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History and modern languages

Discussion in 'History' started by rebeccaclarke, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Hi folks, I hope you will forgive me for invading the History board with my 'mum' hat on, but I would like to ask your advice as History professionals.
    My daughter in year 9 is, at the moment, very keen to pursue her History studies through to University and is talking about teaching (surprisingly, I haven't put her off teaching as a potential profession!). She is a bright girl, and will hopefully do well in whatever GCSE courses she takes. My concern is that her chosen combination, although it shows a good balance of different disciplines, does not include a MFL.
    My own experience of being forced to take French O Level at school many years ago (and subesquently failing it) means that I have mixed feelings about insisting that she takes it (although I suspect that ultimately her school will insist in the interests of the ebacc).
    Do you feel as Historians that a MFL at GCSE would be beneficial for either getting into University to study history, or for teaching it?
    Your views would be very welcome!
     
  2. Hi folks, I hope you will forgive me for invading the History board with my 'mum' hat on, but I would like to ask your advice as History professionals.
    My daughter in year 9 is, at the moment, very keen to pursue her History studies through to University and is talking about teaching (surprisingly, I haven't put her off teaching as a potential profession!). She is a bright girl, and will hopefully do well in whatever GCSE courses she takes. My concern is that her chosen combination, although it shows a good balance of different disciplines, does not include a MFL.
    My own experience of being forced to take French O Level at school many years ago (and subesquently failing it) means that I have mixed feelings about insisting that she takes it (although I suspect that ultimately her school will insist in the interests of the ebacc).
    Do you feel as Historians that a MFL at GCSE would be beneficial for either getting into University to study history, or for teaching it?
    Your views would be very welcome!
     
  3. Absolutely! And as a bright person looking at university etc she should be thinking about having a language...explaining that to a teenage daughter may be a different matter though!
     
  4. octo1

    octo1 New commenter

    If your daughter decides that she really loves history, and wants to go on to do an MA or a PhD, then languages will definitely come in handy. I did an MA and a PhD in Medieval History, and I had to use my very poor high school French, learn German, learn Latin, try to work out Italian from my Latin knowledge, etc...
     
  5. octo1

    octo1 New commenter

    Oh, and if she does become a teacher, then she can always use sources in other languages for a bit of cross-curricular action!
     
  6. Maybe a bit late, but on a purely practical level, languages are usful to any teacher going on a school trip abroad. If no-one can speak French (or German etc.) then you are going to have problems on any trips. Contrary to the opinion of many pupils, not everyone speaks English.
    I have always been very grateful that I am able to access, in a limited way, foreign cultures in their own language. She shouldn't be put off by the fact that MFL GCSEs are 'hard', although they are, but the rewards are worth it.

     
  7. AdmiralNelson

    AdmiralNelson New commenter

    Yes - and many options at some Unis in History require a knowledge of (at least) one foreign language
     
  8. I would say yes, and if she is intending to do the C20th German would be great. If I was better at it then I'd have a PHd almost in the bag!!
     
  9. Definitely. I have German A-Level and it made studying aspects of German History so much easier. I also had to take a short course in Latin at uni in order to get ahead with a classical History module, and I think having the discipline to sit down and get to grips with it (however outdated you may see Latin) came a lot easier to those of us who'd done languages at A-Level.
     
  10. Thanks for your replies. She desperately wanted to stick to her oroginal options, but a twilight german class has come to her aid!
     

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