1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Can you only teach subjects in which you have a PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by peanut333, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. peanut333

    peanut333 New commenter


    I'm currently undergoing interviews for my PGCE - so far 2 interviews and 2 offers woohoo!

    For my undergrad I studied French and Russian, and to cut to the chase - I love French but Russian is my passion!

    Now I'm fully aware that the number of schools teaching Russian is very low, but it's still my aim to become a Russian teacher.
    So I've applied for universities which claim to offer a Russian PGCE (of which there are only two, so my third choice is a French only PGCE)

    However, after my first interview, I discovered that one of these Russian PGCE unis doesn't actually offer Russian, instead, I would just have the option to put on my own Russian language club, so I wouldn't even be in a school which teaches Russian. I can (and would rather) do this at the French only uni.

    I'm yet to have my interview at the second Russian offering uni, so I'm waiting in anticipation to see their approach.

    As a course, I think I prefer the sound of the French only PGCE, however if I take this option does this mean I will never be able to teach Russian? Or do I need to have Russian included in my PGCE (even if this is only through putting on my own club)?

    Thank you for your help
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Once you have QTS you can teach anything. Even with a primary PGCE you are qualified to teach secondary. However, schools will obviously be most interested in employing teachers with experience in a particular age group or subject... if they have a choice of candidates. That's why you won't often see someone with a Maths PGCE teaching English - because English PGCEs tend to be oversubscribed and therefore there are plenty of teachers available for posts. The other way round though and you might find someone with an English PGCE teaching Maths - because Maths is more of a shortage subject.

    To be more specific to your situation, I think any school wanting a Russian teacher would be very happy to take you with any MFL PGCE. It would give you the same set of teaching skills (ie. how to teach a language), which you could then apply to a different language. As long as you have a good command of the language then I'm sure you'd be a strong candidate for a Russian teaching role with the French PGCE. On the other hand, if you wanted a French teaching role you might find yourself at a disadvantage against other candidates who have a French PGCE (and therefore more experience with teaching that particular language). Or you might not... all depends on which candidates apply for the role.
    agathamorse and peanut333 like this.
  3. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    The methodology for teaching mfl is basically the same for all languages. Obviously there are differences and tricks you acquire in in order to teach things specific to your particular langugage but hods will be looking at your mastery of method at interview. You may struggle to find a school offering Russian for your placements. Personally I would go fir French main to get the experience. You may only be able to find somewhere that lets you offer a Russian club or you may get an independent school but you really should go to an ordinary comp where you teach French for at least one placement if you want to work after pgce.
    agathamorse and peanut333 like this.
  4. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Passions are great but many of us never teach our passions - we offer them as side lines.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. peanut333

    peanut333 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your helpful responses.

    Sorry I should have clarified that the Russian PGCE’s are actually French & Russian. So I didn’t want to cut off the opportunity to ever teach Russian if I went for the French only option.

    I expected it to be the case that I’ll be able to teach an language (which I have proof of sufficient knowledge in), but I thought the fact that universities make the distinction of PGCE German, PGCE French etc must have been for a reason.

    Thank you again, this is definitely good news for me! J
    agathamorse likes this.

Share This Page