GCSE progress in languages

32
Edited by:"OllieSt"Found 27th Nov 2017
My son is studying for his GCSE's next year. He does ok, but does have to work at it. However when it comes to German he makes no real effort to revise or even complete his homework. Every other subject he's there or there about when it comes to completing work on time and he does put in the hours revising albeit not when I think he ought to be doing it.

I am rubbish at languages so I empathise with my son. I'm pretty sure I adopted the same kind of attitude to French & German when I was at school.

The school have contacted me about his German progress and want to talk with me on the phone or have a face to face meeting.

My issue is that I think my son would be better suited revising for subjects he has a realistic chance of attaining high grades (9-8) as against his German where he's more than likely going to be around 5.

The deal here is that his form teacher is language teacher, although she doesn't teach my son, and I'm not too sure if I have the balls to tell her that German is not high on my son's priority list

  1. Misc
Groups
  1. Misc
Top comments

teh.arn3 m ago

Doesn't need it anymore since Brexit.The rest of the world has to learn …Doesn't need it anymore since Brexit.The rest of the world has to learn English now.



Surely we can have a thread without brexit?
32 Comments

Either:

1) Tell your son he needs to make the same effort in all his subjects. When you get a job you have to do parts you don't enjoy or like as much as others. If he scores poorly but tried his best then you can't expect any more?

2) Let him carry on with it and just accept he will score poorly in this subject. Grow a pair and tell the teacher why. What's the worst she can do? Although this may have some sort of impact on his application to Sixth Form if he goes down that route.

i was rubbish at German in school too so I know how your son feels

at the end of the day, you cannot force him to do it, and if he feels the best use of his time is to get good grades in everything else then so be it.

as per option 2 above, speak to your son then tell the school the basic outcome. as long as he turns up to lessons there isnt much more they can make him do.

also- should have little to no impact on his application unless he is going to study German. struggling in a topic which you dont intend to continue should not have any impact, and if it does, the system is broken.
Edited by: "adamspencer95" 27th Nov 2017

Doesn't need it anymore since Brexit.

The rest of the world has to learn English now.

It's a difficult one. On one hand you don't want to let him think he can pick and choose what he does based on what he likes, that isn't how life works.

On the other hand it isn't like it is Maths or English he is failing at so it would probably be better for him in the long run to get better marks in other subjects rather than struggle for a slightly less poor mark in German.

Original Poster

DT897 h, 11 m ago

Either: 1) Tell your son he needs to make the same effort in all his …Either: 1) Tell your son he needs to make the same effort in all his subjects. When you get a job you have to do parts you don't enjoy or like as much as others. If he scores poorly but tried his best then you can't expect any more?2) Let him carry on with it and just accept he will score poorly in this subject. Grow a pair and tell the teacher why. What's the worst she can do? Although this may have some sort of impact on his application to Sixth Form if he goes down that route.


His school pretty much advise that if you don't achieve 8-9 in GCSE don't consider A level in that subject. He needs a 9 in Maths to sit Advanced Maths A level. His looking at Maths, Advanced Maths, Physics for A level, so it's not too hard to see why German doesn't quite fit in, and he most definitely has he's work cut out. He's not the kind of student that will waltz through this. I would be amazed if his 6th form application would be impacted by any German result.

But the bit I like and agree with is 'you have to do parts you don't enjoy or like as much as others'.
Edited by: "OllieSt" 27th Nov 2017

teh.arn3 m ago

Doesn't need it anymore since Brexit.The rest of the world has to learn …Doesn't need it anymore since Brexit.The rest of the world has to learn English now.



Surely we can have a thread without brexit?

I’m confused as to whether you’re saying he’s starting his GCSE course next year or doing the actual final exams next year.

If he’s starting the course next year, I would highly suggest not choosing it.

If he’s doing the final exams next year, I know it’s almost December but if he started the course in September then he could potentially be able to swap the subject for another one.

I understand there are implications for either options, but I’ve found personally that college doesn’t really take much notice of any MFL GCSEs (I did the application two years ago and it was never asked, and this was a sixth form).

And as stupid as it sounds, I’d also suggest just getting him to focus on the other subjects providing he’s likely to get good grades in them. Better grades can be worth more than one mediocre grade GCSE.

I didn't understand the need to study French/German at school (still don't) so I put zero effort in to the class.
That was a fair few years ago and I've still never had reason to use the languages. A complete waste of study time IMHO.

