EF and non EF students have been contacting me these past few weeks on SC regarding the document – will you do one or not? So here is the inside info – from the Essential French point of view!
Firstly, despite what many teachers say, the document is NOT compulsory! You will NOT be penalised if you decide against doing one.
Teachers and examiners love the document – as it brings a very personal and different element to the oral exam. Everyone brings up the same topics, using the same vocab – so the exam can become quite tedious for the examiner listening to the same stuff all day.
Bringing up a document gives you a chance to discuss something that you may not have the opportunity to discuss in the French oral. The key to picking the correct document is that it must mean something to YOU. There is no point in preparing a document on a theme that everyone else is discussing – as there is no element of difference in it!
We definitely recommend the document for students NOT attending Essential French. For Essential French students – we will not be doing the document. All of our material is unique and exclusive in content, so from the minute you start speaking French the examiner will be WOWed. For the past 16 years our students have obtained the highest results in the country in French – and not one of our students has ever brought in a document.
For those of ye out there who wish to do a document – the question is WHAT theme to do?
Deciding on what to bring up – here are a few ideas :
It’s nice to tell a story – as it has a beginning, a middle and an end – with very little chance of the examiner asking you a weird or strange question. Remember it is perfect fine to bend the truth slightly – or indeed make up the story completely! There is no lie-detector in the exam itself – but just make sure your story is believable!
– your first childhood memory (your first day at school / your communion)
– did your parents meet in unusual circumstance – a cute loved up story is always welcome!
– do you know anyone who won the lotto – or did you ever win something special – everyone loves hearing a good news story!
– did you ever meet someone famous? what were the circumstances? did it live up to your expectations?
– do your parents have an unusual hobby?
– do you have an unusual pet?
– are you a godmother or godfather to a child?
– your favorite birthday / christmas present
– your style icon and why?
– your fav sports star and why (this could tie in lovely with your hobby!)
– your fav film star – and link to your fav film. details of their life and other films they were in.
– your fav french dish – know the receipe / how to cook it etc – link to where you tasted this first etc
– a past-time you would love to start once the Leaving Cert is over – and why? you will need to know all about the hobby obviously and any famous person linked to the hobby
A few areas I would avoid are the ones that are over-done in the exam – your TY fashion show / school tour; holidays abroad (as you could be asked complicated culture questions);
These are only a few ideas to help you get creative! Remember to make sure your teacher reads through and corrects your material to ensure you have no errors – and that you have covered all angles of the theme.
You can not bring in any photo/ item that has any writing on it – except for french writing. One last thing to remember is that there are some students out there who have their document prepared since 5th year – so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to learn everything properly! The examiner will expect you to know this theme ab perfectly – so don’t disappoint them!
Hope this has helped!
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