Year 8 French(8 Posts)
Just after Christmas I wrote to the school as DD was very upset, felt she was in the wring French set. She said she wasn't learning anything and should be in a lower set, The school fed back that her teacher said she was doing well most of the time, and was in the correct set. In April DH was trying to have a basic conversation with her in French, and she struggled, and got upset again.
When I spoke to her about it she said that they don't do any spoken French in class, they read from a book and have multiple choice questions. This seemed strange to me, especially as the teacher is French, I thought the whole lesson would be in French.
I wrote to the school (again) as asked about oral French, whether it would be included in the eot exams. Again I was assured she is doing well, the teacher wants to get the vocab and grammar correct so doesn't do spoken French, it won't be in the exam.
Last week she came home beside herself, they had a French 'listening' test, she said she and most of the others in her class failed miserably because they hardly ever hear spoken French; she told me they hope that as they all feel they have done badly that the school will realise it's the teacher who is as fault.
I know we are at the end of the year, she has another French exam to come, when I tried to help her yesterday, again she was in tears.
I know it's not that she can't do languages, her Spanish is good, they do a lot of oral in the lesson, and she is coming on leaps and bounds.
Should I contact the school again, or just leave it and hope she has a different teacher next year?
If her grammar and vocab is good, maybe use some online course or tutor during summer hol to catch up on speaking/listening lesson a bit?
My dc are struggling to have a conversation in French despite having had french from primary school and teaching more similar to your dd Spanish class. I don't think I was much good at conversing until shortly before my GCSEs. Concerned instead by the lack of grammar being taught to my dcs as its such a useful short cut.
I think the French school system teaches a lot of grammar so your dd's teacher may be trying to remedy the lack of grammar in the UK system??? If you wanted to contact the school you could ask when they start oral teaching as you are concerned your dd is behind in French compared to Spanish
I can highly recommend the Duolingo app (which is free) and can be used on mobiles, iPads etc. Your DD can start at any level she feels comfortable with and 5 mins a day could make a huge difference to her confidence. It covers most of the main languages, including French and Spanish.
It's nothing like how dd is taught French tbh. Dd has had speaking and listening tests from the first few weeks and so conversation is part of every lesson. For example they have recently covered past,near future and future tenses so as part of their last speaking test they had to be able to illustrate that they could use the correct tense so they were asked about what they did last weekend and what they planned to do next weekend and what they will do during the summer.
Dd has been encouraged to watch French TV shows (she particularly enjoys Miraculous; tales of ladybug and cat noir) and doesn't need the English subtitles to understand it,listen to French pop songs and read French articles. She is making great progress getting level 6 in her last assessments. Maybe you could get dd to look at the shows and listen to the songs as well.
The website tv5monde has a really good learning resources section. Lots of short videos on many subjects, with optional subtitles.
Thank you, all. I will suggest the Duolingo app, as they all seem to be firmly attached to their devices at the moment.
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