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to think this government hasn't got a clue about education- why should all children be made to take MFL at GCSE?

(331 Posts)
LuluJakey1 Fri 12-Jun-15 19:44:25

What is it with the ill-thought out education ideas this government has? Why should every child take a GCSE in MFL? It is not something many children enjoy or feel has relevance to them.

Why should a school not be able to be outstanding if it does not make all students take a GCSE in MFL?

ProcrastinatorGeneral Fri 12-Jun-15 19:47:37

All children should be doing MFL from foundation stage, so that by GCSE they're confident and competent. The British attitude towards foreign languages really does suck

googoodolly Fri 12-Jun-15 19:49:40

I don't know why you WOULDN'T want your child to take a modern language. If children learnt a MFL regularly and properly from reception, they'd be fluent by GCSE.

Why is that a bad thing?

TheBookofRuth Fri 12-Jun-15 19:49:41

Yep, everyone should be able to speak at least one other language well. It's embarrassing how bad Brits are at this.

StrangeGlue Fri 12-Jun-15 19:50:37

They aren't. I assume you're referring to the e-bacc but that's a performance measure and isn't compulsory. It'll be your school choosing to require a language (doesn't have to be modern to count) but it isn't the law. Plenty of kids across the country won't be doing a mfl

britnay Fri 12-Jun-15 19:52:57


MrsFionaCharming Fri 12-Jun-15 19:53:07

In a perfect world, yes all children should learn an MFL. But we do not live in a perfect world, we live in one where many children struggle (or fail) to achieve 5 A-C.

Forcing those children to try to learn another language, when they could be focusing on extra English, Maths or Vocational subjects is absurd.

ghostyslovesheep Fri 12-Jun-15 19:53:37

the requirement has been around for ages - it's not down to this government

AndNowItsSeven Fri 12-Jun-15 19:55:10

My dd school you don't need to do a MFL.

ThePinkOcelot Fri 12-Jun-15 19:55:17

My dd hasn't taken a language in her options. She was adamant she didn't want to. Yes, I agree us Brits fall down when it comes to speaking another language, but taking a GCSE is hardly going to make someone fluent at that language. I think it actually takes speaking a language often to become fluent not sitting in a classroom for an hour or 2 a week.

fairyfuckwings Fri 12-Jun-15 19:56:37

My daughter is definitely not doing a MFL in her gcse's (she's in year 9) so it's definitely not compulsory. I know the school do generally encourage it but she's dyslexic and she has extra English lessons instead.

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 12-Jun-15 19:57:14

This government have introduced it as a requirement in their manifesto. All DC to take the EBacc subjects, ie English, maths and science as now but also history or geography and a MFL. Ignoring the fact that such an academic combination of subjects isn't appropriate for all DC.

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Jun-15 19:57:31

"I don't know why you WOULDN'T want your child to take a modern language. If children learnt a MFL regularly and properly from reception, they'd be fluent by GCSE."

My DS has a speech disorder (one of the issues caused by this are that he doesn't process the difference in vowel sounds) he's also dyslexic.

He had to do a MFL to that level because of the way his school ran courses, despite the fact that although he worked very hard, he just couldn't do it, at all...he was barely coping in English at that point.

That's one reason why you wouldn't want your child to do one.

SallyMcgally Fri 12-Jun-15 19:58:36

I'm glad that we're making some small progress in addressing the UK's embarrassingly dreadful record of foreign language learning. In my view it shouldn't be compulsory for children who are really struggling with Maths and English and need to direct all their energies there, but the system is still enormously skewed at the moment. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that many schools force children to do three science GCSEs, and allow them not to take a single language GCSE at present. So don't agree with you at all.

tethersend Fri 12-Jun-15 20:01:09

Of all the plans the government have for our education system, this is probably the one that alarms me the least.

bigbluebus Fri 12-Jun-15 20:02:27

Anyone who thinks that passing a GCSE in a MFL means that you are capable of speaking a 2nd language is as much of an idiot as the Education Minister.
My DS has a grade A in GCSE French - I wouldn't hold out much hope of him getting around France using his knowledge of the language - although he could talk about drugs in French - yes, this is covered in the curriculum sad

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 12-Jun-15 20:06:27

Check out their manifesto.

Extract from page 34.

"We will require secondary school pupils to take GCSEs in English, maths, science, a language and history or geography, with Ofsted unable to award its highest ratings to schools that refuse to teach these core subjects."

SallyMcgally Fri 12-Jun-15 20:06:59

But a GCSE is just showing a basic secondary level in a subject - your DS is able to sustain a conversation in French, even if it is about drugs! It's just as reasonable to expect a 16 year old to be able to do that as it is to have a basic knowledge of Physics, which they may never need again once they've left school. I've never felt my lack of Chemistry or Physics, ( and actually I haven't had to use much of my Maths since I left school either) but use my languages all the time. It's a poor show that so many of our young people leave school unable to communicate with anyone who doesn't speak English.

SaucyJack Fri 12-Jun-15 20:11:21

I can't speak a second language (despite studying French and Spanish at school). I'm not embarrassed, and it hasn't made an iota of difference to my life- the occasional pub quiz aside.

Agree there are far more essential things to study at school.

Ludoole Fri 12-Jun-15 20:12:00

Ds1 chose his options last year and chose french. Apparently there was only one other child who also chose a language, so they decided as the take up rate was so low they wouldnt run the course. Ds1 ended up forced to choose a subject he didnt want to do angry

PandaMummyofOne Fri 12-Jun-15 20:15:29

DS will take a MFL from age 5. I can't wait for him to learn and wish I had the opportunity when I was younger.

ragged Fri 12-Jun-15 20:19:26

Waste of time for DS1 to do MFL, he'd have no heart for it.

Iwantacampervan Fri 12-Jun-15 20:23:15

The extract from the manifesto states a language not a MFL.

Wildernessrock Fri 12-Jun-15 20:25:42

I think at least one MFL should be compulsory. Studying languages is only beneficial, to ALL children. What is you objection?

budgiegirl Fri 12-Jun-15 20:26:42

I don't think children should have to take a MFL. My DS is bright, at a super selective grammar school, but is hopeless at MFL . If he had to take one , he'd struggle to pass it, it's much better that he puts his efforts into a subject he enjoys.

That said, we do need to look at how we teach foreign languages in this country, from reception up. It's the whole system of teaching MFL that is faulty , forcing a child to take a GCSE in it isn't automatically fix that.

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