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 Post subject: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:42 pm
Posts: 115
My DD (Yr8) is really not enjoying French but she needs to get a good GCSE in it to stay at her GS for 6th Form (min a B, ideally an A). She is taking German too and seems to be doing ok in that, I think a GCSE in one language will be ok for 6th Form entry, however I don't want her to give up on French so early on especially as she may find German becomes more difficult.

The main reason for her not liking French seems to be the Teacher(s) - both in Yr 7 and this year. She has 2 teachers for French this year, and last year there also seemed to be 2 or 3, I have the general impression the teaching has been patchy in this subject and things are often not well explained.

I have a degree in French/German and I feel I should be able to teach her... but somehow I don't know how to start. The textbooks used today seem much less structured and I don't know how to approach it. Are there any teachers out there who could advise?

I have also considered trying some Saturday classes at the Alliance Francaise in Cambridge which is not far for us - at £10 per lesson with native speakers, this seems like a good value option.

Any suggestions / advice would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11936
http://www.languagesonline.org.uk/

Have you seen this? RGS High Wycombe had languages as a specialism and we found this site helpful.

Incidentally why is a languages GCSE needed for sixth form entry?


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:42 pm
Posts: 115
Thanks G55, this site looks excellent, I've used the Perfect tense lessons already to try to explain this to her. She is very reluctant to make any effort though, which I find very frustrating, it just doesn't seem to come naturally to her. She likes maths, chemistry and history best at school.

I checked the school website for the 6F entry requirements but couldn't find them this time, but pretty sure it is needed as a min entry requirement. I looked up one of the other 6F's she plans to apply to and they definitely state a min of a C in MFL is required... at this stage I just want to keep her on track so as not to narrow her options for GCSE at the end of Yr 9. Then she can drop French if she prefers German.


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
DD's school requires a minimum of six 'B's at GCSE. I can't rmember if an MFL is a required study subject (head too fuzzy from cold/blocked ears) but if you're studying it, you need the grades

For students applying from other schools, the following applies:

In addition to the requirement to meet the minimum academic entry requirements for the sixth form, as stated in the prospectus, information from school references and current academic achievement (for example, results of recent mock examinations) and predicted GCSE grades (or equivalent for some applicants from overseas schools) will be used to judge whether an applicant is likely to be able to cope with the breadth and pace of the curriculum on offer in the sixth form. Applicants will be placed in rank order related to their current and potential academic achievement.

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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1225
Apologies but I can't remember if your DD is at CCHSG or CCHS. A MFL GCSE is not required for sixth form entry at Colchester:

Quote:
The minimum entry requirement is AAAABB at GCSE including English Language and Mathematics. Furthermore, students will be expected to achieve Grade A or A* in any GCSE subject which they are currently taking which they wish to continue at A Level. Students are required to achieve a Grade A in GCSE English if they wish to study either A Level Economics or Psychology.
Those students wishing to take A Level Music will require GCSE Music at Grade A or A*, Associated Board Grade 5 Music Theory and Associated Board Grade 5 Music Practical.


If I have the wrong school please ignore this post!


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2357
While a MFL may not be a requirement for 6th form entry it is compulsory in many schools at GCSE and -as above - if you are doing it you don't want a poor grade.
Many do find German easier than French, especially those with a more logical mind, but check if she will have the option of dropping French for German - some schools make French compulsory at GCSE and then German is an additional option.

If you can stretch to it them it might be worth trying a private tutor. Must seem like a waste of money when you know the stuff but if she is reluctant to put in the effort then an outsider might help. Same goes for the Cambridge sessions - could she get by without participating/ might she feel threatened if she isn't confident.


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6255
Sleepless my DH is also a bi-lingual French grad and he spends a lot of time with both DS's on this and DS1s German. He too says it is less structured than when we were at school so you are not alone with that. He uses some French story books that we have - very simple ones - and has French speaking Saturdays. Sounds heavy but it actually gets very funny, especially when I try and chip in with my franglais !! This way he can gently correct pronunciation and grammar.

Interestingly enough one DS has certainly inherited DH's family ear for languages and finds it very easy but the "sciencey" DS finds it a lot harder going.


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1225
It is the same in our house. Those with a science/maths preference struggled with French, I much prefered German and DS prefers Latin. DD who is better at languages and humanities, (and I think at the same school as OP's daughter) prefers French and Spanish to German.


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:42 pm
Posts: 115
Hi there Minesatea, yes we are at CCHSG. Thank you for clearing that up, I was convinced it was a min requirement, it certainly is for CCHS. However since she must sit a GCSE in at least one MFL and must take both French and German until end of YR 9 I am going to battle on with both so she can make the best choice at that stage. I remember finding German harder... so I'm worried she'll find that tough later on.

I'd like her to get a B at GCSE in a MFL so that she doesn't narrow her future options/Uni choices etc, I know it is a long way off but I think some of the Russell Group do ask for this.

6F is a long way off too, but she has already expressed an interest in CRGS for 6F...I wonder why :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Teaching DC French
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1225
Yes my DD wants to go to CRGS 6F too.
I have been told that in previous years one of french or german had to be taken at GCSE, with the other, spanish and latin being available in the options box. DD gets her preferences form in about 3 weeks so I will let you know if it changes.
Do the school offer sixth form mentors for languages? DD was offered one for Maths. Sometimes teens respond better to an older girl than mum!


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