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Why do ALL the pupils at my kids' school hate French??

(152 Posts)
kitnkaboodle Wed 01-Mar-17 22:41:03

Languages were my Thing at school and I still use them in my job. I'm aghast that every single kid from the school that I talk to hates French - it's 'up' there with RE as the most unpopular. All they ever report that they've done is grammar and translation over n over. I don't know if it's the fault of the syllabus or the (two) teachers. They seem to v rarely do any listening to recordings/watching videos etc, and NEVER seem to do any speaking practice. When I asked them if they ever do stuff like doing role plays pretending they're in a restaurant or suchlike, they literally didn't understand what I meant. What's going on??confused Kids in Y8 and Y10 (yes, doing it for GCSE - in the interests of doing a broad range of subjects. Partially own choice, partially on the advice of teachers.)

gillybeanz Wed 01-Mar-17 22:44:48

I think many find it difficult, whereas German seems much easier for them.
Maybe that's just because we are NW though, speak quite gutterally like the German language, not sure.

My dd loves all languages but likelihood she can only take one at school, maybe both if timetable allows.

leccybill Wed 01-Mar-17 22:45:53

Well I'm a French teacher and I do do all the interactive stuff- role plays with props, games, competitions, songs, videos, apps, you name it! The kids still hate it. They tell me it's because it's hard and you have to speak French.
So there you go.

Seriously, I think it's just seen as worthless or niche- it's a lot like learning a musical instrument- it takes lots of short sessions of dedicated practice to improve and not many people play the oboe in everyday life.

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 01-Mar-17 22:46:50

I found it more difficult than Spanish and I studied both for a level.

MrGrumpy01 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:47:16

I never enjoyed French. It was that or German and I really struggled with German. Very few of my peers enjoyed it then so it isn't nothing new i don't think.

At the time we had to do French or German.

kitnkaboodle Wed 01-Mar-17 22:56:20

Hmm - it would be interesting to see how they'd be with a different language. Poor old French ... I love it!

AlexanderHamilton Wed 01-Mar-17 23:02:51

My daughter does French at her school & loves it even though she originally wanted to study German but it wasn't offered.

They do lots of speaking & writing & role plays.

In year 9 a student joined her class who had lived in France for a couple of years so that also helps.

ExplodedCloud Wed 01-Mar-17 23:02:59

I couldn't get on with French. Made no sense at all blush I could translate the words into French but then had no idea where they went in a sentence. Also felt like a right twat doing a French accent.
German had rules and an easy accent!

noblegiraffe Wed 01-Mar-17 23:05:01

Kids at my school seem to like PE and drama. Anything where you sit at a desk, write lots and think hard tends to get a thumbs down.

gleegeek Wed 01-Mar-17 23:19:18

Yes here too! German is tolerated, French is detested. It's so sadsad

troutsprout Wed 01-Mar-17 23:52:40

Dd does French and Spanish and likes both. French seems well liked by her friends at her school also and my ds liked it when he was there too.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 01-Mar-17 23:56:46

I suppose when I remember french at school and I talk to children , French, who cares everyone speaks English

angeldelightedme Wed 01-Mar-17 23:59:00

My kids hated French, yet quite happily learned other languages independently for fun!

smellylittleorange Thu 02-Mar-17 06:00:24

Despite her levels not being where they should be Dd loves French. She has just started to realise in Y8 you have to.practise little and often to get the best out of assessments ..she loves 'RE too 😕

Mominatrix Thu 02-Mar-17 06:09:35

My elder son hates French - and he has a French passport! He finds it rigid and does not get on with the pronunciation. Can't wait until next year when he can do a different language.

Younger son's school does not offer French in the early years - just Mandarin and Spanish.

MidLifeCrisis007 Thu 02-Mar-17 06:35:29

My DS gave up French in favour of Russian which he adores. He said French was just a lesson on "exceptions to rules". He got frustrated in being taught rules and then always being examined on the exceptions to those rules. He has a point. To him it was one step forward, one step back all the time.

lljkk Thu 02-Mar-17 06:41:05

My first thought when I read title was "quality of teaching". The French vs. German teachers was a chasm of quality different at DC high school. French is much preferred & now the only choice (German teacher is retiring, probably due to ill health).

frenchfancy Thu 02-Mar-17 06:45:15

I think kids hate it because it is really hard. It is a shame because, unlike playing the oboe, competence in a foreign language is highy sought after by recruitment agencies.

Crumbs1 Thu 02-Mar-17 06:46:57

Three of mine hated French (but now wish they'd made more effort) five enjoyed it and are reasonably fluent. I think because they started young (pre school) they had a head start. Using it when abroad gave it pertinence too but most schools have stopped exchanges (I understand why) but this takes more of the excitement away and leaves many children having never been to France. Languages and RE were always popular choices at GCSE and A level though. Theology was one of the A levels that was offered at Yr 11, which may have been why it was more popular.

Crumbs1 Thu 02-Mar-17 06:47:24

Sorry three and three.

JemimaMuddledUp Thu 02-Mar-17 06:52:53

I have 2 DC studying French and German. One is good at languages, the other not so much. They were both already bilingual before starting studying these MFLs. They both prefer German to French.

I studied both to A level and preferred German too. I did however hate Spanish, which was supposedly "easier".

GetAHaircutCarl Thu 02-Mar-17 06:55:22

French is popular at my DC's school with healthy numbers taking it after GCSE ( and even more attending informal lunchtime classes alongside other A levels).

I think one of the reasons is that most of the pupils come from prep schools where French would be taken (relatively) seriously in that young pupils would have proper, regular teaching that included grammar.
Most will have also studied Latin from an early age which helps hugely with MFL.

AndImAnElf Thu 02-Mar-17 06:55:29

It is a shame, I loved French but it's true kids often hate it. I did it to A level and even in my A level class I was the only one who didn't hate it!

Rickandmorty Thu 02-Mar-17 06:55:48

I teach French and German and the students hate french and hate German slightly less!
However in my school, German and Spanish are being phased out in favour of French. Can't wait 😖

themanonthecycle Thu 02-Mar-17 07:01:05

Neither of my DC enjoy French. They say it is pointless as they will never need it. Neither would take it as an option. DD is hoping to switch to German or Spanish, DS just wants to drop languages.

I think it is because we learn languages so late in this country, and also because we seem to need them so much less than other countries as English is so widely spoken.

Other than a trip to Paris/Disneyland we have never been to France on holiday and not are we ever likely to. Their school no longer do exchanges either.

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