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French and German in Year 7 struggling with having to learn 2 languages

(11 Posts)
christywhisty Mon 24-Sep-07 23:57:10

DS has just started secondary and is learning French and German. He lacks confidence in languages as he has a Specific Learning Difficulty with spelling. He is in the top class so probably more is expected of him as well.

He had a german test on numbers and got 7 out of 12 mainly due to spelling mistakes.This was after practising the numbers all weekend. Last week only got 1 1/2 out of 10 in a french test partly because he thought the test was not until this Friday. He had put a note under it to his teacher
"I have no idea about French. I am finding it difficult to cope with learning French and German"

I made him flash cards for the numbers in German and "hello", "goodbye" "how are you" etc in French which seem to help a bit.

Can you get flashcards that are aimed at KS3? Any other ideas to help him. I did German at school, so I can help him the the German to some extent, but not with French.

PillockOfTheCommunity Tue 25-Sep-07 00:13:18

Why is he doing both? I studied both to A-Level, but it was only those in the highest set for French that were given the choice of doing both, and those that struggled with French had the option to drop it and take German instead. Can the school not be flexible on it?

seeker Tue 25-Sep-07 05:58:09

My dd is learning German and Spanish. The school offers a choice of French German or Spanish for their first language then they are allocated a second one. She is finding it hard too - but the teachers assure me that it sorts itself out in their heads very soon and she will stop saying "Guten Dias!"

Why don't you talk to his from tutor, Christy? Apaprt from anything else to make sure the school is aware of the SLD. I'm sure he's not alone - it's very early days isn't it? - but you don't want his confidence totake too many more knocks like that.

snorkle Tue 25-Sep-07 09:03:03

All I can suggest is that you call the tutor and ensure that the teachers concerned know that he is struggling and his poor test results are not due to lack of effort. They may then be able to cut him some slack. If it is still too much you will need to discuss dropping one language and using the free time to study the other. The school won't be keen on this as at that age they're not usually great at independent study. With spelling problems some people just don't realise how much extra work has to go in to achieve even a mediocre mark, but it is known that dyslexic type problems often lead to difficulties with languages. I may be in the same boat next year, so sympathies.

christywhisty Tue 25-Sep-07 09:08:57

LOL Seeker
DS says he sits in french going eins, zwei, drei

IU have spoken to his tutor last week at new parents evening about his SLD, he made notes so I hope it will filter through. His Yr 6 form teacher did talk to the pastoral care woman who visited their primary.Just hope it has filtered through.

From what I can gather the top set does French and German, the middle group do French and Italian and the bottom set just do French. Most schools locally don't get a second language until yr 8

lemonaid Tue 25-Sep-07 09:20:03

Just as a random thought with no scientific basis behind it... if he's a visual person, could he use different colour pens for doing his French and German written work? That way when he visualised what he'd done it would be easier to separate the two.

kiskidee Tue 25-Sep-07 09:27:33

Contact the SEN Coodinator and/or his languages teachers and point out his SLD and your concerns. I should think that his spelling deserves consideration. Secondaries are big places and what with teachers having so many new faces, not only in yr 7, it can otherwise take a while for his special need to filter through to his teachers unless you make the move to let them know sooner. If its a good school, they'll be happy to hear from you.

Bright yr 7 kids are capable of learning 2 languages quite well. they occasionally come out with hilarious stuff like 'diecifunf' when you ask what 15 is in French. But those sort of mistakes is all part of learning.

seeker Tue 25-Sep-07 10:40:28

Lemonaid - that is a brilliant idea - I will suggest it to dd this evening! I think you should patent it!

We have Latin added to the mix in year 8 as well!

mumblechum Tue 25-Sep-07 10:43:18

My ds has, since Yr 7, done French, German and Spanish and I agree it's too much.

He's not very good at any of them and it must be quite confusing at times.

christywhisty Wed 26-Sep-07 16:57:03

i have spoken to the SENCO and we have a meeting 15th October. She feels it is just a matter of boosting his confidence, but will do some assessments for dyslexia for him

kiskidee Thu 27-Sep-07 13:06:57


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