French Continuers

NESA documents

Stage 6 French Continuers syllabus

Assessment and reporting in Continuers Stage 6

Support materials – including past HSC papers

Advice for students

HSC examinations in Continuers language courses – advice for students (DOCX 86KB) – generic advice to support students of the Continuers course to prepare for the oral and written HSC examinations.

Text types in Continuers

What are ‘texts’ (text types)?

‘Texts’ (text types) are various forms of spoken and written language, such as articles, conversations, letters and so on. Each text type varies in its characteristics of format, style, and language. In the French Continuers HSC written examination, the following text types are specified for production:

  1. article
  2. diary entry
  3. email
  4. letter
  5. message
  6. note
  7. notice
  8. postcard
  9. recount
  10. report
  11. script of an interview
  12. script of a speech/talk.

Note: In the oral examination, you participate in a conversation.

In the written section of the HSC examination, you are required to produce 2 different styles of writing:

  • the first style is informative or descriptive
  • the second style is reflective, persuasive or evaluative, and could require you to explain or justify a point of view.

Using the correct text type and including the correct style of content is important.

Sample tasks and practice questions

Past HSC papers can be downloaded from the NESA website.

Some past HSC questions have been used as sample tasks in this document.

For each task, identify the following:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is the audience?
  3. What is the context?
  4. What is the required text type?
  5. What is the style?

The ‘texts’ (text types)

1 – article

Purpose

  • to sustain an argument
  • to describe
  • to inform, persuade, amuse or entertain

Structure

  • titles/headings (if appropriate)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • statement of conclusion or advice

Language features

  • range of tenses (past, present, future, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the article)

Sample questions

Write 200 words in FRENCH. Write an article for a school magazine explaining how you feel about wearing school uniform.

Adapted from 2002 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (9 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2002

Note: This question is now worth 10 marks.

You want your fellow school students to help you organise a French cultural day at your school. Write an article for the school newsletter persuading students to be involved. Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

2 – diary entry

Purpose

  • a personal reflection on a theme, place or situation

Structure

  • date
  • opening (Cher journal)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • concluding statement (for example Il faut que je dorme maintenant or C’est tout pour aujourd’hui)
  • sign off with name (optional)

Language features

  • written in the first person (keep the tone/perspective of the character from whose perspective you are writing)
  • usually written in past tense (perfect/imperfect)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal register

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH. You have just found a letter you wrote to yourself when you were 13 years old. Write a diary entry reflecting on the contents of the letter.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

3 – email

Purpose

  • to use technology-based methods of communication
  • to send greetings
  • to retell events
  • to inform
  • to seek a response

Structure

  • email conventions (you are not usually required to write an email address in the exam)
  • specific details without elaboration
  • salutation (for example, Madame/Monsieur or Salut…)
  • conclusion (for example Cordialement, Je t’embrasse)

Language features

  • range of tenses (present, perfect, imperfect, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the email)

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in FRENCH. Write an email to a friend telling him/her about a new activity you have recently started in your local area.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

4 – letter

Purpose

  • to communicate in writing with acquaintances, friends or family
  • to inform, amuse, persuade

Structure

  • your name and address on the right (informal)
  • date below your address (informal)
  • salutations (for example Cher/Chère…, Monsieur/Madame)
  • letter conventions (for example Je te remercie de ta lettre)
  • ending (for example, Croyez, cher Monsieur/chère Madame, à l’expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs or Bien amicalement)

Language features

  • range of tenses (present, perfect, future, imperfect, conditional)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • formality of language will depend on relationship with audience (for example, letter to a friend or letter to a newspaper)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH. A technology-free day for everyone has been proposed. Write a letter to be published in your local newspaper to persuade readers of your point of view on this.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

5 – message

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type, such as voicemail message, text message, email, social media post.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the message)
  • frequent use of colloquial language if to a close friend/family member

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in FRENCH. A friend is coming from France to visit you. Write him/her a message about a trip you have planned to do with him/her.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

6 – note

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type such as voicemail message, text message, email.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the note)
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean informal register)

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in FRENCH. Write a note to your mother/father explaining why you are unable to help out at home this afternoon.

