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to expect a secondary school French teacher to know French?

(116 Posts)
bonbonours Wed 18-Oct-17 22:11:52

DD1 just started year 7, having learnt French since toddlerhood as I teach it. Obviously she is finding she knows a lot of the French she is being taught at school which is fine.
She brought home a piece of homework where they had to match phrases in English and French, and in two of the phrases it used the word porte and the English it was supposed to match with was window. DD1 knows porte means door but she is not brave enough to say so to her teacher.

Should I be THAT mum and make a comment about it? Her French teacher is German which is a bit odd, but I assumed she also spoke fluent French. I'm now not so sure....

RhiWrites Wed 18-Oct-17 22:13:46

It's just as likely to be a copy and paste mistake. Tell you child to point it out to the teacher and don't worry otherwise.

PurpleDaisies Wed 18-Oct-17 22:14:03

Most language teachers have a preferred language and a second subject. Obviously French is this teacher's second subject. It's not uncommon at all to be less strong in your other language.

PurpleDaisies Wed 18-Oct-17 22:14:44

Your daughter really shouldn't be afraid to see the teacher. The teacher will be pleased she's actually checking her work.

JigglyTuff Wed 18-Oct-17 22:19:01

Be that parent. Honestly. I heard a yr 7 teacher today talking 'French' and it totally put me off the school. If someone can't speak it or write it, WTF are they teaching it?

Somehow that's good enough in British schools hmm. It isn't.

bonbonours Wed 18-Oct-17 22:36:02

Purple daisies yes I appreciate that, but 6 year olds in my French classes know the words porte and fenetre. It's hardly high level stuff....

Jiggly, I'd kind of accepted that in primary school teachers who can't really speak French teach it but I hoped for better in a grammar school....

BareBum Wed 18-Oct-17 22:36:12

It's much more likely to be sloppy proof reading than lack of knowledge. Still not great but producing worksheets in a hurry can lead to errors. Unfortunately I don't think I've ever done anything at school at a leisurely pace.

Homemadeapplepie Wed 18-Oct-17 22:38:42

I was “that parent”-DD was in about Y9 and she brought home a booklet of verbs conjugated in different tenses, irregular verbs, verbs taking être in the past etc, on the front page was “faire” conjugated as “vous faisez”, goodness knows how many years they had been using that booklet for. The head of languages told me that sometimes they used “resources from other places” (so I guess they downloaded them off the internet and didn’t bother checking) which maybe what has happened in your case OP. I’d raise it if I were you as the chances are the worksheet is being used throughout the year group.

JigglyTuff Wed 18-Oct-17 22:46:07

bonbon - this was also a grammar school (was on a tour for next year). I'm sending my child to the one where the language teachers are native speakers and have a command of the language they're teaching!

ohreallyohreallyoh Wed 18-Oct-17 22:56:18

There is a shortage of MFL teachers that has been noted for years and which is getting worse. Many of us teach more than one language because that's what the job demands. I am supply now but prior to that was lucky enough to work in schools where I taught weaker sets the weaker language and there was no expectation that I taught exam classes in the weaker language. Many schools simply cannot do that for lack of staff and/or high staff turn over.

I do my best with the weaker language but it is never going to be as good as the other one. What is it you expect schools to do?

bonbonours Wed 18-Oct-17 23:17:52

Just looked at it again and it does look like something they've got off the internet rather than something the school has generated. But still ....

bonbonours Wed 18-Oct-17 23:19:20

Actually it's not, it's from Quizlet but the Quizlet 'quiz' was made by the teacher..... argh!

RoseWhiteTips Wed 18-Oct-17 23:35:47

I think the teacher will actually know the French for window and door - the most basic vocabulary...

howrudeforme Wed 18-Oct-17 23:41:05

Expect my ds to be taught a language by a person son who had full competency in the language. I've heard for many years this is not the case in the uk. Met someone recently who was teaching French and learning it at the same time....

Floellabumbags Wed 18-Oct-17 23:45:40

Is the teacher able to use accents correctly?

NoCryLilSoftSoft Wed 18-Oct-17 23:45:53

she is not brave enough to say so to her teacher.

Why on earth not? confused what does she think will happen?

JimLahey Wed 18-Oct-17 23:46:20

Giving the teacher the benefit of the doubt it could be a typo?

Let this one slide and see how it goes?

Also sorry I'm not trying to be a dick but I wanted to ask why you felt it is odd that a German person speaks and teaches French? She most probably studied French and English at school like any other teacher..

emsmum79 Wed 18-Oct-17 23:54:22

"Her French teacher is German which is a bit odd"

Odd? My French teacher was Scottish. My Spanish teacher was English.

Do we need to be from a specific place to teach the language?

Teachers are human, they make mistakes. Never made a typo in your workplace OP?

bonbonours Thu 19-Oct-17 00:24:38

Ok maybe not that odd that her French teacher is German, fair enough. I didn't have a problem with it until I saw this.

It's not a typo as it's two different phrases.

Yes, Floella, she can use accents correctly, as can I, just not in Mumsnet posts since my keyboard is not set to French for this.

Nocry she's just turned 11, she's at a brand new school and she doesn't know the teacher very well. So not that surprising that she is nervous of telling her she has made a mistake. She has already been shouted at by a different teacher for moving so that she could see his demonstration so I presume she is scared of being shouted at again. Presumably you were an extremely self-possessed 11 year old perfectly capable of criticising adults in positions of responsibility?

araiwa Thu 19-Oct-17 03:20:44

what is it with people always wanting to show that they are better than teachers?

you should definitely complain and put this teacher in her place and make yourself feel so much better about yourself

Cavender Thu 19-Oct-17 03:44:26

ara it’s nothing to do with the OP wanting to show she’s better. It’s to do with the teacher giving the children information that is incorrect.

OP I had to correct a teacher about the same age, I remember being very worried about it but the teacher was very sensible and nice about it. Mistakes happen from time to time.

araiwa Thu 19-Oct-17 03:49:23

its surely the highest form of mansplaining to teach a secondary school French teacher the correct translation of window and door.

Sprinklestar Thu 19-Oct-17 03:53:04

As a MFL graduate, it's disheartening to see the state of language teaching in the UK. Of course the teacher should know something so basic! Imagine the outcry if this were maths...

alltheworld Thu 19-Oct-17 03:56:43

Just been doing the rounds of secondary schools and have been shocked that at least two think it's ok to just offer one language. No wonder Mfl is in a state in this country!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 19-Oct-17 04:28:10

I would point it out to her, quietly. It's obviously an error, but whether it's a completely accidental one or she just doesn't realise, is a different thing.

I don't see any point in leaving it - all the children in her class have the potential to retain that "error" which won't help them in the future.

It's not about one-upmanship, it's not about showing up the teacher, it's about ensuring that the children are taught the correct thing, surely!

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