What happens to state kids entering independent secondaries without any foreign languages?

(35 Posts)

Son is going into the independent sector for secondary after a state primary.
I reckon a very large percentage of his new classmates will already have had Latin, French, Mandarin. Do schools help or offer a fast track for children who has not had the benefit of this, or will they just end up in the bottom set?
How are lessons structured?

LadybirdsEverywhere Mon 25-Mar-13 13:46:39

I teach year 7 in an independent senior school. Some kids know loads of French, some know nothing. I start at the beginning so that everyone learns the basics but go at a fast pace so that it's not too dull for those that gave studied French before. They are all fine with it. This applies to both top and bottom set.

ZZZenAgain Mon 25-Mar-13 13:54:10

He will have to learn 3 languages from scratch all at the same time? That will be a lot of work.

Could you ask the school which textbook they use for French and get cracking on it with him? I am fairly sure the BBC primary site has some videos and things for French to make a start hearing the language, so listening to those every day or something similar would help him get an ear for the language and I would use a workbook daily if possible to get the rudiments.

MTSgroupie Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:38

Usually it's two languages at a time. At our school they did two languages for the first two terms in year 7. Then for the remaining Year 7 term plus the first term of Year 8 they did two more. Thereafter you elect two languages.to carry on to GCSE.

The prep schools tend to have done French and Latin but for German and Spanish everyone started from scratch.

QuintEggSensuality Tue 26-Mar-13 11:16:54

Well, what do you know!
I received my French books from Amazon, and started him out on the vary basic 5-7 age with exercises to do. He seems to have a very good vocabulary already, and can easily spell the French words. We need to work on his pronunciation though.
It is a good thing that he is actually quite keen!

ZZZenAgain Tue 26-Mar-13 17:12:18

sounds positive! Which books are you using with him?

NinaNannar Tue 26-Mar-13 17:14:33

they die

obviously

or the private school use some of their VAST resources to pay someone to help them

PollyEthelEileen Wed 27-Mar-13 08:55:30

Vast resources?

Belltree Wed 27-Mar-13 09:34:13

I was worried about this too, but there was really no need. I think most secondary schools realise that everyone will be at a slightly different level at this stage, and they start Y7 with that assumption.

My stepdaughters came from another country where they had not done any European languages, arriving here into the middle of Year 7 and going to a private school. The school let them leave out French as the other children had already been doing that for years and they would have found it very difficult to catch up. They did however start German, and both of them went on to get A for German at GCSE.

Chandon Wed 27-Mar-13 09:41:57

firstly, my DC are getting French and Spanish in their private primary, well, they hardly learn a thing, so don't worry!

Really, I don't get the point TBH (I am a language teacher and I think doing an hour a week of any language is, frankly a waste of time, you learn virtually nothing that way, you need to do 2-3 hours at least to be able to make any significant progress).

Also, most private secondaries start from scratch with all languages, as....the kids have learned virtually nothing anyway, and others come from State.

In your shoes, I would simply ring up the school and ask, rather than fretting over it and making your poor DC do boring stuff instead of enjoying his holiday.

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