OllieSt1 h, 8 m ago

His school pretty much advise that if you don't achieve 8-9 in GCSE don't …His school pretty much advise that if you don't achieve 8-9 in GCSE don't consider A level in that subject. He needs a 9 in Maths to sit Advanced Maths A level. His looking at Maths, Advanced Maths, Physics for A level, so it's not too hard to see why German doesn't quite fit in, and he most definitely has he's work cut out. He's not the kind of student that will waltz through this. I would be amazed if his 6th form application would be impacted by any German result. But the bit I like and agree with is 'you have to do parts you don't enjoy or like as much as others'.


Just be honest. Tell the teacher exactly what you've said here. Just because she teaches the subject, didn't necessarily follow she will be biased towards it. She may even be able to offer you help or advice, she should have a lot of experience with this problem.

If you're explaining why, it needn't be a confrontation or something that requires balls.

Original Poster

SJHan38 m ago

I didn't understand the need to study French/German at school (still …I didn't understand the need to study French/German at school (still don't) so I put zero effort in to the class.That was a fair few years ago and I've still never had reason to use the languages. A complete waste of study time IMHO.



Yeah all the French people speak perfectly good English when asking for directions at Dover. It's only in Calais when they conveniently seem to cock a deaf 'un
Edited by: "OllieSt" 27th Nov 2017

OllieSt2 h, 11 m ago

His school pretty much advise that if you don't achieve 8-9 in GCSE don't …His school pretty much advise that if you don't achieve 8-9 in GCSE don't consider A level in that subject. He needs a 9 in Maths to sit Advanced Maths A level. His looking at Maths, Advanced Maths, Physics for A level, so it's not too hard to see why German doesn't quite fit in, and he most definitely has he's work cut out. He's not the kind of student that will waltz through this. I would be amazed if his 6th form application would be impacted by any German result. But the bit I like and agree with is 'you have to do parts you don't enjoy or like as much as others'.



Hi glad you liked the advice.

I meant his application in general. If you tell a head of form that he's not going to make any effort in a particular subject that may influence the schools decision on whether or not to let him join the Sixth Form. It probably won't but I wouldn't put it past schools looking into different variables if the number of candidates exceeded vacancies.

I would personally tell him to do the minimum required in German so not to waste time/effort spent on the more "important" subjects. Politely let the teacher know that you've monitored his work but as he is pretty much a young adult you can't control what he prefers and you wouldn't want to at the detriment of everything else dropping. As long as he's handing in the coursework, homework & turns up to the exams they can't really do much.

There is a section dedicated to asking questions and getting help from others:

hotukdeals.com/tag…sed

Education is a pyramid, you drop off subject and specialise as you go. I would not worry about him wanting to drop some subjects from his list of priorities as time goes by.

Don't feel bad for the teacher, its his education and his life as parent you just need to keep an eye to make sure the time is being spent well on the other subjects.

Most kids are not interested in learning other languages, its rarely used and never much fun to learn. I am sure its up there with RE for keeping kids hooked!

SJHan6 h, 14 m ago

I didn't understand the need to study French/German at school (still …I didn't understand the need to study French/German at school (still don't) so I put zero effort in to the class.That was a fair few years ago and I've still never had reason to use the languages. A complete waste of study time IMHO.


Same here, we were all told that we would need to speak french once the channel tunnel opened.
I never like the subject and didn't learn any french as a result. I have friends from back then who have moved abroad, not a single one of them to France.
Of course those who moved to non-english speaking countries had to start from scratch as french was the only option at our school
It's ridiculous to assume that a child will grow up needing a specific second language. Unless you already know you want to work/live/do business with a specific country how can you possibly know what language is worth learning?

It's a subject that should be left until such time as it becomes necessary.

Whats the point in learning German or another language? Everywhere speaks English. I've never been anywhere where I've had to speak a different language.

Ich was zehr gut at Deutsche.

I wonder what's German for 'gizza job'. Maybe 'giz zat Jobben' is close enough, i dunno.

deeky7 m ago

Ich was zehr gut at Deutsche.


You mean "Ich war sehr gut auf Deutsche"

livesf1 m ago

You mean "Ich war sehr gut auf Deutsche"


Summat like that Wasn't a bad effort, it's over 20 years since I was at school.

.MUFC.42 m ago

Whats the point in learning German or another language? Everywhere speaks …Whats the point in learning German or another language? Everywhere speaks English. I've never been anywhere where I've had to speak a different language.


It doesn't surprise me that you have that attitude Shaun.

Whilst German GCSE wasn't my cup of tea as an adult I understand the benefits of speaking another language.

Maybe if you ventured further than Benidorm you might have a better grasp of that concept.

DT8932 m ago

It doesn't surprise me that you have that attitude Shaun.Whilst German …It doesn't surprise me that you have that attitude Shaun.Whilst German GCSE wasn't my cup of tea as an adult I understand the benefits of speaking another language.Maybe if you ventured further than Benidorm you might have a better grasp of that concept.


