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No MFL at GCSE - is this an issue?

(25 Posts)
golfbuggy Thu 02-Mar-17 19:19:08

Just when we thought DS had nailed his GCSE options he's now been wowed by an economics teacher (not a subject he currently studies) and wants to study that.

However this will mean he can't also study a MFL. DS is not bothered but wonder if this could be an issue in the future. I realise he won't get the EBacc but is this even still really a thing?

titchy Thu 02-Mar-17 19:35:03

It won't affect him at all though obviously it pretty much rules out languages at A level. But if he wants to Economics go for it!

Uberfluffs Thu 02-Mar-17 20:34:40

I think some degrees ask for a MFL at GCSE level so it might affect which degree he can apply for.

titchy Thu 02-Mar-17 20:41:00

No they don't uber.

eatingtomuch Thu 02-Mar-17 20:55:55

Will not be an issue unless he wants to study mfl beyond gcse.

senua Thu 02-Mar-17 20:58:42

What's the plan for A Levels? What does Economics GCSE bring to the party?

PatsysPyjamas Thu 02-Mar-17 21:02:16

The world is a big place, knowing another language is arguably more useful in the real world than most other GCSEs. I don't if I would be so quick to drop it.

rosesandcashmere Thu 02-Mar-17 21:05:11

Economics A Levels never mandate that the GCSE is done so a modern language would be more useful. Economics at A Level is necessary for an economics degree as is a foreign language for a language degree. Would stick to the language at GCSE level to be honest.

crazycatguy Thu 02-Mar-17 21:11:13

The Ebacc is used to judge schools - another form of weapon to hit them with.

Employers tend not to care.

I see so much value in MFL but my opinion seems not to be widely shared.

golfbuggy Thu 02-Mar-17 21:19:47

He was quite ambivalent about the MFL to be fair - he saw it as the best of a bad lot in an option group rather than being totally excited by it. His teacher at parents evening described him as seeming disinterested and coasting. I agree with the comments that I think a MFL is probably more useful, but also think he's better of studying a subject he is at least enthused about.

He is likely to study a mixture of maths/science/computer science at A Level and is much stronger in maths/science subjects. I guess economics might also fall into the mix now if he enjoys it.

smellylittleorange Thu 02-Mar-17 21:27:25

Some Headteachers tout the idea that Russell Group prefer MFL GCSEs on UCAS form..this is rubbish ! UCL prefer a language at this level but if you don't have it will help you get it. My opinion fwiw is that languages are useful at this level..a different way of learning etc but if a child really does not want to do it..no point in forcing

Uberfluffs Thu 02-Mar-17 22:03:35

Here's a link to a discussion about the universities which require an MFL GCSE, with further references - it may be a bit old though, maybe things have changed since 2010, I don't know www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1332411

It's not that commonplace, but it does happen (or at least did).

titchy Thu 02-Mar-17 22:12:26

Things have changed a lot since then.

babyunicornvomit Thu 02-Mar-17 22:16:40

Unless he wants to study anything MFL related (e.g. economics with french) at degree level then it doesn't matter in the slightest. I'm 21, didn't take any languages at GCSE and went down the humanities route in college (Geography, History, Philosophy, double English) at A-Level and now finishing up a degree in Linguistics. Just make sure he doesn't want to pick it back up at A/degree level as he won't be able to without a GCSE, but it definitely isn't necessary x

GenerationYmember Fri 03-Mar-17 10:39:08

I did both Economics and an MFL (German) at GCSE, I found economics much more useful and fascinating, especially as I went on to do a business degree.

Nearly 15 years out of school, I remember barely any German and it honestly hasn't served me much use other than one German skiing holiday several years ago.

But that's just my experience.

Draylon Fri 03-Mar-17 11:22:39

IMO a MFL in your GCSE cache demonstrates the ability to think in a different sort of way to that required for English, Music or Art for example.

I agree with what others have said that you don't need Economics GCSE to do it at A level, so my advice is, if the DC stands a good chance of passing a MFL GCSE, they should do it in preference to Economics.

It sadly doesn't matter 'how useful' it is 15 years down the track- how many of us have tackled a simultaneous equation or decoded poetry, or described a drumlin since we did our GCSEs??! grin

AugustRose Fri 03-Mar-17 11:40:25

I suppose it depends what he wants to do, DS1 doesn't have a MFL GCSE and he is doing journalism at uni now.

He started one school where they did Italian but when he moved to another school, they only did French and as he had missed 2 years they decided it was too much to catch up.

He does have the option at uni of taking different language courses if he wants to which will add to his overall degree.

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 03-Mar-17 16:36:46

Ah - the myth that RG unis won't take you without an MFL continues.

Totally untrue!

As mentioned above Ebacc is to measure schools and indeed the better schools won't even allow themselves to fall into the "wonder of Ebacc" and allow their pupils to do their best subjects.

unfortunateevents Fri 03-Mar-17 17:16:59

That Student Room thread is 7 years old and is no more a definitive source of information than MN often is! Based on your son's leaning towards Maths/Science I think Economics is likely to be an easier win for him at GCSE and while I absolutely agree that people should be able to speak a second language GCSE German/French is no proof of competence! That is not a reflection on language teachers but rather on the current curriculum which does allow students with very poor knowledge of the language to still score highly in the exams.

No-one seems to care about EBacc any more, DS's school, one of the top performing comps in the country, doesn't even mention it in the selection information for GCSEs.

Bensyster Fri 03-Mar-17 19:40:18

Both dh and I have degrees in Economics - neither of us did economics at GCSE or A level. It's simply not needed. MFL are needed for some English degrees apparently.

Bensyster Fri 03-Mar-17 19:42:16

Who puts GCSEs on their CV once they have a degree?

MrsBartlet Fri 03-Mar-17 20:06:28

It could matter depending on where he wants to go to sixth form, so worth checking that out. At both my dc's schools a language GCSE is a requirement for sixth form entry.

roguedad Sat 04-Mar-17 10:30:51

I'm keen on MFL and DS has just selected two for GCSE (without any pressure from me, before you ask!). But if it does not suit your child I would not worry about it. I agree with those who say to ignore the EBacc. It's just a piece of league table drivel invented by HMGov and can easily be ignored. DS is not doing History or Geography but CS and Music, and we are all very happy with that.

My only caution is that at GCSE economics is a bit vacuous - it terms of potential use later I think an MFL would be better.

Ontopofthesunset Sat 04-Mar-17 11:28:07

I would recommend an MFL rather than Economics at GCSE. My son's at a very selective school with very good university outcomes and they don't even offer Economics at GCSE, but they insist on at least one MFL. I don't think universities care but learning a language is a different kind of brain exercise and just a good thing.

golfbuggy Sat 04-Mar-17 11:53:39

Thanks for feedback. Sounds like (as I expected) it's unlikely to affect future university choices and no one cares about the EBacc. Studying MFL may be intrinsically "a good thing" but you can argue that about many choices in life smile

His school has a sixth form that I imagine doesn't care about DC having a language on the basis they don't insist they take one, and he's most likely just to go there - obviously way too early to tell at this stage.

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