GCSE latin or french

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food4thought
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:28 am

GCSE latin or french

Post by food4thought »

Hello folks
My daughter is considering studying gcse Latin instead of gcse French but isn't sure which one to go for. I'm conscious she attends a state school and only started learning latin in year 9. I've been told that latin is taught from a young age at independent school so it will be difficult to get a good grade as most of the children who learn latin at independent schools do it to a very high standard. On the other hand, she has been learning French since year 7.

Please could someone suggest the pros and cons of doing french compared to latin? For example, are there less resources for latin so is it difficult getting gcse books for latin?
hermanmunster
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by hermanmunster »

When there is a choice I would always say go what with what you enjoy.

BUT in this case, I wonder if she is doing another MFL? It can be very useful to have one MFL, though fortunately it doesn't limit your choices of career and uni quite as much as it used to.

Most indies (and some grammars) these days probably teach latin from year 7 or 8 so not so much earlier than your DD and they may well be doing and French and or German as well.

Personally I hated Latin it was my worst O level result, wasn't that keen on French either - wish now I had concentrated on Latin much more as I have since found it much more interesting.
JM40
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by JM40 »

At my DDs state grammar, Latin is pitched as an ‘easier’ option at GCSE because there are no speaking and listening exams. Consequently lots of girls who are not fussed about an MFL qualification choose Latin. In terms of previous exposure, they do Latin once a fortnight in years 7 and 8 then once a week in year 9.
food4thought
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by food4thought »

thanks!
I need to do a bit more research for her I think. I'll advise her to talk to someone a few years ahead. She'll be doing German as a MFL also.
hermanmunster
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by hermanmunster »

food4thought wrote:thanks!
I need to do a bit more research for her I think. I'll advise her to talk to someone a few years ahead. She'll be doing German as a MFL also.
I think if she is doing German as well then it is very much her choice re Latin / French - having said that (and I am no linguist) the German teacher at my old school used to reckon that a good grounding in Latin helped in learning German.
yoyo123
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by yoyo123 »

I would say go with what she loves. Latin is extremely useful for decoding so many European languages. I did German an French as O levels (I’m even older than Hermie!) but coukd help my friends with their Latin homework from what I knew already.

Extremely useful for being able to read memorials/ gravestones/old documents too,
food4thought
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:28 am

Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by food4thought »

thank you people, I'll have a chat with the teachers, but they will be biased. dont think she'll be reading many old documents! french would be more useful on holiday but I will let her decide what she enjoys. I dont want her to take latin but then find out the it's much harder and gets a different teacher so not happy about it.
scary mum
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by scary mum »

One thing I would say about MFL is that (in my opinion) they don't teach them to speak the language, they teach them to pass the exams. One of my DCs did French & the other Spanish, both getting decent grades. Sadly neither of them speaks a word of either language now. I had (more or less) insisted on them taking an MFL. DC3 didn't take a language as I realised by then it wasn't a great deal of use & he wasn't keen.
scary mum
Octsmum
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Re: GCSE latin or french

Post by Octsmum »

Hi

I did Latin at school (& French & Spanish) & it was a great base for other MFL. I'd say go with what she loves / enjoys most...In terms of language teaching school - I've been disappointed...my DD knows great phrases & expressions that will get her good grades but when it comes to the foundations to be able to put together the basics...I found they were distinctly lacking!!
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