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Help! My school is 'phasing out' German.

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by musiclover1, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    I recently read about a private school that introduced compulsory Mandarin to all its pupils because so many of its students are now from mainland China. A clever move, but not exactly a situation faced by the majority of schools.
  2. derekdalek

    derekdalek New commenter

    Where can you go on a day trip to Germany? Id have thought it more of a weekend trip, but I know nothing[​IMG]
  3. The complete opposite is happening in my school - our uptake of German is about twice as much as our uptake of French (a language still being compulsory at our school for GCSE) and we don't understand why. The pupils always say 'German's easier'. I teach both and personally think French is, but I think that's because the harder stuff in German such as cases doesn't crop up so much at KS3. We don't teach KS5.
    I hope they don't phase it out though as it's a shame for the pupils who do want to take German!
  4. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    • Must be the good German teaching at your school! :)
  5. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    It's not French that's overtaken the German, it's Spanish. French is quite difficult for English pupils because of the pronunciation, and they get a bit bored with it because they've done it already at primary school. Whereas Spanish is not hard and Spain has an excellent football team and sunny weather.
  6. rosered27

    rosered27 New commenter

    I think you are doing the right thing by raising awareness of the links there are in your area. And if one has a good look around, there are similar stories in other parts of England/Great Britain. German still suffers from a very traditional way of teaching it by focusing on grammar in an isolated way and by ignoring the natural links which the English language shares with German. I agree with your observation about pupils enjoying to learn German. I have seen that boys are especially keen and good at it once they understand the rules of a particular aspect. Their natural way of thinking allows them to progress well in German - at least that is my observation in my classes. Yes, German is useful to learn as the country has one of the most attractive job markets within a two hours flight distance from the UK.
  7. good points music lover...ironically, i'm a spanish teacher with a daughter who has chosen german instead of spanish in her school, not because she loved german-although she seems to now...but because she wants to be a professional (classical) singer and german is a tool to give her access to a wider range of singing 'parts'...my point is,the language should be seen as a skill that gives the learner a wider range of opportunities to travel, work and make friends......
  8. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    What a lovely reason to learn German - I haven't met anyone who's learning German because of a love of classical music for a long time. I'm a music graduate and I used my language skills every day while I was studying - German, French and Italian. Not just for the singing parts, but for the instructions, for the letters that the composers wrote etc etc.
    I subject my pupils to occasional German classical 'Lieder' - the last lot thought I'd gone mad when I presented them with a gap-fill based on the 'Erlkoenig' - but I'm hoping some of theme are secretly appreciating it.....:)
    I googled 'most important languages' today and found that German does come after English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic - but at least it's still number 7!
  9. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Your headteacher is obviously ill-mannered as well as short-sighted.
    That would need ten promotions to qualify as pathetic. It isn't an argument, valid or otherwise. It's a cowardly cop-out.
    I can only advise you to get out of there as soon as possible. They don't deserve you, and you deserve better.
  10. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Ok, I'll suggest it! Not sure about the bus routes though. Thank you.
  11. spellmaster

    spellmaster New commenter

    O.K. I know this will sound a bit mad...
    ...but have you thought about having 'Skyped' lessons with the nearby school ?

  12. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Sounds fun! Where there's a will, there's a way......
  13. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

  14. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Got the set list for next year's Year 12 class today: there are 9 pupils on it: 6 from the school and 3 externals. Not as tiny as SMT claimed it would be!
    (Admittedly short of the 15plus they want to make money out of the 6th form, but more than the French set of 8 - and they're not getting rid of French).
    We have 28 in year 11, 30 in year 10, 90 in year 9, 60 in year 8 (because they weren't allowed to choose German as 2nd language, 0 in year 7 because they're phasing it out. It's such a shame. And an NQT to take over from me to teach them all (in conjunction with one colleague). I hope she'll be ok - personally I think that's a lot for an NQT to take on.
  15. What are you going to do in September? Hopefully teaching German elsewhere?
  16. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    No, I'm not. :( I'm expensive, disadvantaged by my 10 year career break and restricted in terms of location. There have been very few German or German with French posts advertised, - I applied for 2 part-time posts and didn't even get interviews. I'm looking into translation as an alternative career - I've been told that I could do that from home, which would minimise childcare costs. I quite like that idea! Also looking into adult ed.
    Anyone here done any professional translating, or know someone who does that?
  17. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I feel better after reading this thread! Most of my yr 7 French group have opted to take German next year.
    It's not just because I'm a cr£p teacher, then!
  18. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    No, it's not! Next year they might choose French more, don't worry.
  19. My ex-school (note: ex-school) started phasing out German and replacing it with Spanish 5 years ago. I and my Head of Faculty - also a Germanist - campaigned for 5 years to get German back on the curriculum - even offering "twilight" classes for interested dual linguists. I also had an issue with the fact that MFL were no longer even offered at A Level. Surely they should have been offered subject to a minimum uptake ????
    I was totally ignored.
    I showed willing and learned Spanish (nought to A Level in 3 years, all done in my own time (my school paid the A Level course fees) but still lacked the Landeskunde skills in Spanish and it showed! It is so "effortful" teaching at GCSE level a language you don't have a degree in...... It wouldn't happen in Germany !
    So I got out and started a new post this Easter at a Grammar School teaching German and A Level, where French, German and Spanish are taught to all pupils at KS3. German is a very popular language at GCSE and A level numbers are huge, compared to my previous experience - 12 in my Lower Sixth class, and there is another Lower Sixth class of the same size, then 8 in my Upper Sixth class, again 1 of 2. Dream city.......
    To all Fellow Germanists - don't waste energy trying to change Senior Management's current fixation with Spanish - just get out and go to a school where German is still a popular option. Life is too short!
    Hang on in there: as the Germans say - Unkraut geht nicht unter !
  20. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    The current fixation is exactly that - current, and they cannot see beyond it because they are interested in quick-fix, half-baked, smoke and mirrors solutions, and assume that Spanish offers them while German doesn't, which I for one think is insulting not only to both Spanish and German but also to the concept of study at A level. Please remember that there are members of SMTs who were "no good at languages at school" and who see the teacher as the problem. After all, if "students" can enjoy and do well at media, dance and photography, they can do well at any subject because they're all of the same difficulty (aren't they? [​IMG]) and therefore it's all down to good or bad teaching.
    My only concern with TinaNewsome's advice to get out and find another job is that there are very few jobs.

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