet and learn French. All I want
is to achieve "moderate" level of proficiency in the TEF test for those
extra 8 points. I realise that it would take me a while to do it.
I have only done a basic course (level 1) in the local Alliance Française
and, of course, they have their own program for language testing (DELF and
DALF).
I was wondering how many levels do I have to do with the Alliance to be
achieve 'Moderate' level in TEF assuming that I participate in the classes
seriously and complete all homework.
I have already called the Alliance and they are a bit vague about this.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
 
Old Jan 22nd 2004, 6:27 am
  #2  
Ashley Watson
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: French Language test inquiry

Hello

Learning a language is a very individual thing. Some people make progress
alot quicker than others. If you already speak another language most people
are able to learn other languages quicker than the first language. You
indicated that you have just completed a basic course at the Alliance
Francaise. My personal opinion of the Alliance Francaise is not good. They
seem to have plenty of basic courses which seem to be mainly filled by
middle class housewives who are going to be travelling to France in the near
future and like to dream of speaking a language fluently. Once you advance
past this stage there are fewer and fewer advanced courses available as the
number of people who advance at the Alliance Francaise are limited. I also
found that for what you pay the quality of teaching is not that great. I'm
sure though that it varies from place to place.

I have two pieces of advice for you. Firstly I believe that you are setting
your goals a bit too high if you wish to gain 8 points. I would suggest it
would be more realistic that you aim for an additional 2 or 3 points in
order to communicate in French at a basic level. To achieve 8 points would
require you learning French in an immersion environment between at least 3
and 6 months, and even then that is not certain. The most difficult aspect
of learning a language is the written expression and the easiest is a toss
up between listening and reading comprehension depending on your ability.
So ideally you should concentrate on these two and practice speaking as much
as possible. Since you only want the points in order to be sure of being
accepted for immigration it's not worth while trying to gain 8 extra points
when 3 extra points for language ability will give you 70 points which is
comfortably past the passmark.

Secondly if you are unable to participate an immerssion programme, you will
need to do more than just attend classes and do your homework if you wish to
reach a basic level (but if you happen to have an ability with languages
then maybe not). Ideally you should try and devote at least one hour a day
to French over and above your classes and homework. It's better to study a
little often than many hours in one go. Try and immerse yourself as much as
possible, listen to tapes in the car, on the bus etc. Read and listen to
internet sites, use interactive CD's, videos. As far as classes go,
universities are by far the best in my view as not only do you get an
academic credit but they have extensive reasources. Often classes are held
in the early evening.

Learning a language is a little like the thermodynamic law of latent heat in
my view. You dont appear to be making progress despite all your efforts
until suddenly you make a big step forward and you are on another platform
where again more work is required until you make your next step.

Good Luck in your project

Ashley Watson





"Jamill" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
    > Hi guys,
    > In a bid to improve my marks from mere 67 (marginal pass) to something
more
    > future proof, I have decided to bite the bullet and learn French. All I
want
    > is to achieve "moderate" level of proficiency in the TEF test for those
    > extra 8 points. I realise that it would take me a while to do it.
    > I have only done a basic course (level 1) in the local Alliance Française
    > and, of course, they have their own program for language testing (DELF and
    > DALF).
    > I was wondering how many levels do I have to do with the Alliance to be
    > achieve 'Moderate' level in TEF assuming that I participate in the classes
    > seriously and complete all homework.
    > I have already called the Alliance and they are a bit vague about this.
    > Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    > Thanks in advance.
 
Old Jan 22nd 2004, 9:28 am
  #3  
Jamill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: French Language test inquiry

Hi Ashley,
Thank you very much for such detailed and useful advice. I have learned
English as a second language and currently work (part time) as a
professional translator. To be able to do that I had to pass the required
examination and all here in Australia.
I've always had a love for languages and wanted to learn French anyway. But,
I agree that it is difficult to achieve a level of competence which will
allow me to get extra marks for migration. Although, as you said, 70 is
comfortably above the pass mark right now, it may increase all the way up to
75 at any time. The more marks I can have, the more secure I will feel.
Anyway, I will see what I can do.
Thank you for your advice on the quality of Alliance's teaching. I think I
will have to learn the language through self study and watch French films
more often to familiarise myself with the language.
And, you hit the nail on the head with that thermodynamic law of latent heat
comparison.

Thanks again.


