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foreign language in primary.

(16 Posts)
irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 11:26:49

My ds's school start French in yr3. My ds isn't interested. He doesn't even remember what he learned that day. Is this going to be a problem?
Do they need to get to certain levels before secondary school?
Language is his least favourite so I don't want to push him, but started to worry a bit, since other children are doing not just French but extra like Spanish as well.

Branleuse Thu 05-May-16 11:29:39

What is the question. Will it be a problem if hes not particularly strong at french, or are you thinking he shouldnt have to do it?

irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 11:38:13

Sorry for being unclear. I just wanted to know if there will be an expected levels of attainment end of primary, since they do every week, and at this rate, he will fall behind in no time.

irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 11:39:05

Or he must be behind already.

Branleuse Thu 05-May-16 11:47:54

Ah, I dont know if theyre tested on it, but if youre worried, you could always ask the teacher, and see if he needs extra support.

noramum Thu 05-May-16 11:56:47

DD has french from Y3 onwards, either 1/2 term or a full term, it varies.

We don't see anything, no homework, no vocabulary learning, no books, zilch, nothing, nada.

And the result now in Summer term of Y4 - she knows a couple of words, some numbers, merci, au revoir and bonjour. What an achievement.

DD is bi-lingual (German/English) so we know how much effort it takes to learn a language. Unless there are vast improvements I doubt most secondary schools expect anything from primary school children.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 05-May-16 12:09:25

Both DC 'learned' French at Primary school. Both went to secondary language classes as newcomers to the language. It's mostly lip-service to the notion of teaching MFL at primary. They weren't tested, so you can rest your mind on that score. Even if your DS's school has specialist teachers, most primary schools don't have anyone qualified to teach MFL beyond stock phrases and vocabulary.

FuckOffJeffrey Thu 05-May-16 12:23:33

As others have said its not something they are tested on but I think most primary schools do a little bit of French. Secondary school starts with the basics again so I suppose if he's not into it just now there is no harm in not pushing it.

Our DD's school has extended the program so they get French once a week from P2 (Yr1 equivalent). I don't think it's a bad thing to start early with an additional language. Most other countries teach a second laungage in school earlier than secondary level and I have always felt it is an area of education we are lacking in the UK.

irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 13:27:59

Thank you! It made me feel better. I think class teacher teaches French. No specialist teacher at ds's school.
I overheard other mums talking about dc being behind in French, made me panic a bit. I think I will stop worrying about it until secondary.
I agree, it's better to start early, but my ds isn't interested at all, so I will leave it for now.
Thank you for your help.

didyoureally Thu 05-May-16 14:05:11

I am a teaching assistant and have MFL expereince. From what I have seen in the schools that I have worked/trained in and in my DCs' schools, language lessons are more of a gesture and certainly nothing to worry about. Lessons are generally taught by the class teacher and so are quite limited in what is covered. Topics tend to be things like numbers, the alphabet, colours, animals, food etc. Typical activites that I have seen are songs with actions, simple dances, counting songs and games with simple instructions. I have never seen primary children use exercise books or have anything to show for their language lessons apart from easy worksheets for colouring in. I have never seen homework or tests, so there is no sense of being able to get behind with attainment levels at this stage. I think teachers are quite surprised when children are good at the language and so expectations are not high!

irvineoneohone Thu 05-May-16 16:03:44

Thank you didyoureally. Yes he has brought home some colouring done at school, all scrunched up in the bag!

EarthboundMisfit Thu 05-May-16 19:51:38

At my children's school, they learn French from! Y1, but it's only lists of vocab, pointless really. I started teaching mine French recently and they may as well have been absolute beginners.

helenwilson Sun 08-May-16 21:35:05

I have found that MFL in primary schools is actually detrimental - at my dcs school the French teacher was awful, she had no enthusiasm for her subject and the children were bored stupid. Now they all hate French (I have a degree in it lol !) and my son is off to secondary school with a passionate hatred for MFL and can only say about two words. I would prefer them to either teach it properly at primary, or not at all, rather than just a few lessons on cheese and the Eiffel Tower lol !

clarrylove Mon 09-May-16 20:35:35

At our state primary we have a native French speaker come in for weekly lessons from Reception to Y6. I am really impressed by how much my 2 sons have learnt and the confidence it has given them. They are regularly tested in it too. I think we are very lucky.

irvineoneohone Mon 09-May-16 20:49:03

Sounds like it really depend on school. I think my ds's school isn't so serious about it, I am relieved!
I think it would be better if they introduce it, they do it properly, but I am glad there's no test or homework etc for my ds's sake.

irvineoneohone Mon 09-May-16 20:49:42

Forgot to say, thank you everyone!

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