General Conversation

What do I have to do?


  • Speak for 3-5 mins (foundation) or 5-7 minutes (higher) about topics from at least 2 of the 3 themes Theme 1: Identity and culture,Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest,Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.
  • Your teacher will decide with you which theme you will focus on as your main theme, you will then have questions from another theme at random.
  • You should prepare the answers and practice them.
  • You should be ready to answer spontaneously so that the conversation sounds natural.
  • You will need to develop answers fully.
  • You will be assessed on communication, range of language, intonation and fluency and pronunciation and intonation.
  • You will be marked out of 30.
How many themes will you have to talk about in the general conversation?
What is narration?
Your answer should include: telling a story / giving a series of events

How can I get full marks?


  • Remember the defence/ attack analogy, keep hold of the ball and keep talking!
  • Use complex opinions, connectives, other peoples’ activities, narration and opinions and developed reasons (exemplification).
  • Listen carefully to the question and ensure you answer with as much detail as possible and the correct tense.
  • Use narration and exemplification to develop answers.
  • Remember to ask a question related to what we are talking about.
  • Try to relax (ha ha I know!) and make the conversation as natural as possible.
  • Focus on using WHAT YOU KNOW rather than trying to remember big chunks of text, this will help with your marks for spontaneity and fluency.
How can you add extra detail when giving opinions?
give both sides of the opinion

Steps to success


  • When preparing your answers for the general conversation you should start by ensuring they include;
  • A range of tenses, past, present, imperfect, si clauses, conditional, present, future- see the lessons on these tenses if you need a recap.
  • Narration- telling a story- start with tout d’abord and say what you did first, then use ‘puis’ to say what you did next and ‘finalement’ to say what you did finally.
  • Give 2 sides of opinions- expand your answers.
  • Talk about what others do/did/ will do/
  • Give examples using ‘par exemple’ to add extra detail.
  • Ask your teacher or French assistant to record your answers so you can get the pronunciation correct.
  • Practice, practice, practice!


General Conversation, figure 1

What makes this a WAGOLL?

Complex language

Explained opinions

Extra detail


Range of adjectives

General Conversation, figure 2

What makes this a WAGOLL?

Accurate future tenses

Time frames

Complex language