How to Prepare for the TEF CANADA EXAM? – TEF CANADA or e-TEF CANADA is an evaluation of the French understanding of a candidate. It is recognized at an international level. Here’s the exam pattern:
Format of TEF Canada exam: There are 4 compulsory modules in the TEF Canada exam:
- Reading Comprehension: 60 minutes- 50 questions- 300 points
- Listening Comprehension: 40 minutes- 60 questions- 360 points
- Written Expression: 60 minutes- 2 topics- 450 points
- Spoken Skills: 15 minutes- 2 topics- 450 points
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I INVEST IN TEF PREPARATION?
For somebody beginning from a ground level, the least duration possible is 10- 12 months. These 10- 12 months demand an absolute level of dedication, time & effort. This effort is done in GENUINELY learning the French language.
For the first 3 months, one must invest about 2- 3 hours each day (including weekends). Subsequently, one must devote 4- 6 hours a day to reach that desired level. We suggest this timeline considering that the process of learning a foreign language takes its natural time. Practically for an adult who has infinite responsibilities, a full-time job, workload, and an occupied schedule, 10- 12 months is the most ideal timeline for preparation, retention, and revision.
LEARNING FRENCH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
BASIC DETAILS OF THE LANGUAGE
Being a foreign language, French has a whole new kind of grammar, sentence structures, vocabulary, and most of all, pronunciation! It resembles the English language in terms of its script (the Roman script). But one must always note that French pronunciations and grammar are absolutely different from those of English. (I am myself a Masters in English Language & Literature. However, while teaching French, I always suggest to my students to really “sideline” their knowledge of English. This helps to not let it interfere with their French learning process.)
“JE SUIS CAPABLE”
Learning French through a course of about 12 months demands a good amount of hard work, patience, and consistency. The design of the exam is such that it will find out your actual level. Under no circumstances can you dupe the examiner into assessing B level if actually, you are just at A level. Clearly, during the preparation phase, there will be episodes of demotivation and lack of willpower to continue. But never forget, it gives an immense sense of accomplishment on reaching that milestone and achieving the desired level! Therefore, never lose hope and say the mantra: “Je suis capable! J’expire le stress et j’inspire l’apprentissage!”
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION FOR LEARNING FRENCH?
For most learners who wish to settle in Canada, achieving a level B2 in TEF Canada is the primary motivation. I also get students to express their disinterest in learning the language and hence, their only goal is to get a level B2. I understand the impatience. However, I suggest such students set their motivation right before starting this adventure. Being a journey of almost a year, one can simply not continue it with such a distant approach. One must be ready to really accept the learning process.
THE BEAUTY OF THE LANGUAGE
French, “La langue de Molière” is such a beautiful language that it will make you fall in love with itself. You only need to follow the right learning path. Trust me, this cultivation of love for the language is surely going to take you places! So start seeing it as something that will help you gain a new perspective in life and to understand a whole new culture!
HOW SHOULD I PLAN MY Preparation for TEF CANADA EXAM?
BASIC TIPS TO LEARN FRENCH –
The study plan for TEF prep needs to be right and nicely organized. Many French learners who are aspiring for TEF Canada fail to get the correct guidance. Hence, they end up wasting their time and money and also weakening their base in linguistic concepts. The right guidance and study plan will bring the results that you aspire to in your TEF Canada exam. Here are 5 basics for absolute newbies in French to reach a level B2 competency in 10- 12 months:
- Never start without learning French pronunciations! Don’t ever put off the task of polishing your pronunciations later on. Else, all your grammar basics, sentences, spoken skills and written skills will suffer! Do not ever misinterpret that French looks just like English and hence the pronunciations will be just the same. So always start with learning and applying French pronunciations to correct use! The correct pronunciation will enable you to speak confidently, write correctly, and listen correctly. Once your base in language learning weakens, it becomes more and more challenging to set them right later on.
- Grammar is an extremely important component! If you think that TEF exam preparation can be done by watching films and listening to music then you’re wrong. The exam finds errors in sentence structures, spelling, pronunciation, etc. Ignoring the grammar and sentences might still work if you target A2. But it never helps learners aspiring for a B2. In my teaching experience of 5 years, I get students who tell me that they haven’t learned English through grammar. They have done so by being in an English-speaking environment, by watching films and listening to songs and podcasts. I absolutely agree! Movies and music surely do provide additional practice but never at the cost of grammar lessons. More genuinely, you didn’t “learn” English through movies. You “improved” it through them. Only if you understand French sentences, you’ll understand what is going on in a French movie.
- Gender and Number are two very important concepts of French grammar! Yes! The concepts of singularity and plurality are understandable. But unlike in English, gender plays an important role in French grammar. Even non-living things are gender- specific and one must absolutely remember that. If one ignores this, serious problems. Basic concepts such as articles, demonstrative adjectives, possessive adjectives, prepositions, pronouns, etc do suffer. The TEF exam spots these errors and increases your chances of losing out on more and more marks.
