DALF C2 EXAM FEEDBACK
Well, I had a choice between going over my exam in person or receiving feedback via email. While I initially chose the first option, I then decided on the second for a couple of reasons, one of them being having a written record I can refer back to in future as opposed to a meeting I'd likely forget the details of pretty quickly.
Here's the feedback word for word I received in my email a couple days back.
AF examiner wrote:Bonjour Steven,
Please find below my notes and feedback regarding your DALF C2 LSH exam (November 2019).
I have also attached the blank marking schemes for your information.
ORAL COMPREHENSION & PRODUCTION
While you didn’t achieve a high score in this part, your mark was enough to pass (25/50). Both examiners agreed that areas of improvement include :
« structure logique et efficace qui facilite l’écoute pour le destinataire » à this means working on organising your ideas in a clear and logical way
« recentrer ou élargir le débat » à it is expected that you build on ideas from the examiner and refocus or expand the discussion
Morphosyntaxe: that is to say, the grammar. At a C2 level, there should be nearly no mistakes and a variety of tenses and structures
Lexique: at a C2 level, there should be no approximations and the vocabulary should be precise and varied
WRITTEN COMPREHENSION & PRODUCTION
This is where you lost most of your marks (13/50). While you did respect the general situation and the register was suitable, the examiners suggest you work on:
“Capacité à produire un texte sur un sujet complexe” : the French « problématique » needs to be developed into the paragraphs, in reference to the documents and through personal arguments and examples, and finally answered in the conclusion
“Cohérence et cohésion”: similar to the speaking part, this is all about organising your ideas in a clear and logical way, using a variety of connectors and transitions
“Morphosyntaxe” : as above
“Lexique” : as above
“Aisance” : you need to be able to show flexibility in your use of the language by rephrasing ideas and using different linguistic structures. This will allow you to reach a higher level of precision to express slight differences in meaning
In conclusion, the examiners are confident that working on two main aspects of the exam would help you succeed :
Methodology : the expectations are high, to match the French academic tradition. It would be useful to check out the methodology of “la dissertation française”
Language: work on maintaining a constant level of grammatical accuracy and variety, and also on enriching your vocabulary with idioms, specialised words and synonyms.
Thank you again for your efforts, Steven. The DALF C2 is very challenging, and many native French speakers would have trouble with the methodology as well! We definitely encourage you to continue with your French studies and would be very happy to welcome you at the Alliance again in the future.
Kind regards / Bien cordialement,
I guess upon reading that, it's pretty clear that I am (edit: not
at the C2 level. In the end I place myself again somewhere on the scale between B2 and C1, but where I am on that scale is anyone's guess.
While I'm in no way bitter about this, nor really that
disappointed (what's the point of being disappointed as I cannot change the reality of the level of my French), I am over studying French only. I have little desire or capacity to continue to study French and only French with every spare second I have. I am confortable that I have done sufficient to establish French in my every day life as well as those of my children. I am ready to learn other languages now simultaneously for several reasons. And I think it will be healthier for my French to do so. OTHER PLANS/ THOUGHTS/ LANGUAGES
While I hope my French continues to grow in the coming two to three years, I would not be too disappointed if it stagnates but means that the other languages I work on do some catching up and developing.
Of course other projects, ideas and things are in mind for the near future, so how much time I get to spend on language learning, or should spend on language learning is anyone's guess. I may find I flounder and get nowhere for a couple of years learning a lesson I already knew (don't take on too much at once). Still, as already mentioned, as long as I can maintain my French at this point, what's ahead of me in the coming couple of years is of little consequence, so I ought to listen to that and not take myself too seriously
In many ways my French goal is well and truly achieved, but in many ways I've reached this point noticeably short of my target.
Many a wise polyglot's words are echoing around in my hollow cranium. I definitely could've done things differently to progress more rapidly, but I'm me, I was always going to do it my way and I was always going to learn from it. It has been both beneficial and detrimental to stick to my guns.
Lately, I've been doing my best to balance my language time between French, Dutch and Norwegian with no particular language being favoured. French is ever familiar and makes Norwegian look like sea level while French is Mont Blanc, towering over, in terms of status. Dutch is a very fit experienced hill climber and making efficient progress on well trodden paths, but hasn't ever reached such lofty heights as the Alps.
Norwegian is intriguing. Sooo different in terms of pronunciation compared to other languages I've studied and more of a challenge than I ever expected. I've not progressed much as time is now split between other languages and I've had other things going on as well. I'm realising that if I get anywhere with this language it could be a bit of a slower path than I anticipated, as I needed to dig for more resources appropriate to help me pinpoint the phonetics and beat them into my head (the beating hasn't started yet). I'm happy to plod along.
French- I want to complete French in Action. Why not? I want to, who cares. I've also been listening, reading, watching, doing some vocab, the usual stuff. With a knock to the ego with the exam, I'm feeling more like a good performing B2 than anything as I read and watch things but don't understand everything. B2, in the end, is not so bad, hey?
Dutch- Vocabulearn, Hugo Dutch in 3 Months. Covering old territory, repaving the old roads, and quickly. Easier than knocking down trees and preparing for a new road. Eventually I'll meet new material, but please don't anyone dare tell me how to study now. I know what I want and what I need to do. I'm doing this my way. I'm also watching TV in Dutch here and there.
Occasional TV, occasional audio (eg Pimsleur, or a podcast here or there for beginners), a smattering of reading over phonetics from a couple of courses - Hugo Norwegian and then the preferred Learn Nowegian by Sverre Klouman.
I'm toying with doing some Spanish too, but I should resist, as I feel if my schedule gets bigger outside of languages (and it is likely to), I'll be questioning why I started Norwegian.