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Learning German from scratch in y9(10 Posts)
Ds's school has a system where you are given some choice in non-core subjects from yr9 allowing you to focus on those you may continue at gcse (& drop those you definitely won't be) .
The choice is from a list including various art & design type subjects and computing none of which interest ds at all; music which he can't do as whilst he plays well, he didn't ever want to take exams (must be grade 4+); and a second mfl which for ds would be German. He's pretty good at French and enjoys it so this seems an obvious fit but would starting a new language from scratch be a bad idea in yr9 and could it detract from his French?
Another reason he's unsure is that dh & I know enough French to help with things like vocab testing and checking homework but don't speak a word of German so he'll very much be on his own.
My DS has been doing German from year 7 and has also taken up the option of Spanish from scratch in Year 9. They were only allowed to do it if they were very good at the first language. So far he's not getting confused.
This happens at DD2's school too, pretty much as you describe. At her school they only get an hour a week for the new language. It is more just to get them going. DD1 took up Spanish in y10 (under the old style GCSEs) and managed fine even though she had the same teacher.
I would think it would be fine. If he's not interested in any of the art options he might as well get a taster of German as anything else.
I did French from yr 7 and German just once a week from yr 8. Never a problem, did both for O level (old) and a level then studied German at uni
German is ace, logical, useful and not too hard to pronounce for English speakers (easier than French anyway). Go for it, we need more people taking German!
That’s when we started German at my school, but we didn’t pick options for GCSE until end of year 9.
Sciences were separate - ie Chemistry, Biology, Physics - only studies as separate subjects from year 9.
I did 2 languages, it was fine but meant I could not do Geography but could do History. I did 2 Sciences and Eng Lit and Lang but only one Maths. I did Eng Lang early in one year and then did Economics in one year
DC were given the choice of starting Russian or German in Yr 9, so it is not unusual. Both tried Russian . One got A* at GCSE , the other gave it up. Neither found it affected their other language (French or Spanish).
DH had done O level Russian so he could give a bit of help though.
If he wants to do music you might be able to argue that it should be g4 standard...if you think he’s that level...
My DDs took up a second MFL in y8. Personally I think that’s better than y9 but they didn’t get confused with French. They chose Italian. German sounds very different and I would say go for it! We need linguists! So few now do languages at uni, and German has fallen off a cliff, he will find universities will be delighted to see him if he can keep going!
DS started Spanish in year 9. To be honest he says he's struggling with it, despite him doing well in French (the compulsory language). Possibly because it's too similar to French, or maybe because he's comparing his skill to French which he's had an extra 2 years studying.
Thanks all that's really encouraging especially as his school offer a condensed 'fast track' option if you take up a 2nd language ie double lessons with a view to getting new starters up to speed. Music is a possibility but I think he's happy playing for pleasure and isn't too keen on the technical side of it.
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