Leaving Certificate French Oral - Common Errors
 

The oral examination lasts for approximately 12 minutes and counts for 25% of your total mark at Higher Level. It can be the most daunting section of the Leaving Cert French exam,  but being well prepared with vocabulary and verbs will go a long way to laying the groundwork. 

Treat it as a conversation rather than an interrogation and try to get as much practise as possible at speaking French in advance of the exam.

Euro Languages College - Leaving Cert French Oral Course

Euro Languages College’s Leaving Cert French Oral Course will give you confidence before the actual exam as you will be much better prepared.  We have small classes so students get more personalized attention. 

Main Areas Where Students Make Mistakes:

Below are 3 areas (Pronunciation, Vocabulary, and Structure) where many students sitting the Leaving Cert French Oral make mistakes.  These are very common and easy to iron out if you put in the effort. 

By attending the Euro Languages College oral course you will be better equipped to prepare for the oral examination and make fewer mistakes.

Common Pronunciation Errors

  • Pronouncing final silent consonant, e.g. trucs, trop, cours, sport, heures, je sors
  • Mispronunciation of words such as: natation, installation, récréation, émission
  • Difficulty in pronouncing correctly the “gn” in gagner, campagne, Espagne
  • Confusion between ville, mille, tranquille as opposed to famille, fille, pavillon
  • Difficulty with the nasal sounds in words, e.g. examen, jardin, vin, mon, on, ans
  • Little or no effort to pronounce the French [r]
  • Failure to observe the silent “e” or “ent” in the Present Tense, e.g. je joue, il aime, elles regardent
  • Confusion of matière / métier, vie / ville, aîné / année, cheveux / chevaux
  • Final é in the Passé Composé not pronounced, e.g. j’ai joué pronounced j’ai joue
  • Not making correct liaison, e.g. les élèves
  • Mispronunciation of school subjects, especially le français, la chimie, la biologie
  • Mispronunciation of common nouns such as parents, poulet, soeur, travaille
  • No distinction between the pronunciation of un and une.

Common Vocabulary Errors

The most common errors in vocabulary are below and a re made by students every year; they include:

  • Les faux amis: collège used instead of université, facilités used instead of installations / équipements
  • Confusion between certain words, e.g. journée / voyage, travailler / voyager, boisson / besoin, Pâques / bac, chambre / pièce
  • School subjects and names of countries not known
  • Inability to mention a favourite dish other than frites or pizza, or items of clothing bought or received as a present
  • Limited range of adjectives and verbs
  • Failure to recognise words within the question which hint at the correct tense to be used in answering, e.g. dernier / prochain, hier / demain
  • Irish words used instead of French words, e.g. le for avec, mar for car, nó for ou, a lán for beaucoup
  • Occasional inappropriate use of slang terms, e.g. vachement
  • Widespread inability to cope from a lexical point of view once pushed, albeit gently, beyond their comfort zone

Common Structure (Grammar) Errors

The most common areas of difficulty are:

  • Confusion between the subject pronouns il and elle
  • Total absence of verb, e.g. Ma famille grande
  • C’est and il y a confused
  • Avoidance of the future tense by over reliance on je voudrais or j’espère + infinitive
  • Incorrect word order, e.g. Ils s’appellent mes soeurs Aoife et Mary
  • Incorrect or unnecessary use of prepositions, e.g. en Paris, à France, je regarde à, la télé, sur samedi, rencontrer avec
  • Être used when speaking of age, e.g. je suis 17 ans
  • Little distinction between definite and indefinite articles
  • Expressions of quantity such as beaucoup followed by des instead of de
  • Incorrect idiom when speaking of sport and pastimes, e.g. je joue au sport, je fais natation
  • Confusion regarding expressions of time, e.g. pendant / pour / depuis
  • Incorrect conjugation of acheter and étudier in all three basic tenses
  • Gender of very common nouns confused or not known, e.g. la café, le mer
  • Incorrect auxiliary verb or omission of same in Passé Composé, e.g. j’ai allé, je sorti, je ne pas vu
  • Confusion relating to verbs followed by preposition + the infinitive, e.g. j’espère d’aller
  • Use of parce que or car confused with à cause de, e.g. parce que mes études instead of à cause de mes étude
  • Echoing the question form used by the examiner, e.g. j’allez, je regardez, etc.

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