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Languages at secondary school

(59 Posts)
Mintychoc1 Tue 10-Jan-17 16:09:44

DS1 is in year 7. They have been studying French since September, and they have just added in Spanish too. In April they have to make a choice - French or Spanish - to study in year 8.

Does this mean that only one language can be studied for GCSE? Presumably if they can't do 2 languages in year 8, they won't be able to do them in year 10?

Is this the norm now? When I was at school the kids who liked languages were able to do 2 or even 3. I think it's a shame if these days kids can only study one.

PotteringAlong Tue 10-Jan-17 16:14:20

Just email school and ask them. In the nicest possible way, none of us will know what the MFL policy is at your child's school.

Whynotnowbaby Tue 10-Jan-17 16:21:11

As pottering says, I don't know what your school policy is but in my experience languages are being increasingly squeezed out by schools looking to balance the books and tick results boxes. When I started in my school we taught three to most children and everyone did at least one to GCSE (some did 2 or 3). Now our y7s will only do one and only about half of them will be encouraged to go on to GCSE.

Mintychoc1 Tue 10-Jan-17 16:27:53

I'm going to ask the school, but I thought I'd try and find out what the norm is these days

Moominmammacat Tue 10-Jan-17 17:31:00

Mine started Language 1 in Y7, Language 2 in Y8 and optional twilight class Language 3 in Y9 and took them all through to GCSE. Local comp.

CheekyNandosChicken Tue 10-Jan-17 18:08:11

In my experience it's often one language at comps, 2 at grammars and 2+ at academic private schools.

CheekyNandosChicken Tue 10-Jan-17 18:09:48

Moomin - is your comp a language specialist school? My dd is good at languages and unfortunately only gets one at her comp.

bojorojo Tue 10-Jan-17 18:45:26

Lots of schools only allow one. I can't say it is the norm, but it is dumbing down the curriculum. It is one of the reasons few state school children from 'bog standard' schools make it to MFL joint honours degree courses. Keeping two is so much more beneficial for linguists. 3 sciences - yes, 2 MFL - no. Good academic schools will do 2, but your school does not value linguists - like very many others.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 10-Jan-17 19:04:12

DDs state school do one MFL (French) in Y7, one taster lesson of Latin per week. Then in Y8 in addition to French they can choose German or Spanish. Any other options you do as a twighlight course and you have to pay for these, on offer are Mandarin, Japanese and Latin. I can't see how with squeezed budgets there is a better option - for those on low incomes the language options will be less but should the paid for courses be dropped solely for that reason? Most of DD's friends are doing French in Y7 and either have the option of taking up another language further up the school or swapping out French after Y9 making learning a new language a big task.

golfbuggy Tue 10-Jan-17 19:25:29

DS's state school only habitually allow 1 MFL to be studied at GCSE. The only exceptions would be where the DC was bilingual/multilingual in 1 or both of the languages they wished to study.

boys3 Tue 10-Jan-17 19:28:54

virtually the same as PWP here, French Y7, adding one of German or Spanish at Y8. No issue with taking at least 2 of these for GCSE.

DragonitesRule Tue 10-Jan-17 19:32:16

When DD started high school they did a term each of French, Spanish and German. At the end of year 7 they had to pick one to continue with (first of the English baccalaureate cohort). Those considered Gifted in languages will be encouraged to take a second with their options this year (8) to begin in year 9 (starting GCSEs a year early)

DS is due to start the same high school next year and from his year group they will only be doing French with no option to try another language unless they are gifted and encouraged to do so-but who is going to start a GCSE in a subject they have never even tried?!!! It is the end of linguists in this country, we are very lazy just because everyone speaks English.

clary Tue 10-Jan-17 19:38:12

At my DCs' school you do one language and virtually all now do it for gcse. If they are good and keen they can pick up another at gcse ab initio in yr 10. Not many do tho. Where I teach MFL, students do one and the most able pick up a second in yr 9, studying in form time as PE. Idea is that they could take 2 at ks4. Again only a few do sad we need more dual linguists.

TeenAndTween Tue 10-Jan-17 19:38:38

DDs comp, all do French from y7.
Then for GCSEs you can do Spanish or German as well as or instead of French (or no language at all).

Fairenuff Tue 10-Jan-17 20:27:04

Dd did French and Spanish at GCSE and A level. State comprehensive.

Not MFL but she also did Latin GCSE.

Check with your school.

Heifer Tue 10-Jan-17 21:00:54

At DD school they only study 1 these days. Before they started Yr7 they had to pick an option of either French or Spanish. The can do another one in their own time (lunch time and after school club).

roundaboutthetown Tue 10-Jan-17 22:23:22

At ds's school, they do one language in years 7 and 8 and can choose another language instead or as well as the original to start in year 9.

DragonitesRule Tue 10-Jan-17 22:34:53

And why French?!!! Such an outdated non-useful language-why not something more widely used...Spanish, mandarin?

LooseAtTheSeams Tue 10-Jan-17 23:15:31

At dcs' school it's 1 language, the corresponding girls' school does 2. Not sure why because our school gets good results at GCSE but is making it very unlikely anyone would study MFL as a degree. On the other hand this hasn't exactly caused uproar among parents.
DS1 is doing a different language outside school for GCSE. DS2 will most likely stick with French.

TheHoldings Wed 11-Jan-17 07:49:00

Our comp does 2 languages in year 7, year 9 you can acquire a third if you are talented at languages. All students have the choice to drop languages for year 9 but they must continue with one.
Was interested to see the that only UCL now require a language as a general entry requirement to university and even then their requirement is pretty low.

Maltropp Wed 11-Jan-17 08:33:26

DS school does one term (old style terms that is) of french/German/Spanish so they get a taste of each.... No idea what happens after yr7 but think all encouraged to do one for gcse

Sadik Wed 11-Jan-17 08:34:34

Only one MFL offered at DD's comp, and only a tiny number of pupils (<10% of the year group) take it to GCSE. DD says all of those bar one (who is bilingual in English/a non-European language) are from the Welsh medium stream. So basically none of the monolingual pupils take a language GCSE other than 2nd language Welsh, which seems really sad.

donkir Wed 11-Jan-17 08:50:18

At my ds school they do French and German and then at the end of year 8 they choose which to do as a gcse. Those that are gifted get the option to do both.

WhatHaveIFound Wed 11-Jan-17 08:59:02

At my DC's school they learn French (full school year), Spanish & German (both half the school year) in Y7 and Y8. They can drop one of those three in Y9.

In Y10 they are encouraged to take a language GSCE but it's not compulsory. Around 80% have opted for a language, no one has gone for more thant one.

hertsandessex Wed 11-Jan-17 11:45:54

Comprehensive albeit with language specialisation - one language in year 7, second one in year 8 with both taken to GCSE for almost everybody. Possible to add a third in year 10 but few do.

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