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Can a non native do French HL?

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In my school I heard that only one of my seniors took a french HL and he was a native- and HE found it really difficult! Personally I like french so working hard for it wasn't really a problem for me; I'm worried because I'm not very fluent - Can  I get decent marks if I take HL?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Paperboat, 

As a French teacher, I know of only one non-native French who took French HL, it was in Singapore, and she had a lot of native French friends with whom she was speaking regularly, watched francophone tv/movies, etc. She truly was immersed in francophonie. French HL is really hard, it not only requires a lot of proficiency in grammar, vocabulary, and conjugation but also critical skills. 
I would not say it is impossible, but it will require a lot of work:

- Paper 1: texts are long, the vocabulary is complex, and questions focus mainly on comprehension (not so much grammar). This section requires a regular reading of newspaper (Geo Ado, Le Monde, Le Figaro, French blogs, B1-B2 short novels), as well as a regular practice of past papers. 

- Paper 2: for a non-native, this is the hardest part in my opinion. This is where you need to show off all of your grammar and conjugation skills. 

- Oral: good luck, for you will need to practice. You can either have private tuition with a native tutor who is familiar with IB, or you can register to some free time-share website (they practice French with you, and in exchange, you practice English with them). Another aspect that is often overlooked is the role of watching movies/series in French: as you hear French, your brain will pick up a lot of things (pronunciation, sentence structure, confidence). 

Good luck. 

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