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 Post subject: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 28
Y7 doing German - choice of Spanish, French Latin or Mandarin. What should DC do? Mandarin only for exceptional kids so out. DC has no experience of others as primary taught nothing.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Latin is fairly straightforward early on, if your DC is conscientious at sitting and learning vocab by rote, but does get harder and is certainly seen as being indicative of academic excellence further down the line. Personally, out of French and Spanish, I would opt for Spanish as it is more widely spoken in the global society and, certainly, my ds1 who only started it in Y8 is flying with it - he has done French since Y7 and cannot wait to drop it!!


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Latin. No question.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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I was waiting for you to appear and say that, Amber :). I have very bad memories of Caecilius and his pals from my Latin lessons. I would say Spanish, but I am not a linguist I just think it seems relatively easy & useful for travelling <simple soul emoticon>


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Yes so many people say that but fond hopes of DC with a couple of years' school Spanish under their belts translating usefully anything more than 'Two beers and a cheese sandwich please' (not saying that isn't useful) are misguided. I always smile at these threads where people talk about GCSE languages being useful - honestly: go and look at the papers! It is a useful starting point but no more than that - and MFL GCSEs are so rehearsed and formatted that any type of creative language use (i.e. out of context) will be difficult for students who aren't high-flyers.

Spanish is the most popular language now for GCSE and the only one on the up. We German linguists (fantastic first choice Cricket, and a good username to boot) can be a bit snooty about it, I concede, but it is hardly going to make a child stand out. Whereas Latin is - it is one of the very few subjects still regarded with some respect at GCSE and it would be useful too. My DD adored it (which I know doesn't recommend it - she loved Mandarin too) and has often commented on links with English words since doing it.

Go against the grain and make a bold choice. The world is full of GCSE Spanish linguists.

(Stands back and waits for the explosion!)


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:42 pm
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Location: Birmingham
I would say Latin is more impressive but does get harder. I enjoyed it, my DS loves it too but he is very much a grammarian - all those rules and conjugations don't put him off. Apart from forming some English plurals, it is pretty useless in real life so it depends what your DC wants from it.

Spanish is much more usable - they may not be able to speak fluently but that is the same for all language GCSEs. Even Latin is pretty basic really but does have more kudos. Decide based on what you think DC will enjoy. If inclined towards the arts and humanities then French is more useful. I have had to plough through many French academic papers in my research - just wished I paid more attention at school.

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Last edited by UmSusu on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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Amber wrote:
Yes so many people say that but fond hopes of DC with a couple of years' school Spanish under their belts translating usefully anything more than 'Two beers and a cheese sandwich please' (not saying that isn't useful) are misguided. I always smile at these threads where people talk about GCSE languages being useful - honestly: go and look at the papers! It is a useful starting point but no more than that - and MFL GCSEs are so rehearsed and formatted that any type of creative language use (i.e. out of context) will be difficult for students who aren't high-flyers.

Spanish is the most popular language now for GCSE and the only one on the up. We German linguists (fantastic first choice Cricket, and a good username to boot) can be a bit snooty about it, I concede, but it is hardly going to make a child stand out. Whereas Latin is - it is one of the very few subjects still regarded with some respect at GCSE and it would be useful too. My DD adored it (which I know doesn't recommend it - she loved Mandarin too) and has often commented on links with English words since doing it.

Go against the grain and make a bold choice. The world is full of GCSE Spanish linguists.

(Stands back and waits for the explosion!)


You are right, of course Amber - I said I was a simple soul. DSs have proved quite useful for ordering food for us in Spain :) My O level Frensh has done me reasonably well, even in business. And, no I haven't looked at any papers! Would I be horrified?


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Yes..I am not a linguist but reckon I could comfortably get a B..

DS1 is currently doing French, Spanish and Latin - he hopes to take Spanish and Latin at GCSE. Latin teacher was disappointed that he wasn't going to do Spanish, Latin and Greek, (as he has "the academic intellect to cope with this"), but he has too many lunchtime activities that he didn't want to give up. Funny, in primary he was described as "seeing numbers" as he was so strong in maths, and none of our family are linguists, but in secondary he has flown with his English and all the languages but has a particular love of Geography!


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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Does he have any interests that might help inspire an actual interest? Romans/history for Latin? Holidays possible to Spain or France? Do they get school trips later on associated with each language? Family connections?

Having had a dd1 do two languages (no choice of which either) on an obligatory basis, for her it has been pretty joyless in KS3.

Exam exam exam exam exam. That is all I hear.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Language
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
Posts: 534
My DS chose Latin with Spanish as a reserve. I tried to encourage him to do German (already doing French) but he is a child that knows his own mind. He really enjoys Latin at the moment whilst he finds the speaking and pronouncing element of his French hard. Reading between the lines I think he fancied something he would have to translate rather than another language he would have to speak. He likes the historical element too. I think it really depends on the child.

They did taster lessons for all the new languages which involved a strong sales pitch from the teachers. Has your DC had this?


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