"Ashley Watson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Hello
    > Learning a language is a very individual thing. Some people make progress
    > alot quicker than others. If you already speak another language most
people
    > are able to learn other languages quicker than the first language. You
    > indicated that you have just completed a basic course at the Alliance
    > Francaise. My personal opinion of the Alliance Francaise is not good.
They
    > seem to have plenty of basic courses which seem to be mainly filled by
    > middle class housewives who are going to be travelling to France in the
near
    > future and like to dream of speaking a language fluently. Once you
advance
    > past this stage there are fewer and fewer advanced courses available as
the
    > number of people who advance at the Alliance Francaise are limited. I
also
    > found that for what you pay the quality of teaching is not that great.
I'm
    > sure though that it varies from place to place.
    > I have two pieces of advice for you. Firstly I believe that you are
setting
    > your goals a bit too high if you wish to gain 8 points. I would suggest
it
    > would be more realistic that you aim for an additional 2 or 3 points in
    > order to communicate in French at a basic level. To achieve 8 points
would
    > require you learning French in an immersion environment between at least 3
    > and 6 months, and even then that is not certain. The most difficult
aspect
    > of learning a language is the written expression and the easiest is a toss
    > up between listening and reading comprehension depending on your ability.
    > So ideally you should concentrate on these two and practice speaking as
much
    > as possible. Since you only want the points in order to be sure of being
    > accepted for immigration it's not worth while trying to gain 8 extra
points
    > when 3 extra points for language ability will give you 70 points which is
    > comfortably past the passmark.
    > Secondly if you are unable to participate an immerssion programme, you
will
    > need to do more than just attend classes and do your homework if you wish
to
    > reach a basic level (but if you happen to have an ability with languages
    > then maybe not). Ideally you should try and devote at least one hour a
day
    > to French over and above your classes and homework. It's better to study
a
    > little often than many hours in one go. Try and immerse yourself as much
as
    > possible, listen to tapes in the car, on the bus etc. Read and listen to
    > internet sites, use interactive CD's, videos. As far as classes go,
    > universities are by far the best in my view as not only do you get an
    > academic credit but they have extensive reasources. Often classes are
held
    > in the early evening.
    > Learning a language is a little like the thermodynamic law of latent heat
in
    > my view. You dont appear to be making progress despite all your efforts
    > until suddenly you make a big step forward and you are on another platform
    > where again more work is required until you make your next step.
    > Good Luck in your project
    > Ashley Watson
    > "Jamill" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
    > [email protected]...
    > > Hi guys,
    > > In a bid to improve my marks from mere 67 (marginal pass) to something
    > more
    > > future proof, I have decided to bite the bullet and learn French. All I
    > want
    > > is to achieve "moderate" level of proficiency in the TEF test for those
    > > extra 8 points. I realise that it would take me a while to do it.
    > > I have only done a basic course (level 1) in the local Alliance
Française
    > > and, of course, they have their own program for language testing (DELF
and
    > > DALF).
    > > I was wondering how many levels do I have to do with the Alliance to be
    > > achieve 'Moderate' level in TEF assuming that I participate in the
classes
    > > seriously and complete all homework.
    > > I have already called the Alliance and they are a bit vague about this.
    > > Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    > > Thanks in advance.
    > >
    > >
 
Old Jan 22nd 2004, 4:52 pm
  #4  
Ek
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: French Language test inquiry

I don't know Ashley in which city the Alliance Francaise was not that good.
All I can say, that in Alliance Francaise in Atlanta, the quality of the
teaching is great. I tried to go to different teachers in different groups
and most of them are extremely motivated teaching. In addition, there are
many groups for advanced speakers in French, advanced conversation class,
the class of degustation of French wines, the class of the French literature
etc.

So it really depends on the place, overall in even different countries
Alliance has an excellent reputation.

To Jamill, regarding the test TEF, if you already took all 5 levels of the
basic French in Alliance, you can trying first purchasing the book and tapes
to prepare for TEF, it has sample tests, then you can assess your level
before actually taking a test. Try asking Alliance Francaise that offers TEF
for the book and tapes, they might have them for sale.

Bon chance!

