Pre-Level 2 Exam Worries

D-2 days! De laatste les is op woensdag 25 maart. Wij doen dan ook het examen.

Feeling rather apprehensive of this for some reason. I think its because I had a script for my Level 1 Exam. There is no real script to practice from for a ‘general conversation’ try as I might to write one. Within level 2 we haven’t covered set topics as such to be certain of conversation areas. In many of our group discussions we talk about ANYTHING some examples have been: “Who should pay on the first date – the man, the woman or 50:50?”, “Do you prefer shoes with a high heel or flat?”, “What is your favourite animal?”, “Tell me about your daily life.” You see there is no real structure for that, it is an open book. Which makes revision so much harder!

I have been listening to Dutch Radio, and Dutch bloggers on Youtube but its not been easy! I am conscious of the fact that I haven’t been over to the Netherlands since November so I’m hitting 5 months away from it. Basically the entire time in which I have been trying to learn it. It will be interesting when I next go over to see just how much I know. I’ll probably pick up a lot more and understand a lot more than I expect. The key is talking slowly to me! I can get the gist if you speak correctly and slowly…I think!

Things I am most worried about:

  1. Panicking. Sitting there and not knowing what on earth is going on.
  2. Not knowing the right word.
  3. Getting my tenses wrong! I’m pretty good talking about ‘here and now’ but I get SO confused on my tenses when put on the spot!
  4. Sounding / Looking like an idiot. I think this is my biggest problem in general. Dutch is a language with words and sounds that don’t come naturally to me. I have only just mastered that guttural ‘g-he’ sound.

 

So here are my Main Exam Tips that I use and encourage you all to do too!

  • Slow Down. The conversation is 5 minutes. There is no prize for finishing first, just more talking and more questions!
  • Be Confident. I know this is easier said than done. For me especially! We are supposed to be talking Dutch confidently and as fluently as possible, its time to speak with conviction. What is the worst that can happen? Most people in my class don’t understand dmy accent when speaking English. They’ve got NO chance understanding my Dutch!
  • Dont panic. I’ve decided that if I don’t know the exact word my method will be to describe what I mean. I have talk about this technique before. Whether under pressure I will be able to actually do this I’m not sure but I’m giving it my best shot.

 

Level 3 starts on 22nd April. Technically a month away. It is the last one. As of September the are re-running level 1 again. There isn’t a 2nd Year which is a shame! The Entry Level 3 will focus on:

  • Pronunciation
  • Verbs
  • Word Order
  • Past and Present Tense
  • History and Culture
  • Understanding and interpretation
  • Fluency

I have thought about the options of doing level 3 or not. Its 10 more weeks. Its not going to do my Dutch any harm and after the last 6 months of lessons I don’t have any other plans for a wednesday night. I think I am going to do it. I have to enrol on Wednesday, providing I pass my test obviously!

I’m going to try and squeeze and hour of revision in tonight. I’m definitely not going to have time to do it tomorrow. I could have and probably should have done more. Anyway Grote Success to everyone in my class. Exams are shit regardless but they are there for a reason! Alles komt goed!

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Day One of Super Geek Mode!

I’ve got 6 days till my Level 2 exam. I am doing at least an hour a day. I can’t commit to any more than that. Ages ago I dug out my old GCSE French Questions and translated them into Dutch (via the-powers-that-must-not-be-named being Google Translate). I’m going to use these for a framework of my practice. Todays practice was Huiselijk leven.

Continue reading Day One of Super Geek Mode!

The Power of Alternative words (Term 2, Lesson 9)

In this post I am going to be waffling about the use of alternative words in place of ones you may not already know plus giving a handy little language exam tip that has never failed me!

Generally speaking I enjoy my drive back from class. It’s a little English wind down that I really appreciate after being bombarded with conversation that I only confidently understand just over half of. On my drive back from college tonight I started thinking back at some of the notes I had made. Queue note: If you don’t know the word, just explain it.

Continue reading The Power of Alternative words (Term 2, Lesson 9)

A little research…Learning A New Language

In a post on the 4th January: Dutch is full of ‘historical junk’ says expert I mentioned some research I was doing about people learning a second language. Spreekt jij een andere taal? Do you have 5 minutes to share your views? I would really appreciate any input you could offer. Whether you are learning Dutch, English, Spanish or Somalian I would love to hear from you!  It is super quick and easy, you can complete the form below or go to this link.  Thank you in advance! Dank u voor uw hulp! 

bilingual-brain-21

Continue reading A little research…Learning A New Language

Exam Script and Holiday Revision Plans

After going through everything it occurred to me that I didn’t post my exam piece for my Dutch course. So in this post I’m going to do just that. I’m not going to share all of the photos I used become some of them are quite personal but the majority are just scenic and I can’t not show you.

I wanted to mention as well at just how useful my studying was before i started the course. Yes I moaned when I first started it and it was slow and a bit rubbish (I read through some of my earlier posts whilst recapping all of the course material) but without doing all the work before hand this course would have been too much. There is a guy on my course who said as much. We are moving through the language so quickly there isn’t much time to dwell on some points. I’ve always been a bit of a geek and been, arguable, over prepared for EVERYTHING but I’m not ashamed of that. I’ve worked bloody hard and I don’t intend to give that up any time soon!

Continue reading Exam Script and Holiday Revision Plans