- Writing by hand is the most effective tip for learning and retaining most of the concepts and vocabulary. It may sound old-school and boring. But writing by hand is the most effective way to set lexicon, expressions, and sentences into your long-term memory. As they say, “Old is Gold”, the new digital technology will never surpass the traditional handwritten notes! That is why I do not encourage seeking support from digital modes for preparing notes. No matter how organized and clean they may look, they don’t solidify concepts and help with long-term memory. Therefore, always prepare handwritten and well-organized notes. You can use them for several revisions before the exam preparation for TEF Canada.
- Patience is the key! Confidence is the key! Think of language learning as a plant that is growing. It doesn’t grow overnight. You water and nourish it with sunlight. That is how it grows. Never compare language learning to logical reasoning or to mathematics. You can’t just apply a formula and solve an equation. Language gives you the liberty to express yourself in multiple ways. So remain open to the multiple possibilities. Have a decent amount of patience. Have confidence in yourself. Believe that you are progressing even on days when you may be feeling too demotivated. Don’t forget, good things take time. And for them to really happen, don’t just study a concept once and leave it forever. Revise as many times as you can. That is what will help you retain them.
HOW TO GET MY LEARNING PROCESS RIGHT?
THE RIGHT STUDY PLAN:
Everybody finds out what works best for them in their process of exam preparation. However, here’s a basic study plan to provide you with guidance about how to begin and continue:
- PRONUNCIATIONS! Yes, as already explained, CORRECT pronunciations are of utmost importance while learning French. Consider the most basic examples:
TOUT (all)/ TU (you)
VOUS (you)/ VU (seen)
POISSON (fish)/ POISON (poison)
DESSERT (sweet dish)/ DESERT (desert)
One wrong pronunciation in French can change the whole meaning of a sentence, a tense, and a complete sentence structure! Thus, always start with getting your pronunciation right.
- BASICS OF FRENCH GRAMMAR: Here are some effective resources for your French learning:
- Start your grammar by learning the basics. Learn Days, Months, Seasons, Colors, Counting, Greetings, Subject Pronouns, Gender and Number of nouns, Articles, Demonstrative Adjectives, and Possessive Adjectives. “Learn French with Alexa” is an excellent channel on YouTube for the same. You will practice with correct pronunciations of words and will know whether your pronunciations are going right.
- As for a dictionary, I recommend the applications “Livio Offline French dictionary” and “Livio Offline English dictionary” to android users. These two work hand-in-hand. You may refer to these to find out vocabulary, pronunciations in audio, verb conjugations, and a lot more! To iPhone users, I usually suggest the Collins French Dictionary for vocabulary and meanings.
- Next, you need to start learning basic verbs (ER, IR, RE- Regular and Irregular) along with their meanings and conjugations. You’ll find useful content on websites like Kwiziq, Francais facile, and Lingolia. Our official TEF preparation course at LingoRelic Language Academy is a great way to accomplish your CLB 7 dream!
- My favorite channel on YouTube is “Love Learning Languages” by Jennifer, a French native teacher. She provides excellent lessons for grammar concepts.
- “French for Dummies” is one book that I really like and suggest my students refer to. It is great for grammar concepts and additional practice.
- “Practice Makes Perfect” is another excellent grammar book for practice.
- I encourage my students to use “Duolingo” almost all through their course of learning French. This is a great app and its design helps students to retain most things and to build confidence.
- “Édito- A1, A2, B1” is the best study material after your phase of learning pronunciations, basic grammar, and vocabulary. Each of these books should ideally take about 2 months to complete and for TEF preparation. Till level B1 you will find a lot of concepts and vocabulary to learn. Afterward, you need not do the Édito B2 book. In fact, now, you are good to start the journey of your TEF-specific exam preparation.
- “HelloTalk” is a mobile application that provides additional support for interacting with French native speakers and other French learners. I do consider it indispensable to have a partner with whom you continue your French learning and exchange support.
- Now, for TEF-specific exam preparation, you must refer to the website: prepmyfuture.com. Here you will find practice material and tests.
- The two official guides for TEF preparation are:
- 1) TEF (TEST D’EVALUATION DE FRANÇAIS- 250 ACTIVITÉS) by Sylvie Pons and Gaelle Karcher,
- 2)OBJECTIF RÉUSSITE- TEF (TEST D’EVALUATION DE FRANÇAIS).
In conclusion, you will never need to pile up infinity books and notes for your French learning and TEF exam preparation. Don’t forget that you are going to remain at the center of this journey. Your trainer will act as a consultant and will create a track for you. Get the right guidance from a certified French instructor, the right order of lessons, a few books, 2- 3 mobile applications, and an abundance of hard work and patience. To get the right guidance you may join our official TEF preparation (French coaching in Chandigarh) at LingoRelic Language Academy. To avail online French classes in Chandigarh, Call/ WhatsApp 9056131830 to book a demo class at LingoRelic.
Bon apprentissage! 🙂