EK

"Jamill" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Hi Ashley,
    > Thank you very much for such detailed and useful advice. I have learned
    > English as a second language and currently work (part time) as a
    > professional translator. To be able to do that I had to pass the required
    > examination and all here in Australia.
    > I've always had a love for languages and wanted to learn French anyway.
But,
    > I agree that it is difficult to achieve a level of competence which will
    > allow me to get extra marks for migration. Although, as you said, 70 is
    > comfortably above the pass mark right now, it may increase all the way up
to
    > 75 at any time. The more marks I can have, the more secure I will feel.
    > Anyway, I will see what I can do.
    > Thank you for your advice on the quality of Alliance's teaching. I think I
    > will have to learn the language through self study and watch French films
    > more often to familiarise myself with the language.
    > And, you hit the nail on the head with that thermodynamic law of latent
heat
    > comparison.
    > Thanks again.
    > "Ashley Watson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Hello
    > >
    > > Learning a language is a very individual thing. Some people make
progress
    > > alot quicker than others. If you already speak another language most
    > people
    > > are able to learn other languages quicker than the first language. You
    > > indicated that you have just completed a basic course at the Alliance
    > > Francaise. My personal opinion of the Alliance Francaise is not good.
    > They
    > > seem to have plenty of basic courses which seem to be mainly filled by
    > > middle class housewives who are going to be travelling to France in the
    > near
    > > future and like to dream of speaking a language fluently. Once you
    > advance
    > > past this stage there are fewer and fewer advanced courses available as
    > the
    > > number of people who advance at the Alliance Francaise are limited. I
    > also
    > > found that for what you pay the quality of teaching is not that great.
    > I'm
    > > sure though that it varies from place to place.
    > >
    > > I have two pieces of advice for you. Firstly I believe that you are
    > setting
    > > your goals a bit too high if you wish to gain 8 points. I would suggest
    > it
    > > would be more realistic that you aim for an additional 2 or 3 points in
    > > order to communicate in French at a basic level. To achieve 8 points
    > would
    > > require you learning French in an immersion environment between at least
3
    > > and 6 months, and even then that is not certain. The most difficult
    > aspect
    > > of learning a language is the written expression and the easiest is a
toss
    > > up between listening and reading comprehension depending on your
ability.
    > > So ideally you should concentrate on these two and practice speaking as
    > much
    > > as possible. Since you only want the points in order to be sure of
being
    > > accepted for immigration it's not worth while trying to gain 8 extra
    > points
    > > when 3 extra points for language ability will give you 70 points which
is
    > > comfortably past the passmark.
    > >
    > > Secondly if you are unable to participate an immerssion programme, you
    > will
    > > need to do more than just attend classes and do your homework if you
wish
    > to
    > > reach a basic level (but if you happen to have an ability with languages
    > > then maybe not). Ideally you should try and devote at least one hour a
    > day
    > > to French over and above your classes and homework. It's better to
study
    > a
    > > little often than many hours in one go. Try and immerse yourself as
much
    > as
    > > possible, listen to tapes in the car, on the bus etc. Read and listen
to
    > > internet sites, use interactive CD's, videos. As far as classes go,
    > > universities are by far the best in my view as not only do you get an
    > > academic credit but they have extensive reasources. Often classes are
    > held
    > > in the early evening.
    > >
    > > Learning a language is a little like the thermodynamic law of latent
heat
    > in
    > > my view. You dont appear to be making progress despite all your efforts
    > > until suddenly you make a big step forward and you are on another
platform
    > > where again more work is required until you make your next step.
    > >
    > > Good Luck in your project
    > >
    > > Ashley Watson
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > "Jamill" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
    > > [email protected]...
    > > > Hi guys,
    > > > In a bid to improve my marks from mere 67 (marginal pass) to something
    > > more
    > > > future proof, I have decided to bite the bullet and learn French. All
I
    > > want
    > > > is to achieve "moderate" level of proficiency in the TEF test for
those
    > > > extra 8 points. I realise that it would take me a while to do it.
    > > > I have only done a basic course (level 1) in the local Alliance
    > Française
    > > > and, of course, they have their own program for language testing (DELF
    > and
    > > > DALF).
    > > > I was wondering how many levels do I have to do with the Alliance to
be
    > > > achieve 'Moderate' level in TEF assuming that I participate in the
    > classes
    > > > seriously and complete all homework.
    > > > I have already called the Alliance and they are a bit vague about
this.
    > > > Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    > > > Thanks in advance.
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    > >
 
Old Jan 23rd 2004, 2:15 am
  #5  
Dylan Thurston
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: French Language test inquiry

On 2004-01-22, Jamill <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Thank you for your advice on the quality of Alliance's teaching. I think I
    > will have to learn the language through self study and watch French films
    > more often to familiarise myself with the language.

It's really hard to learn a language through self-study, particularly
listening and speaking. Try to find some French community you can
participate in to get some familiarity with the spoken language; this
will help with written work as well. (This need not necessarily be a
course.)

Also, films are generally very tough to follow: often the sound quality
is not so good, and the language is typically extremely informal. My
partner, whose native language is Chinese, is absolutely fluent in
English in both speech and writing, but still won't watch films in
English without subtitles, because he misses just a little too much. I
had a similar experience watching French films without subtitles
(although I'm not nearly as fluent in French as he is in English).
And if there are English subtitles, you'll end up reading the subtitles
and not paying attention to the French. French films with subtitles in
French might work well.

Good luck,
Dylan
 

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