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 Post subject: Linguistic Aptitude
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:34 am 
A school by us has a Linguistic Aptitude test - needless to say they are being very cagey about it and won't let on as to the precise structure of the test.

Has anyone heard of this before? What is the structure of the test and what type of things will it test?

Thank you for any advice


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:35 pm 
I guess the school is a language college specialist school? I know a couple of these schools but neither operate a linguistic skills test.

I would imagine that it could be very much like verbal reasoning. Testing how dextrous children are with using their own language, etc. They may also have lists of words and ask the children to decide whether they are French, German, Spanish or Italian, in other words, how do the words look and sound to the children and do they have a natural ability (based on their miniscule if any experience) to hear and see language differences. However, I am not a teacher so I am not sure on this one.

I recommend that you go and ask on the TES (Times Educational Suppliment) web site. The address is www.tes.co.uk and in the left column you will see a button for staffroom. This is a forum rather like this and one of the sections under the "Staffroom" is MFL (Modern Foreign Languages). You simply follow the instructions to register on the web site and you can then post your question on the MFL postings section. There always seems to be a large number of posts on a daily basis in each section (I read it because I find the whole thing quite fascinating!!) and you may well get your information there.

Good luck and I'll look out for your post!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:56 pm 
Thank you for that - I will have a look.

I wonder how much better a child who is brought up bilingual would do on a test of this nature?

My child is not bilingual and has not learned any language other than English - but whether she has an aptitude to learn another language is anyone's guess. Surely language learning would be linked to intelligence. If the school uses verbal reasoning, it could be selection by the backdoor under the guise of an "aptitude" to learn languages. I am very suspicious of the whole thing really - the school is a high performing state school and clearly wants to select the brightest pupils.

It annoys me, because parents of children of all abilities get their knickers in a twist about secondary school. This sort of test just puts another obstacle in the way of getting into a good school.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:02 pm 
Your comments regarding bi-lingual children make food for thought, I feel. One school I know, which is a language college, has children who have spent a significant time living abroad as one of its entrance criteria and children of parents whose work takes them to other countries, etc, as another. I fail to see how a parent's fortune in having a job which takes them abroad can possibly have an impact on the linguistic ability of the child. Is it possible that the school considers that if a parent has a job which takes them abroad, then they are likely to have a good job and be well educated, thus, their children are likely (and many might argue over this one) to be bright and easy to educate. Is this too selection by the back door?

It would seem to me that any test for linguistic apptitude is likely to have to relate somehow to the child's ability with "words" and "manipulating words" but we will see.

Many, many schools use selection through the back door. One such school, purely in my view, is Coopers Company and Coburn in Upminster Essex. Consistently a high performing school nationally, it is a comprehensive with a Christian ethos. Nothing wrong with that you may say and, indeed there isn't but they interview their candidates, I believe, and applicants have to put down what after school activities, etc, they attend. Some "selection" is then made on this basis as children of Christian families who have taken part in outside school activities over a period of time are said to fit in with the "ethos" of the school. That said, it would be all very well if they only consider "free" activities, such as cubs and brownies. However, they consider all and that includes music lessons and dance classes. Are we going for the better paid parents and thus possibly (and as with "likely" I use the word possibly with caution) the easier children with the "right attitudes. The right thing for a Christian school to do? I think not!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:51 am 
I couldn't agree more with what you write. It actually makes me quite angry sometimes the way children are discriminated against. When I was a child they asked for parental occupation on the entry form for secondary school and although I passed the 11+, I wasn't selected for the 'prestigious' grammar school in the area. My best friend was though as her Dad was a University lecturer.

I believe many church/religious schools also interview parents - I am very sceptical about these people who suddenly become very religious when they have their children. Attending church when they haven't set foot in one since a vicar poured water on their head 30 years before.

Anyway, I have had my gripe. I looked at the TES website and there was an item about this topic on the first page. I downloaded some tests for my daughter who found them really easy and although I don't know if they will be similar or the same, it gave her lots of confidence, which is the most important thing.

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Linguistic Aptitude
PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:09 am 
Anonymous wrote:
A school by us has a Linguistic Aptitude test - needless to say they are being very cagey about it and won't let on as to the precise structure of the test.

Has anyone heard of this before? What is the structure of the test and what type of things will it test?

Thank you for any advice


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
To take this a step further, how exactly is the religious affiliation of your parents a proper criterion for whether a child will be accepted or not to a school? Is not that discrimination against parents that choose to keep their religious convictions (or absence of any) private , rather than parade their 'family' every Sunday to the church, so that their child grows unbiased? Is this a 'good' Christian (or for that matter Jewish or Muslim) thing to do? This bars the door to many good faith schools, and it smucks of Middle Ages ethos and attitude. A language aptitude test (no matter how 'dodgy' its criteria are) is a thousand times preferable to this.

INEX

Many, many schools use selection through the back door. One such school, purely in my view, is Coopers Company and Coburn in Upminster Essex. Consistently a high performing school nationally, it is a comprehensive with a Christian ethos. Nothing wrong with that you may say and, indeed there isn't but they interview their candidates, I believe, and applicants have to put down what after school activities, etc, they attend. Some "selection" is then made on this basis as children of Christian families who have taken part in outside school activities over a period of time are said to fit in with the "ethos" of the school. That said, it would be all very well if they only consider "free" activities, such as cubs and brownies. However, they consider all and that includes music lessons and dance classes. Are we going for the better paid parents and thus possibly (and as with "likely" I use the word possibly with caution) the easier children with the "right attitudes. The right thing for a Christian school to do? I think not![/quote]

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 1149
Location: Finchley - Barnet
By the way, my child is bilingual but not in any easy sense of the word (i.e. my parents speak another language at home, so I am bilingual by default). Instead for the last 5 years he spends two hours every Wednesday evening and another 3 every Saturday morning going to a Greek School and properly learning the language, by doing reading, writing, comprehension, translation, Greek cultural studies, dance and singing plus some Greek history, all delivered in Greek. Hence there is not much time left for any other after hours activities. I was determined that this will be recognised as serious out-of-school (but in another school!) work, by any secondary school I apply to. To be fair most schools seem to be taking this very seriously, inclduing my son's present primary school.


INEX

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