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anyone here a Language teacher? Italian preferably?

(13 Posts)
happychappy Sat 27-Nov-10 06:53:23

We are coming back to the UK, my daughter is bilingual and I wondered would a GCSE in Italian be very difficult for her. She's 12

frakkinup Sat 27-Nov-10 07:23:04

No, IMO it wouldn't if she's bilingual but she'd need to learn to work to the specs given for GCSE.

Finding somewhere to take it would be the challenge!

frakkinup Sat 27-Nov-10 07:23:33

No, IMO it wouldn't if she's bilingual but she'd need to learn to work to the specs given for GCSE.

Finding somewhere to take it would be the challenge!

robino Sat 27-Nov-10 07:25:24

I would have thought (assuming it's English/ Italian she's bilingual in) it would be fine BUT she might need a bit of help in exam technique first.

here is a link to sample assessment materials for one of the exam boards for you to see what sort of things she may be asked. Is her written italian of a good standard too?

Disclaimer: have been on career break while new gcse been introduced so not actually taught the controlled assessment written tasks or speaking tasks; the theory behind new style speaking exam is that it should be less stressful than the old style one.

happychappy Sat 27-Nov-10 08:05:04

She's in the equivalent of year 8. The Italian school system is very formal so she really does know her grammar, unlike me.

She can beautifully do the io sono etc

happychappy Sat 27-Nov-10 08:08:54

My thinking is that she is very musical (is in the music second of her class and gets 10 all day long) and she is bilingual but her English just isn't up to scratch. I think she will easily catch up but I hoping the other stuff will help her get into a good school. What do you think?

happychappy Sat 27-Nov-10 08:09:23

Written English not spoken or reading abilities. Her spelling is horrible

emy72 Sat 27-Nov-10 13:47:33

Well a few points here:

(I am Italian and have looked into secondaries that do Italian GCSEs);

- Not many secondary schools in the whole country do Italian GCSEs and A-Levels; not even the private schools; I don't know where you are coming back to, but it might be worth looking into that;

- Your daughter will gain a place at a state school according to places rather than ability; so I guess if she's struggling with English but there are places that shouldn't be a problem? Unless you are considering private education - then it's a different ball game, but still I am not sure how keen they will be;

If it's any consolation, I came to the UK with good English but not great as I had never lived in the UK and went to Italian schools until 18; however I soon caught up and went on do get a good degree and a Masters - kids do catch up very quickly!!

Good luck with your move!!

bucaneve Sat 27-Nov-10 19:32:53


I'm Italian and moved to England when I was 5 (going back for the odd holiday). I took Italian GCSE in year 10 and found it very easy. I'd never even gone to school in Italy so I hadn't properly learnt written Italian although I did speak it at home with my parents. Your daughter will be absolutly fine

happychappy Sat 27-Nov-10 19:34:27

cool, thanks for your support.

Fink Sat 27-Nov-10 20:42:40

Hi Happy,

I'm a languages teacher (mainly French, but some Italian).

In terms of what emy was saying, it doesn't really matter whether the school you send your DD to teaches Italian or not (most don't), they should still let her enter for GCSE as a native speaker when they think she's ready. She will need to be prepared for it, but any good MFL teacher could do that without being able to speak much, if any, Italian as the specs for most mainstream European languages are the same. I've had to coach kids for Polish, which I can't speak 1 word of, and they coped ok!

The main issue won't be her language ability, it will be her ability to think in the way examiners want; particularly for the speaking exam this is not an especially natural way to use the language so even native speakers need help e.g. sit practice papers and go through them.

By far the easiest way to go would be to send her to an English school and let her learn whatever foreign languages are offered there (French, German etc.). By the end of Year 10, she should have done enough exam technique to know what's expected and then be able to sit the Italian GCSE with a little help from teachers.

BTW, sometimes being a minority language is helpful. The Italian Embassy are really keen for anyone to learn Italian, so they dole out all kinds of freebies to any school who teaches it, sponsor prizes at prizegiving, send diplomats round to talk to kids etc. smile The French and German embassies do sod all very little of this kind (at least, that's ever been seen in the schools I've taught in).

happychappy Sun 28-Nov-10 09:31:08

The area we are likely to moving to has three secondary school
1 sec modern, looks ok
2 the grammar school - which I think she probably would have gone to if we had been in the UK when she was 11. She is very academic unlike my son.
and a quaker school

The quaker school is out because although I am not spectacularly religious (I am Catholic though) about 6 months after my dd's first communion announced she no longer believed in God and would no longer be going to Church. Okay your choice. Hense Quaker school out

Thank for the information. When we get to the point of going to the schools we can see whats possible. Fink I think your right, I don't she would be any need or her to study much. I think it would be an easy qualification for her and another string to her bow when she goes to Uni (if)

badgerhead Sun 28-Nov-10 13:00:33

My dd1 took her Italian GCSE this summer & passed with an A & dd2 is studying it at present. Their school is a language college so has Italian as one of their subjects along with French, German, Spanish, Japanese & Chinese (Mandarin). I know that the girls can also take GCSE's in other languages especially if they are native speakers as know of Dutch & Polish having been taken. The native/bilingual speakers do take the GCSE early if they wish as well, so it is certainly possible. BTW this is an 'ordinary' secondary school. although rated outstanding & is in the top 100 in the country.

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