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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:27 pm
Posts: 8
Could those whose kids have done or are doing 2 modern language GCSEs share their experiences? How did they find it? Given the material covered is almost identical did they start getting it all mixed up? Would they make this choice again? Any tips or comments generally?

My daughter will start Year 9 in September and will have to choose her GCSEs soon. In her school one modern language is compulsory but she is considering taking two (French and German). She started French in Year 7 (and a tiny bit in primary) and German in Year 8 so both languages are new to her. She likes them both and her school reports for both subjects are very good so she feels unable to choose between them. I am wondering whether this is a good idea. She doesn’t want to be a linguist/translator/teacher and we have no friends or family in those countries and don’t speak either of these languages so she would have no home support. Ultimately it is her choice so I’m not asking for advice but it would be helpful to hear from anybody who was / is in a similar position.

We have asked among friends (we will make enquires at school in September) but do not know anybody who is taking 2 modern language GCSE from scratch. We know a couple of multilingual families but that obviously is a different scenario when one of the languages is a home language.

Choosing GCSEs options is a minefield so grateful for all responses.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2021 8:06 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:19 pm
Posts: 8183
DS1 took both French and German at GCSE and had no problems running both languages together. He had done French at primary school but had no experience of German until yr8. Unless it affects the other choices that she can make I see no problem doing both.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad !

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:56 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 118

My DD (due to start year 11 in Sept) does both French & German (and Latin) GCSEs. Like your DD, these languages were new to her - she started German in year 7 and French and Latin in Year 8. She enjoys them all and doesn't find it confusing - the French & German are pretty distinct from each other.

Like your DD, we don't have a family background of languages and she isn't aiming for a language based career - she just enjoys them and is good at them.

If your DD can't choose between and enjoys them both, I don't see why she shouldn't take both personally.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2021 11:17 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:32 pm
Posts: 7735
Location: East Kent
My daughter did French and German at GCSE. I did both at O level too. (It was standard then)
Didn’t come across any problems

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2021 6:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:21 pm
Posts: 291

Most children only start languages at year 7/ 8 so I don't think she's at any disadvantage. I think there will be a number of pupils who take both- and French & German are quite different so I don't foresee any problem.

I would wait & see whether she still enjoys both during year 9.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2021 10:46 am 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:09 pm
Posts: 1211
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Likewise : I took French & German at O level from a standing start in secondary school - OH was part of a project introducing French into primary schools back in the day (and resented having to learn Latin instead of a second modern language at school) but it's still uncommon in the state sector for serious language teaching before secondary school

DS1 took German from Yr 7 and Spanish from Yr 8, although the schools option system meant he ended up only doing a 1/2 GCS E in Spanish which none of them took seriously

DS2 German & Spanish full GCSEs

(I have been trying to learn Spanish ever since !)

DD French from Yr 7 (and attempts at various French Club activities from earlier!) , German from Yr 8, both to GCSE She much preferred German and actually continued it to AS alongside her maths & science A levels (a real shame that's no longer an option)

So yes, two modern languages has been perfectly reasonable for a long time. Part of the difficulty is the large number of other options now offered and the pressures of various Govt targets plus a shortage of language teachers can make timetabling a nightmare, but there is no intrinsic reason why not. In many other parts of the world two, three and even more languages are very much the expectation from early school days....

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