Althought the tough part of this exam is definitely the speaking part, some of you learning French might have hard time with listening (compréhension orale). Indeed, listening French is hard, but don’t worry, they are many ways to improve!
Some important advice during the exam:
Be smart when you read the questions. Most answers are in the questions themselves or in another question. Sometimes you can almost answer before hearing the audio recording.
The first part is easier but played only once.
In the second part you can usually hear two different voices and the questions follow the audio recording in chronological order.
They are no negative scores so if you really don’t know the answer, don’t leave it blank, take a guess.
Take notes as much as possible, to leave your memory free to hear the other elements.
Whisper while reading the questions or at least move your lips. Sometimes it’s good to give remind yourself of the real sound of words and not what you expect to hear. The sound is different when you just imagine it or if you actually hear it.
Practicing these techniques will improve your listening skills:
- listen to different accents
- do dictation
- shadowing (see the post on how to master shadowing technique with
- work on past papers
Useful resources to improve your listening skills in French!
Practicing these techniques will help to improve your skills.
Practice dictation to improve your listening skills. In the listening test, the audio is only played once!
- dictee.tv5monde.com: For dictations. NB select your level on the top right.
- https://micetf.fr/dicteenombres/ : dictations about numbers
- http://www.micc-francisation.gouv.qc.ca: “Exercices pour étudiants avancés/Dictées et tests/” even more useful because you can hear a slight Québec accent.
- bescherelle.com/dictees-audio: middle school student dictation. Very complete and you can pick a dictation involving a specific difficulty: for example, participle agreement or verb endings, or articles. You can choose a dictation where you will be more likely to hear a particular type of word.
- RFI: Journal en français facile is very good to practice listening skills and dictation. You can check the transcript afterwards. There are lot of transcripts and exercises, and also vocabulary. You can practice the shadowing technique with this website.
- Most audio recordings for the listening test are taken from https://www.franceinter.fr especially here https://www.franceinter.fr/societe and https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/service-public and http://www.rtl.fr
Listen to them as much as possible!
Shadowing (Listen to a French audio/dialogue playing through your earphones and as you hear it, even if you don’t understand anything, you repeat the sounds at the same time and then if needed listen a second time using the transcriptions).
My recipe for shadowing French: https://itsfrenchjuice.com/2017/05/17/recipe-shadowing-french
Listen to different French accents using tunein (http://tunein.com/radio/regions/) a web radio you can select by region: Québec, Suisse, Belgique, DOM-TOM etc…