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Lagging in Spanish, year 7, what do I do?

(99 Posts)
MuttonWasAGoose Thu 31-Dec-15 23:39:49

According to the school report, the only subject my son is underperforming in is Spanish.

I don't want him to fall behind. I'm taking him to Barcelona in February to try and inspire him to enjoy the subject, and I've been studying Spanish, myself, so we can try to understand basic things. I find it fun.

I'd like to see what he's learning in school but he has no textbook. He says they use PowerPoint presentations in class. He has an exercise book with a few pages of notes and sundry. The class meets twice a week for an hour. There's very little homework.

I have no idea what they're supposed to be learning and so I can't help him practice or even monitor what he should be doing. When I was in school and studying French I had a textbook that I brought home. My parents could have, if they'd wanted, looked at what chapter I was on, had an idea of what I was supposed to be learning.

How do I find out what the class is doing? How can I help him study? I'd like him to do a bit of practice daily. Things like vocabulary drills, etc. I'd enjoy doing it with him and he could be bribed to go along with it. grin

If I approached the teacher would they be able to give me an outline of the curriculum? Is there a national curriculum for Spanish? I'm not from the UK so I don't know how it works.

Bunbaker Thu 31-Dec-15 23:49:32

You don't get text books at most state secondary schools these days. There aren't the funds. I would suggest you have a look at what online resource there is available. BBC Bitesize might be a good one to start with.

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 01-Jan-16 00:35:37

There are plenty of online resources for learning Spanish. But how do I know which words he's learning at his school?

noblegiraffe Fri 01-Jan-16 00:45:19

Ask him?

pieceofpurplesky Fri 01-Jan-16 00:49:34

Also mfl expectations tend to be lower in year 7 as they are learning new skills that mean they can't reach the higher levels. They do soon catch up

HarrietSchulenberg Fri 01-Jan-16 00:50:40

BBC Bitesize would be good and find out if he's using online resources such as Linguascope.

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 01-Jan-16 00:55:14

I have. He just sort of shrugs and mumbles. Its like pulling teeth.

Perhaps I should get some of the gcse review materials and work on the very basic things.

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 01-Jan-16 00:56:46

I don't expect him to be doing advanced things, but he's performing below expectations for his year.

pieceofpurplesky Fri 01-Jan-16 01:25:47

How do you know what the expectAtions for the year are?

IguanaTail Fri 01-Jan-16 01:48:17

Get Mira 1 and take it from there. The curriculum should be posted on the website. It will be things like
Introductions; numbers; dates; family members; pets; hobbies to start with.

EduCated Fri 01-Jan-16 02:33:22

The Duolingo app is a bit more on the fun side

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 01-Jan-16 03:02:27

pieceofpurplesky there was a school report saying that he was performing below the expected level.

I use DuoLingo and Memrise apps myself. I know I can find all sorts of fun things like that, but I'd like to know what vocabulary and grammar his class is currently working on. I'd like to follow along with that and we can do drills and flashcards together (with rewards/treats so he'd be willing to do it.)

Bunbaker Fri 01-Jan-16 11:49:43

Why don't you email the school and ask the Spanish teacher to email you with some guidelines for you to follow.

My starting point would be to expand what work he has covered in his exercise book.

YeOldeTrout Fri 01-Jan-16 12:15:11

He's doing great in all subjects but you're obsessing about the one he's not performing well in? confused

Must he do Spanish for GCSE? Why is it so important?

cosytoaster Fri 01-Jan-16 12:22:06

Mine watched cartoons (youtube) and favourite films in Spanish (change language on dvd), obviously didn't understand everything but I think it's good to get the feel and sound of the language.

pieceofpurplesky Fri 01-Jan-16 13:22:03

Below his expected level or below the school expected level - there is a difference

Waitingandhoping2015 Fri 01-Jan-16 13:24:16

Just looked at DS Spanish textbook, Year 7 also, it's called Zoom espanol 1, published by Oxford. It's his first textbook and he will be taking Spanish to GCSE so it's the start of 5 years. After one term he's filled slightly more than a standard A5 textbook with coursework and homework etc. Hope this helps!

balletgirlmum Fri 01-Jan-16 13:28:55

Ds started Spanish in year 7 too. They are using Mira.
From memory so far he has done numbers, my name is, I live, school subjects, describing teachers (strict, nice, etc) & food & drink.

balletgirlmum Fri 01-Jan-16 13:31:55

Yeoldetrout - many schools including my dd & Ds's schools have an MFL as compulsory. Dds school only offers French. At ds's school the language you chose in year 7 is most likely the one you will take to gcse (you can opt to start a second language in year 9)

So the op is right to be concerned, it's hard to catch up once you've got behind but a little work now cdm make a huge difference (in confidence too)

Waitingandhoping2015 Fri 01-Jan-16 13:32:13

Sorry I said 'standard A5 textbook' when I meant 'exercise' book... They have 4 lessons a week.

BertrandRussell Fri 01-Jan-16 13:35:04

What level is he working at?

balletgirlmum Fri 01-Jan-16 13:37:57

Not all schools report in levels.

BertrandRussell Fri 01-Jan-16 13:43:59

No I know they don't. But some people get worried by levels in year 7 in subjects the kids only started at the beginning of the year. Just though it was worth checking that wasn't what's happening here.

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 01-Jan-16 13:53:07

I assume he'll be doing Spanish GCSE. I don't want him to fall behind. Much easier to deal with it early on.

I think I am supposed to contact his head of year, first? Should I ask him how to proceed with the Spanish teachers (there are two, each one hour a week)?

I'd like to know what resources they're using, and a syllabus of the year would be really helpful. That way I could track how he's doing and know if he needs extra help.

His notes are sparse and scribbled. There's no lists of new words or anything. I have no idea what he's doing or what he's supposed to be doing. And there isn't daily practice. I think even ten minutes a day would be very helpful.

Bunbaker Fri 01-Jan-16 13:56:27

"I assume he'll be doing Spanish GCSE"

Why? If he really struggles with a foreign language he would be far better off doing another academic subject.

I think that emailing the head of year might be helpful so you can find out what your son should be learning. Have you had a parents evening yet?

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