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 Post subject: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:13 pm
Posts: 283
Ds will be studying Latin. French and Mandarin in year 7 this September with the option of Japanese. It all sounds great, however my only worry is will he get confused with so many languages? What's your experience? Do 11 year olds cope well with learning different languages at the same time?


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
suspect it depends on the child!

Some will love it and find it quite manageable - others hate learning one foreign language and will hate this even more. Same goes for any subject groups - some love science some don't,


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 237
I think it will be heaven for a natural linguist but may confuse the h*ll out of a hardcore scientist.

I do wonder why some schools do this.(specialist school status?)...As ever(!!) I prefer my DD school's approach which is Y7 compulsory French and Latin, Y8 these become optional with additional options of German and Spanish and Y9 additional option of Greek....but with a requirement of at least 1 GCSE Modern Language.

The advantage of this approach is that it allows those with natural language ability to have it recognised by themselves and the School first and then gradually they can increase the Language subjects they take...whilst for those without language skills it means that a lot of Yr 7 is not wasted and everyone can enjoy a broader curriculum in Yr 7.


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 313
My son is just finishing Year 7 and he has studied French and Latin. In Year 8 he has the choice of studying either German or Classical Greek as well. He has opted to study German alongside French and Latin which I think is more than enough given that he will be studying sixteen different subjects in Year 8! It is also compulsory to study at least one MFL at GCSE.


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6963
Location: East Kent
Quote:
but may confuse the h*ll out of a hardcore scientist.


you are assuming that scientists cannot be linguists and vice versa, I beg to differ..


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8112
yoyo123 wrote:
Quote:
but may confuse the h*ll out of a hardcore scientist.


you are assuming that scientists cannot be linguists and vice versa, I beg to differ..


:lol: :lol: in my case an entirely reasonable assumption!!!....


... having said that there are some really smart bods who can manage it.. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1224
It certainly can confuse - a friend of my sons recently messed up his end of year French oral exam by speaking German (the German one had been the previous day)!


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6254
In year 6 DS studied, Latin, French and Spanish - no problems but then he is not a scientist :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:02 pm
Posts: 68
Mandarin in schools. Flavour of the month. And nearly always recommended by non-linguists as "the future".

Despite my having spent almost my entire working life moving around the world (British Council/Dip Service/UK university international), I'm not persuaded that for all but a tiny percentage of students, Chinese will ever be anything other than a language which is of minimal practical value. Unless you are at the sharp end of doing business with China, there's no need to have any understanding of the language (and there are always professional available on both sides who are there to translate, interpret and advise on the legal and drafting niceties).

An acqaintance with the major European languages unlocks huge swathes of our common Western cultural heritage. So too does a supposedly dead language like Latin or Ancient Greek. But that is never going to happen with Chinese. Or Arabic, for that matter. I don't sense any untapped desire on the part of Brits to get deeper into mandarin cinema, or Chinese history and literature.

I'm always struck by the usual complete lack of any language learning facility on the part of those who would argue for the teaching of Chinese in British state schools. These are usually people who have never mastered another European language. Learning a language requires not only huge effort on the part of the student, but can only flourish in an environment where it can be seen to have instrumental benefits and where there is reinforcement through passive exposure, typically through film, tv, advertising etc. There has to be a high degree of motivation on the part of the learner to incentivise progress. I don't know about your school, but we stuck in at our French partly because it held some promise of helping us get off with a French girl one day (I still live in hope). When I was learning Portuguese or Arabic or Spanish I knew I was going to be living in Brazil, Iraq and Colombia in a few months. That is never going to happen with Chinese in the UK classroom, particularly in state schools.

Only a tiny number of Europeans will ever have the need to practise Chinese. Language learning is hard work. Effort is best put in where rewards are seen to be pretty obvious. So for my kids, they be sticking to Latin, French, Spanish and German.


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 Post subject: Re: Languages
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am
Posts: 2086
Location: Barnet, Herts
You can be good at languages and science, but if you are a natural scientist like my DS, you probably won't enjoy or have a passion for the languages. He just endures French and Latin, despite getting A* for both in recent exams, but he really loves the 3 sciences.


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