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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8199
Location: Buckinghamshire
So, it's Year 9 options time for DS1, and the choice of which language to take must be made. Sadly DS1 does not take after his Mum in this area, although he is alarmingly like his father in this respect. :lol:

He has no interest in Fench and, although he has been learning German for 3 years, the impact it has made on him is pretty minimal.

A radical option would be to start again with Italian in year 10, and see if he fares any better.

I speak both French and German to a resonable standard, but have had almost no exposure to Italian. My impression however, is that it is easier than either of the other two options - straightforward grammar, recognisable vocab, easy pronunciation.

However, the teachers are all saying that French is the easiest of the 3 by far. :?

Thoughts from anyone able to advise would be most welcome! :D

Sally-Anne


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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My five euros worth would be to stick to French as you can support him -

What is the probability he will cope with Italian given that he doesn't get on with French or German?!? :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Languages
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
My three have done German, Spanish and French between them - it may just be the quality of the particular teachers at their school but all have found German much easier. My DD was supposed to be fast-tracking French (which she dislikes) to take in Yr 10 but the school have recently scrapped this as they were not doing well enough (this was the top group, having started in yr 7). Her problem is I think the lack of a clear relation between the sound and the spelling, n'est pas? whereas German seems more logical. Italian was offered as an alternative Yr 8 option and several of her friends took it - it is more phonetic I believe than French and possibly easier to pick up if you already know some musical terms, but I would think it would be hard to get as high a standard in 2 years as in German where he's already had 3 years start. Do they do any exchange trips? My DD was enthused by hers in year 9, even still chats sometimes in a mixture of English & German to her exchange partner. (I'm hoping the half-term skiing will have had a similar boost to her French!)

PS - I struggled to support my boys in Spanish, but have quite enjoyed trying to pick up a little myself.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Guest55 wrote:
What is the probability he will cope with Italian given that he doesn't get on with French or German?!? :lol: :lol:


Mathematically speaking, I would say probability doesn't enter into it! :(

I do take issue with Bucks insisting that they take a language GCSE. I'm a great believer in teaching languages to children, but if they haven't got what it takes in the first place, then it is a waste of an option.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:46 pm 
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It's not a Bucks policy as its not a statutory requirement at KS4 .... it must be a school policy :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:48 pm 
I studied German for three years and then dropped it to do French GCSE which I had only studied for 1 year prior to this. I really regretted it and struggled to get a B. It would have been much less effort to have remained with German. Funnily enough I still remember lots of the German I learnt and virtually none of the French.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
my only experience of studying Italian at school is Master yoyo.

After his oral exam (in year 9) he commented " I've no idea what he was on about , for all I know it could have been a foreign language ..."
*sigh*

A friend who went to live in Italy armed only with French O level said that knowing French made learning Italian much easier


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:50 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:59 pm
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Location: North London
Italian is much easier than French and it is a very beautiful language. Unfortunately they don't teach it in my son's school :(.
Because it is the closest to Latin, it makes learning any other European language much easier.


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 Post subject: Is Spanish an option?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:54 am 
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I' m assuming that Spanish is not an option because you haven't mentioned it and it is quite easy if you have a grounding in French. Go for whatever he enjoys most because he is likely to try harder in it but it might be worth paying for a few private lessons in Italian before you and he make the choice. Having done 4 languages at GCSE I feel that it is a little harder to get a high grade in German than the others but it was my least favourite language! I think that the teaching standard in each language is also something that you should consider - look at the grades obtained by his school in the various languages etc. and dig for feedback on the teachers. I do not necessarily think that the teacher has to be a native speaker as that may only help on the accent front.


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 Post subject: p.s.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:03 am
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I do think that it is an important point that you have not done Italian yourself and we all know how important it is to have a good grasp of the subjects that our DC are learning!


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