2010 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2010

7 – notice

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to seek a response (for example looking for a pen pal or looking for a roommate to share accommodation)

Structure

  • heading/addressee
  • specific details without elaboration
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example giving contact details)

Language features

  • often written in present tense
  • language can be descriptive, factual, emotive or persuasive depending on context
  • informal or formal register

Sample question

Write approximately 75 words in FRENCH. A famous sportsperson is going to visit your school and make a speech. Write a notice for the noticeboard.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

8 – postcard

Purpose

  • to provide information, amuse or entertain
  • to retell events and experiences (for example who, where, what, when)

Structure

  • salutations (Cher/Chère…, Salut…!)
  • brief description or message
  • formulaic ending (À bientôt/Amitiés, …)

Language features

  • descriptive language
  • personal impressions
  • present or past tense, for example what it is like, or where you went, what you did, what you saw

Sample question

Answer the following question by writing approximately 75 words in FRENCH. You are a young French tourist newly arrived in Australia. You write a postcard to a friend giving your first impressions.

2011 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks)  © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2011

9 – recount

Purpose

  • to inform or entertain
  • to retell past events or experiences
  • to retell a series of events

Structure

  • introduction/orientation (set the scene – who, what, where, when)
  • events sequenced in chronological order
  • closing statement

Language features

  • often told in the first person (Je)
  • descriptive language
  • often told in past tense (imperfect, perfect)
  • time words to connect events (for example d’abord, ensuite, puis, après, quand)
  • words which tell us when, where, with whom and how
  • linking words (for example qui, parce-que, mais)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH. Write a recount for your school blog reflecting on a special family celebration.

Adapted from 2013 Higher School Certificate Examination, Korean Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

10 – report

Purpose

  • to present information about a class of things (to classify) OR
  • to describe the way things are
  • to organise facts
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • general statement or classification
  • series of paragraphs that describes
  • logical progression
  • concluding statement or summary

Language features

  • supporting evidence, such as statistics, examples
  • factual
  • language specific to the topic
  • objective language
  • linking words (for example qui, parce-que, mais)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH. You have just finished your HSC examinations. Write a report for a youth magazine reflecting on the positive lifestyle strategies you used during your HSC year.

Adapted from 2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Indonesian Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

11 – script of an interview

Purpose

  • to find out information (for example a story or a response)
  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • salutations
  • clear idea of the purpose of the interview (J’aimerais parler de…)
  • question and response sequence, initials followed by a colon, for example A: and B:
  • use of filler expressions (n’est-ce pas?, mais oui, mais non, bien sûr, en fait, eh bien)
  • conclusion (for example, Je vous remercie)

Language features

  • question forms (by the interviewer)
  • register – use polite language (for example, vous)
  • phrases to delve deeper (for example au sujet de, qu’est-ce que vous pensez de, pourquoi)
  • transition strategies when switching topics (Maintenant, je voudrais aborder un autre sujet, parlons de, passons au prochain sujet)

Sample question

You have recently interviewed someone for the school magazine. In the interview they reflected on some of their successes. Write the script of the interview. Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

12 – script of a speech/talk

Purpose

  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to entertain
  • to persuade
  • to welcome
  • to thank

Structure

  • salutations (for example Bonjour/bonsoir mesdames et messieurs)
  • introductory statement of purpose (for example Aujourd'hui, je vais parler de…, Je m’adresse à vous car…)
  • ideas and information are organised and linked
  • concluding remarks (for example Pour conclure, Pour finir, Enfin, …)

Language features

  • choice of expressions to engage the audience
  • descriptive words
  • range of tenses
  • usually subjective language (this depends on the context)

Sample question

Write approximately 200 words in FRENCH. You are going to give a speech in honour of someone important in your life at his/her birthday celebration. Write the script of the speech.

2014 Higher School Certificate Examination, French Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

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