I would learn the language if I intended to live/work in relevant Country, I also try to use native words when visiting to be polite but in all the places I've been they seem to speak relatively good English. I've been all over, I guess they must have learnt English at school being the universal language it's obviously beneficial to them. Not much point learning German when German in general is only really spoken in Germany. French, Spanish, Portuguese are more widely spoken world over, Chinese would probably be beneficial since there are more Chinese people in the world than any other race. So when prioritizing language it should be English>French>Spanish>Portuguese>Etc... German would be far less important and not really worth learning.

.MUFC.22 m ago

I would learn the language if I intended to live/work in relevant Country, …I would learn the language if I intended to live/work in relevant Country, I also try to use native words when visiting to be polite but in all the places I've been they seem to speak relatively good English. I've been all over, I guess they must have learnt English at school being the universal language it's obviously beneficial to them. Not much point learning German when German in general is only really spoken in Germany. French, Spanish, Portuguese are more widely spoken world over, Chinese would probably be beneficial since there are more Chinese people in the world than any other race. So when prioritizing language it should be English>French>Spanish>Portuguese>Etc... German would be far less important and not really worth learning.



Which language you learn isn't as important as learning the skill of acquiring other languages. Learning your third language isn't as difficult as your second, learning your fourth is easier again. And so on.
Edited by: "MSK." 27th Nov 2017

My best sentence in German was ich sprech keine deutsche. I did also learn how to order trout and potatoes but apart from that I'm not much good. The thing your kid likes the least will be the thing they make the least effort at. Such is life.I'm not sure how important German is for your son. When I was going to university, you had to have a foreign language. Nowadays I believe it isn't as restrictive. If they are trying really hard at their other subjects and that will get them where they need to be, then surely that has to be for the best. Wishing them all the best in their future.

MSK.1 h, 31 m ago

Which language you learn isn't as important as learning the skill of …Which language you learn isn't as important as learning the skill of acquiring other languages. Learning your third language isn't as difficult as your second, learning your fourth is easier again. And so on.


So how many do you speak?

In reality learning German is a waste of time. Better off being taught Japanese or Mandarin Chinese.

He should be greatful they learn such easy languages.

They should teach em Russian

Never understood being forced to learn French or German at school. Absolute waste of time for most people.

If it's a requirement students learn a language then they should have the option of home study any language they want. If I could have learnt Italian (family connection) or Japanese I would have been keen.
Edited by: "delusion" 28th Nov 2017

hooray.henry11 h, 53 m ago

In reality learning German is a waste of time. Better off being taught …In reality learning German is a waste of time. Better off being taught Japanese or Mandarin Chinese.



Why Japanese?
It's not spoken natively anywhere outside of Japan and in Japan there are numerous different regional languages.

Japan has a population of approx 125M. It is the 10th largest country in the world by population, however, as above not all people in Japan speak a single language.


Compare it to English, Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish spoken worldwide and the differences are huge.

DT892 h, 17 m ago

Why Japanese?It's not spoken natively anywhere outside of Japan and in …Why Japanese?It's not spoken natively anywhere outside of Japan and in Japan there are numerous different regional languages.Japan has a population of approx 125M. It is the 10th largest country in the world by population, however, as above not all people in Japan speak a single language.Compare it to English, Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish spoken worldwide and the differences are huge.



The Japanese have a huge number of businesses here in the UK,Europe and US.

.MUFC.18 h, 17 m ago

I would learn the language if I intended to live/work in relevant Country, …I would learn the language if I intended to live/work in relevant Country, I also try to use native words when visiting to be polite but in all the places I've been they seem to speak relatively good English. I've been all over, I guess they must have learnt English at school being the universal language it's obviously beneficial to them. Not much point learning German when German in general is only really spoken in Germany. French, Spanish, Portuguese are more widely spoken world over, Chinese would probably be beneficial since there are more Chinese people in the world than any other race. So when prioritizing language it should be English>French>Spanish>Portuguese>Etc... German would be far less important and not really worth learning.


German is quite useful on trips to Austria and Switzerland - and locals connect to you more if you use their native language (the one in their hearts) than just 'universal English'.

hooray.henry1 h, 43 m ago

The Japanese have a huge number of businesses here in the UK,Europe and US.



Fair point.
Still not sure that warrants being in schools over Spanish and/or Mandarin.

hooray.henry1 h, 50 m ago

The Japanese have a huge number of businesses here in the UK,Europe and US.


They prefer native speakers tho, and there is enough here to make spending 3 years at uni learning it rather pointless unless you actually want to go to Japan to teach English
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Top Discussions

    Top Merchants