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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Do you have to move? I imagine life is much better where you are...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Yes, we have to move because of work. We are also keen to get out of the Scottish school system for secondary, especially for languages. At primary it is great because they learn two foreign languages at school but at secondary the level really tails off and it is a lot of rote learning without any real handle on the language.
I must admit, the transfer is looking pretty daunting but we will cope, regardless of the 11+ outcome.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:37 pm 
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I'm not sure foreign language learning in English secondary school is any different, so you might be barking up the wrong tree there.....!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:40 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
I'm not sure foreign language learning in English secondary school is any different, so you might be barking up the wrong tree there.....!
I thought exactly the same. As both a linguist and a language teacher I’ve been majorly unimpressed with what is taught in schools tbh.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:03 pm 
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If it is languages you want, then pick carefully. In Pates, HSFG and STRS there is 'only' French, German and Spanish.

The comprehensives seem to have more - Balcarras has Russian and Bournside Mandarin, I believe.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:06 pm 
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That said at least here you can do 10+ subjects at GCSE instead of 6-8 National Thingybobs in Scotland.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:16 am 
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I am sorry to say this but if you think that doing a GCSE is going to give you 'a real handle on the language' then prepare to be very disappointed. And if your son is currently doing that range of languages in Scotland then moving here is going to be a mighty come-down. You won't get Latin in the state sector I don't think (Pates dabbled for a while...not sure if they still do, and likewise with Mandarin); Swedish you won't get anywhere (it is one of my languages and I know of a private local tutor who I used to help me with some specialist stuff a couple of years ago) and if your son is already bilingual in French then he will laugh his chaussettes off when he sees what he has to do for GCSE - an A level would be a better bet if he wants to prove his ability. If you are in the market for private school you might do better there - certainly for the Classics and maybe for Mandarin. I used to teach Russian to A level in a local state school but they have dropped it now I think. PM me if you want more details.

Sadly, foreign language teaching is a disgrace in England in my view - it is afforded no priority and with many people still viewing the ability to speak another language as some kind of gift from the Almighty rather than something attained through hard work, that is not set to change any time soon. With Brexit perhaps we will all be taught US English as a foreign language as there won't be any need to go anywhere else. :|


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:27 am 
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I have to agree. My DS has a GCSE A grade in Spanish but would struggle to communicate in Spanish, whereas I could still communicate in very basic French if I had to, nearly 40 years after sitting my O level French. For this reason I didn't encourage DS2 in the direction of a language GCSE when he showed no interest. (And I think some schools around here - Bucks - do Latin & maybe some others as "twilight" subjects but not mainstream).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:43 am 
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Amber wrote:
I am sorry to say this but if you think that doing a GCSE is going to give you 'a real handle on the language' then prepare to be very disappointed. And if your son is currently doing that range of languages in Scotland then moving here is going to be a mighty come-down. You won't get Latin in the state sector I don't think (Pates dabbled for a while...not sure if they still do, and likewise with Mandarin); Swedish you won't get anywhere (it is one of my languages and I know of a private local tutor who I used to help me with some specialist stuff a couple of years ago) and if your son is already bilingual in French then he will laugh his chaussettes off when he sees what he has to do for GCSE - an A level would be a better bet if he wants to prove his ability. If you are in the market for private school you might do better there - certainly for the Classics and maybe for Mandarin. I used to teach Russian to A level in a local state school but they have dropped it now I think. PM me if you want more details.

Sadly, foreign language teaching is a disgrace in England in my view - it is afforded no priority and with many people still viewing the ability to speak another language as some kind of gift from the Almighty rather than something attained through hard work, that is not set to change any time soon. With Brexit perhaps we will all be taught US English as a foreign language as there won't be any need to go anywhere else. :|



Do Tommies not still do Latin?? I'm sure Marling were.. don't know about now though.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:03 am 
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If you lived in/near Stratford and your son did very very well in the 11+ you could apply to the state grammar school KES in Stratford. All boys study Latin and Mandarin from Y7, alongside the more traditional French/German/Spanish....but, as Am Ed says, languages at GCSE are very basic so I don't think that would be a strong appeal argument for leaving Scotland, as the panel would know this, I suspect.


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