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Taking 2 languages in Y9 but only in the same time as one

(7 Posts)
PeckSilver Sat 18-Jan-20 11:39:59

School offer French or German in Y7 & 8 and then in Y9 students can choose to pick up Spanish or French or German. However, they get two periods a week for language whether they are doing one or two. DS, Y8, enjoys German and has found it quite easy (so far!) and is considering this as a GCSE. Languages department encourage taking up the second language and say this does not hinder their learning, and indeed can help but then they would say that as they are, like many language departments, desperate to increase their numbers of GCSE and A Level pupils. But can doing half the time really not make any difference?

OP’s posts: |
Moominmammacat Sat 18-Jan-20 14:42:31

Are you sure you've got this right? You're not going to get very far on two periods a week, speaking as mother of DS who did three languages at GCSE.

KoalasandRabbit Sat 18-Jan-20 15:26:04

My DDs school does this - year 7 and 8 its French or Spanish then year 9 its either all French or Spanish or 1/2 French and 1/2 Spanish in time of 1 or a second language of choice self-taught in year 9. My DD has done 1/2 self-taught German in year 9 and its pointless and making it harder in French to keep up as she only has 1/2 lessons of some. With work outside and a teacher it's probably fine but you would be best to make up time to get higher grades. Ours just asks for local unpaid volunteers, all of which quit very quickly.

clary Sat 18-Jan-20 15:42:54

I taught MFL and we had two one-hour lessons a week (used to be three but shorter lessons), IMO that's a minimum op, so I agree, sadly. Does your ds havevto do the two languages or can he stick with one? One hour a week in class in yr 9 is hardly going to get you to starting GCSE standard. If it were 1-1 tuition, that's different.

If he likes German for GCSE I might stick with that, though I do applaud the school for offering the chance to take two languages (so few do 😢). Would he have the option choices or inclination to take two MFL for GCSE? If yes then go fir it, if not, stick with German. If you don't know about the schools options offer, ask them, seems reasonable.

They may insist on a humanity and if you then add a language, that often only leaves two choices or even one; if DS is v keen on PE and computing and tech and drama he won't have room for MFL #2 anyway.

kidsfuture Sat 18-Jan-20 15:48:53

There is a way you can speed up language learning which the government approved in 2017. This is by learning and supporting your child to learn Esperanto. It is so well designed, to overcome all the problems of irregular verbs, spelling, grammar etc in national languages, that young children find it easy as it is all logically designed and so helps them learn quickly. You don't have any of the problems in English of -singular, house then plural houses, so far so good then pow!, mouse then logically mouses, but oh no an irregular - mice! I have had classes of children translating Esperanto sentences after just 45 minutes! So I know it works. Since the Dept of Education approved it, you can ask for your children to have after school lessons. Their quick success gives them the confidence to speed up their other language learning. It is used all over the world and Schools in most African countries have taught it since 2004.

PeckSilver Sat 18-Jan-20 16:34:24

Totally free choice on option subjects, but only 4, so chances of wanting to use 2 for languages seems slim. However it does seem a shame to pass up the opportunity go learn something new. He does lots out of school so we would not be looking at outside tuition.

OP’s posts: |
lanthanum Sat 18-Jan-20 22:31:55

DD's school have six lessons of languages a fortnight. Upper language groups do two languages in year 8, then they let them choose whether they carry on with one or both in year 9. It's quite a small group who carried on with both, and they're the ones who are up for the challenge, although not all are intending continuing with both for GCSE.

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