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Main and second teaching language confusion!

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by alice_in_wonderland73, May 1, 2012.

  1. alice_in_wonderland73

    alice_in_wonderland73 New commenter

    Hello all,

    I am an ITT MFL applicant with a rather unusual language situation ... I'm hoping that some experienced MFL teachers can help me with this ..

    50% of my degree was German, and I graduated with a 2.1 and distinction in oral German nearly 16 years ago. I then left and went to live in a French-speaking country for 12 years and ended up becoming fluent in French (I'm from a bilingual french/english family), but somewhat forgetting my German. My confusion is this: I am now much more proficient in French than German but I only have French at GCSE (long story why I didnt take it at A level - am now looking into doing an AS level by distance - would that be a good idea??) ... do I still class German as my main teaching language for the interview skills audit?? I know it's all still there but I am a little rusty, not having used it for the last 16 years. I know it would only take me a few weeks in a german speaking country to pick up again ..

    Any advice greatfully received as my PGCE interview is in 10 days' time!! Thanks.
     
  2. alice_in_wonderland73

    alice_in_wonderland73 New commenter

    Hello all,

    I am an ITT MFL applicant with a rather unusual language situation ... I'm hoping that some experienced MFL teachers can help me with this ..

    50% of my degree was German, and I graduated with a 2.1 and distinction in oral German nearly 16 years ago. I then left and went to live in a French-speaking country for 12 years and ended up becoming fluent in French (I'm from a bilingual french/english family), but somewhat forgetting my German. My confusion is this: I am now much more proficient in French than German but I only have French at GCSE (long story why I didnt take it at A level - am now looking into doing an AS level by distance - would that be a good idea??) ... do I still class German as my main teaching language for the interview skills audit?? I know it's all still there but I am a little rusty, not having used it for the last 16 years. I know it would only take me a few weeks in a german speaking country to pick up again ..

    Any advice greatfully received as my PGCE interview is in 10 days' time!! Thanks.
     
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I'd advise putting French down as your main language now, with german a strong second.
    From the point of view of jobs, French is more widespread than German in UK schools and it would be in your interests for French to be your main PGCE language, especially as your highest formal qualification in it is only GCSE.
    I did a Spanish degree and an Spanish PGCE but offered French too and my teaching practices were predominantly French. I taught mainly French on Induction at two schools as well.
     
  4. alice_in_wonderland73

    alice_in_wonderland73 New commenter

    Thanks for that Jubilee - that was my gut feeling too, but I felt a bit of a fraud, only having GCSE in French. I feel a lot more confident writing the 500 word essay in French than in German too. I still have a niggling doubt though about this ... did you have French A Level Jubilee? Was French your second language? I understand that French is more marketable but I'm afraid I'll be a laughing stock at the interview with my measly GCSE if I put that forward as my main language ... What do others think?
     
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Your 12 years in France and your fluency will be what you are judged on, not your GCSE from years ago. Your current fluency in French basically makes your GCSE irrelevant in my opinion.
    I did have A level in French but it was from 1972 and I did my PGCE in 1998/9. I am 58 now and have spent a grand total of 3 x 2 week stays in France from age 17 yrs (one school exchange in 1971 and two Eurocamp holidays with my young children in the late 1980s/early 1990s + 2 weekend breaks in Paris in recent years.
     
  6. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Yep, I think the same, you're more employable with French (even more employable with two languages at A-level standard). Fluency is a big part of it - for instance, native speakers don't need to have any qualification other than a uni degree, and that degree could be completely unrelated to languages. To me, if you've lived in a country for twelve years, your level is equivalent to that of a native speaker.
    I'd look at the French grammar you'd need for A-level, as this may be the only weakness you might (or might not!) have (just like a native speaker, actually). Subjunctive, composed tenses (e.g. future perfect, pluperfect, etc), irregular present tense conjugation, agreement of the past participle with être and avoir verbs, direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns, etc. (Check out www.french.about.com). Are you secure in that knowledge? Would you be able to explain it? If so, I'd have no hesitation in working alongside you in my department, even if you "only" have a GCSE!
     
  7. alice_in_wonderland73

    alice_in_wonderland73 New commenter

    Thank you noemie and jubilee! I'll go ahead and put French as my main and German as secondary teaching language... your comments make complete sense to me - I only hope that the tutors will see things in the same light ...! I've been brushing up on my french grammar anyway (find it far easier than german and latin grammar anyday!) and have even had a go at writing a 500 word degree-level french essay, with the help of a some good dictionaries, of course (!), so hopefully it should all come together during the interview. I suppose if the worse comes to the worse, they could make me a conditional offer, dependent on my following a SKE course for french...
     

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