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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:30 am 
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Can anyone please give me information/websites for good
foreign language aptitude test for kids? Some language schools ( Bristol)have this as an exam and it would be nice to have some practice.please any help


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:47 am 
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I used to help devise and administer tests like this. The point is that it is an aptitude test designed to spot whether a person has, well, an aptitude for something, in this case learning foreign languages. So you can't practise the skills needed or be coached for it. I don't know of any schools which now use it since specialist status (and funding) was dropped for schools, so they can't select any of their intake on this type of thing, I don't think.

If your child does indeed have to do one, it is likely to include a written and an oral component and there is no point whatsoever trying to practise it. When I used to be involved in it we screened for current foreign language ability (in bilingual children, for example) so that it did not confer an advantage. And I can confirm that it never did - you find linguistic aptitude across a wide range of young people.

I would be interested to know which schools in Bristol are using it and if they are as you say language schools, do you mean secondary schools or private schools designed specifically for students of foreign languages?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:32 am 
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Location: Essex
Selection by aptitude for languages is still permitted by the Admissions Code:

Selection by aptitude
1.24 Schools that have arrangements to select by aptitude must not allow for more than 10 per cent of the total admissions intake to be allocated on the basis of such aptitude (even if the school has more than one specialism). Theonly specialist subjects on which a school may select by aptitude are:
a) physical education or sport, or one or more sports;
b) the performing arts, or any one or more of those arts;
c) the visual arts, or any one or more of those arts;
d) modern foreign languages, or any such language; and
e) design and technology and information technology. Only schools which selected on either of these specialist subjects in the school year 2007/08
and every subsequent year may continue to do so.


Att as Amber says, it's aptitude, not ability that the testing is designed to identify.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:57 am 
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I don't know if it's exactly the same thing but certainly one (and maybe both?) of my children did something in year 7 which was designed to look at their aptitude for learning a language. I don't know what it was used for because they don't set for language in year 7 at their school. I remember they found it quite fun, it definitely wasn't something you would have been able to practice for (I think there were questions like "if this word means X in Icelandic and this word means Y what do you think this word means?"") and we never heard anything about it again.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:01 am 
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Some schools do still reserve places for children with particular aptitudes, including language. DAO has music places and there are some schools who have other specialisms such as sport or art and design.

My DD sat a language aptitude test on Saturday and it involved a mix of things - since teaching in a new language and then applying the teaching and some bits that were a bit like verbal reasoning.

The only thing I can advise would be making sure your DC is strong on grammar issues like matching tenses and pronouns, but really there's not much you can do to prepare for this sort of test.

(Cross posted with others)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:58 am 
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The school I worked for used it to put children into some kind of fast track for languages. The problem you have if you attempt to coach for it is that your child could appear to have more ability than they did and then be put into a group where they wouldn't cope (the school in question taught the fast track 2 languages from the start, and then offered a third in y9). Personally I do not think that firming up English grammar rules would help at all. It is more like puzzles, even algebra, some of it, and the verbal stuff could absolutely not be trained for unless you really did have many many hours at your disposal and a very compliant child!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:12 pm 
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Something like the linguistics olympiad stuff? Doesn't look very trainable to me but I'm not a linguistics expert (as I well know having looked at a couple of the tests).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Amber wrote:
Personally I do not think that firming up English grammar rules would help at all. It is more like puzzles, even algebra, some of it, and the verbal stuff could absolutely not be trained for unless you really did have many many hours at your disposal and a very compliant child!


I'm just reporting what my DD said was in (an admittedly small) part of the test - about taking words and changing them following grammatical rules (eg if this means I run and that means they walked how would you write I walked?). I agree that it's not really possible to prepare for this type of test, in part because the content can be so varied.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:48 pm 
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streathammum wrote:
I'm just reporting what my DD said was in (an admittedly small) part of the test - about taking words and changing them following grammatical rules (eg if this means I run and that means they walked how would you write I walked?). I agree that it's not really possible to prepare for this type of test, in part because the content can be so varied.

Ah yes I see what you mean. It is true that there are questions like that, but what you need to be able to do is work out patterns and rules, rather than knowing grammar per se. The tests I worked on were great fun for people like me who enjoy languages, and in fact the children who enjoyed them tended to be the ones who did the best. Other poor souls were utterly bemused, a bit like I am when confronted with Physics or Chemistry.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:04 pm
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Amber wrote:
we screened for current foreign language ability (in bilingual children, for example) so that it did not confer an advantage. And I can confirm that it never did


Amber what do you mean by this?
I am just curious. Were the bilingual children marked differently?


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