MFL - no allowances made for verbal disability...

(15 Posts)

Thank you Cop. I am sure that you, like me, have learnt (the hard way!) that heading trouble off at the pass before it becomes critical is crucial to making things easier for the kids.

Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement.

Thanks Notfluffy, Cansu and Cream for taking the time to post. really great.

Its his 13th birthday today and I cannot tell you how proud I am of him. Good little mucker all round!

Copthallresident Wed 26-Jun-13 14:59:38

madame I wish your son luck whatever he chooses.

DD1 did take the Science route but actually did 2 MFLs at GCSE and the German just helped get her the offer of an internship in Germany. Although she is doing another one, she may well try again for it next year. She has also had to write essays as most good Science courses at uni now require students to study ethics, policy etc. which came as a real shock having not studied any essay subjects since GCSE.

I think the issue is that all sorts of people with different strengths and weaknesses have SpLDs and that it should be a matter of recognising when certain things present a particular challenge rather than saying they shouldn't do them at all.

I mean choices regarding sixthform and uni, if that is appropriate.

That is very cheering Cop. I suppose its just that his school is a business one, rather than an arts one, he already has to choose to between history and geography (can't do both) then only has two options lists, one choice from both, and drama and art are on the same list! He is also set to do triple science, and will start that in September.

The school is great though. Maybe I could support his oral skills by getting him some conversation lessons (just wish he were learning French!).

If he could get a B and uni would understand the context then maybe I am worrying unnecessarily! I just want him to have choices.

Copthallresident Wed 26-Jun-13 08:01:16

madame DD2 got a B in French in spite of low oral and listening (another of her issues) marks, I think C/D borders. The rest of her marks were A*/A so I suppose it lets her down but we knew that it would, but she was determined she would have an MFL, she has lived overseas and understands the importance of languages. We too had advice from the SEN teachers to avoid languages (and essay subjects) but we took the view it is also about an education. She has taken 4 essay subjects at A level too, because that was what she really wanted to do, and she is applying to do History courses at university. As an academic I know that unis will like to see an MFL there especially for the courses she wants to apply to, and will take into account that she has achieved it in spite of her SpLDs which they will have contextual information on. She also plans to the language module that is part of the courses she wants to do at uni. Obviously it is a personal decision but there are plenty of people with SpLDs who do go on to study languages and essay subjects, indeed many prominent Historians have SpLDs, something to do with the ability to see things holistically, even if they are more of a challenge.

thank you all. The teacher was clear it was the oral that dragged his mark down...

Its frustrating because he is bright and enjoys spanish and seems to do ok with the written bits....

I'm just not sure its worth him doing an MFL if he is going to great a rubbish mark at GCSE. Apart from t he love of it of course! but he has to work so hard anyway...

I have been a fluent French speaker in my time, living and working in France and with a degree in French, so I don't want him not to have another language, but GCSE options are so rigid..to be honest I would rather he had a chance to do art or drama than do a subject he is bound to do badly in through no fault of his own.

I will have a word with the SALT in school, and she what she recommends.

Thank you all so much for your input, it really helps.

sorry, year 8! 13 tomorrow!

cansu Tue 25-Jun-13 20:30:04

Do you mean he's 8 or in year 8? level 5 aged 8 is very unlikely so I assume you mean year 8. I really don't see how he can have missed out on being level 5 just because he has problems with speaking in a test. Could it be that he has struggled with the subject because he finds speaking difficult in the lesson, can't recall the words quickly enough to take part in a conversation and answer questions? If so then having extra time in tests may help but won't really solve the problem. Being able to answer questions with confidence, give longer more detailed answers and take part in role plays with several exchanges and use at least two tenses are all part of the requirements for achieving level 5 in an MFL in speaking. He needs to be doing these things in lessons to show his performance at level 5 in speaking. The nature of language learning means that having difficulty with this will have an impact on his other skills. Answering questions and using different tenses in your speaking helps you with your reading, writing and listening. I tend to find that the children who are able to engage most in the speaking activities in class make the best progress overall. I am not saying your ds can't learn an MFL but I think you need to be pragmatic about it. I am an MFL teacher who has two dc with speech and language difficulties. My dc find languages difficult. I help them as much as I can but giving them lots of extra time in tests doesn't help that much as it is the everyday learning in class that just doesn't click that easily for them.

creamteas Tue 25-Jun-13 18:53:29

Languages exams are more difficult to get adjustments for than other exams, because of what is being assessed.

For example, in Geography your geographical knowledge is being tested, so extra time does not impact on the ability to assess the answers against the learning outcomes. But for a language where ability to speak is being tested, adjustments can sometimes be seen to conflict in what needs to be assessed.

The JCQ set out the Guidance for all Access Arrangements.

My DC who get scribes and or extra time in all other exams, don't get any help in MFL sad

NotFluffy Tue 25-Jun-13 18:28:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thanks cop. He already gets extra time for written exams. I found some references to allowances made for stuttering and stammering...

I just find if I get some good old MN info I am better placed when I approach the school!

Copthallresident Tue 25-Jun-13 14:15:59

DD did not get any extra time until Year 10 as schools need to build up evidence of need, so she was gradually given first 15%, then the full 25% recommended by the Ed Psych in those subjects in which it was clear she needed it, and she didn't get extra time in Science because she achieved well without it. DD1 is also Dyslexic and was diagnosed with a recommendation of 25% extra time but didn't get it until university because she was able to do well in exams without it.

DD2 is dyspraxic and also has problems with fluency and word finding but did not get extra time in French Orals or English Speaking and Listening. I am not aware of anyone that did, though their school was not the most clued up, and I was rather more concerned with the written components which count for a good deal more of the marks.

Thanks charitymum. very interesting. His receptive language is fine, its just his expressive language that is problematic. He has been assessed by SALT and has had intervention. He can express himselve pretty well just hesitant due to delay in word finding. Clearly this has impacted on his Spanish oral skills and thought surely allowances would be made for it.

charitymum Tue 25-Jun-13 13:43:41

Hi. Best organisation for help on this is www.afasic.org.uk.

Is this true? ds' Spanish teacher told us at consulation day that ds, 8, would have got a level 5 in spanish (actually on 3a atim) but that 25% of the overall mark was for the oral section.

Ds as verbal dyspraxia and word finding is slower for him. all his other subjects he is on level 6.

Will this hold true for gcses? I find it odd that this is not factored into the exam marking.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now