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Media - waste of time. Make them do languages.

Discussion in 'Media studies' started by Mister DRH, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. you have a point here... when i was at school, not that long ago.. we were made to study German or French in S1, if you were good you got to opt to do a 2nd language in S2; Italian or Spanish. In Standard Grade you could choose to all the four plus japanese, russian and gaelic. the students who opted for a MFL, which wasn't many, choose spanish, italian, russian or gaelic! they have now got rid of German and all students in S1 study French and Spanish (my brother is doing it now! poor him, he hates it!)
  2. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    see what you've done Mister DRH - turn a buch of otherwise lovely, helpful media teachers into a ravening hoard of anti-MFLers. Let's hope that none of them become members of SLT in charge of selecting a school's curriculum! What's the adage? "with friends like you . . ."

    PS - To Media teachers everywhere. Please do not think that we are all as backward looking as him. Both the AS / A2 MFL courses, and the Applied GCSE course contain a significant amount of Media studies, so we will be increasingly looking to you for ideas, strategies etc
  3. Excellent! We'd be happy to work with you for our mutual benefit, if you wish. Kind regards, Richard
  4. MrPuss

    MrPuss New commenter

    yay... concord et bon accord .. salut!
  5. madameh

    madameh New commenter

    karrieL - apologies ....you are quite right about thee BBC article, however, I had also been reading the Independent's article, which was in my mind.
    This clearly states that they are in rank order. It's a good article and well worth reading.
    The issue here, is not the narrow-minded comments coming from some quarters in this thread, but that there can be a difference of one grade in the standard of GCSE. There should be a move to make the 'easy' subjects harder, not make languages easier.
    We are all victims of a dumbing down of education which is purely and simply to allow the government to achieve its targets and dupe the public into believing the spin of raised standards of achievement.
    Let's remember here, we are all in the same boat, no matter what the subject. It is counter-productive and devisive to imply that any one subject is 'better' than the next. What we all came into the profession for, was to do the best for kids. (At least, that's should be the reason!!) Sadly, as linguists, we are now being made to compete for pupils at GCSE. Let's face it, kids aren't daft. Why take a hard subject when you can take a 'easy' one! Wouldn't you have at that age??
  6. arsey

    arsey New commenter

    The argument isn't whether media is 'easy' or MFL is 'hard' - that's another (valid, I suppose, but probably pointless) argument. It's simply easier to get top grades in Media than in many other subjects because of the way it's assessed. Do you REALLY think it's the inherent grooviness of the subject combined with media teachers' outstanding teaching which enables so many kids to get good grades at GCSE in particular? No - it's because kids get credit for knowing and demonstrating understanding of very little.
  7. Sorry, but I fail to see how Media Studies is an easy subject - its all relative to how skilled the student is.

    I agree that students should study a language at GCSE level - without my GCSE in French, I would have struggled to communicate abroad - but suggesting they should do it at the expense of another subject is not only ludicrous, but unprofessional.

    All subjects have their place in the curriculum, as all subjects offer students to engage with challenging and diverse materials, as well as giving them the opportunities to participate in intellectual debate.

    As an earlier post suggested, why don't you observe a media lesson? It might give you the opportunity to see that not only is Media Studies not a waste of time, it helps develop communication skills - which if I'm not mistaken is essential for the study of languages.

  8. Mr DRH

    Firstly, I have lost count of the number of times pupils and their parents have thanked me for teaching them something ?useful?. As the scope of the media increases and proliferates, most people perceive a real need for teaching the skills to analyse, decode and question the mediums our young people spend the majority of their time consuming. Recent research by the American Psychology Association stressed the importance of teaching young people such skills to enable them to question media representations of young women that they found were significantly damaging our youth. That?s an argument in itself, but the point is, just because students actually like and enjoy a subject doesn?t negate its value.

    I did A Level French in the days when there was no media component, just a lot of very hard, very dull literature and it put me right off studying French at uni. I am fascinated by the number of subjects clamouring to jump on the Media bandwagon in an attempt to boost student numbers ? Music and MFL are just two of the more ?traditional? subjects to do this.

    As to rigour, I teach theory at AS level that I learned as an undergraduate. And teaching both English and Media Studies A Level, I can honestly say that Media is the more demanding ? both in terms of workload and rigour. My pupils get good grades because they love what they do, are totally engaged and committed, and work hard - every year I am astounded by how much effort they put in.

    Times change, the world changes, and education changes with it. English didn?t exist as a subject a century ago, now it?s at the core of the curriculum. Maybe you should just face the fact that students pick subjects for many reasons, and more of those reasons lead them to Media Studies than MFL.
  9. whatever like.

    I'll go and discuss this with my fellow MFL teachers who went to proper universities and did a proper degree.

    (Only joking, please don't jump down my throat!)
  10. Hi
    Been away for a few days in eastern Europe where I have been working with teachers of English (ie mfl language teachers in their country) and students on the implementation of media into their curriculum. The school feels that the subject is essential in order to develop their students' critical and evaluative skills. And to make them media literate in a media saturated world.
    And I return home to the same old arguments about dumbing down, the (relative) values of different subjects and so on and so on. It's about as pointless as arguing about whether an electrician is more highly skilled than a plumber.
    Media Studies - going now for more than 20 years - has a serious academic body of knowledge. Like other subjects it teaches skills, understanding, knowledge etc etc. Just because we use TV clips to do this does not give it any less substance.
    However - go check results if you think Media is easy. If that were the case it would (surely) have the highest recorded number of A grades.........

    Sorry - up all night and feeling tired AND fed up of being criticised!!
  11. Mr D

    How dare you!

    Watching Daniel Craig films is not a waste of time. It has been an exceptionally good use of my time.

  12. MR D

    Very interesting response when confronted by a cogent, rational argument.

    Guess it's just easier to stick to bashing other people than to look to your own teaching and subject for reasons for the decline...

    Good luck.
  13. I know i am not a media person so excuse me if i step on any toes.

    I am a drama NQT and have been faced with all the ususal expected problems of Drama is about being a Tree and all that rubbish from pig minded teacher who are not open to a wide variety of educational techniques. I have to say that i was surprised that Media has take a bashing as it is such a valuable skill and you should all be congratualted for defending your subject so well. I believe at the end of the day that the student has to be able to have options that they enjoy and feel something about as it is their education not ours. Media (and Drama) is all about communication and in our world of technological advances people need to be able to communicate in other ways other than speaking. All subjects have their merit in their own right and as the job is hard enogh already why do we fight over who's subject is better and more valid. Shame on people who put other subjects down!

    There rant over.
  14. Well said BDQ!
  15. MrPuss

    MrPuss New commenter

    We love Drama - and its teachers :) xxxxxxxxx
  16. Umm, interesting theory. Perhaps we should also stop analysing Shakespeare and analyse newspapers instead as these maybe more relevant towards our understanding of the world. And, while I'm at it let's get rid of Geography and replace it with sat nav orientation courses, etc etc etc etc etc

    The point as countless individuals have already stressed is simply this: some students really do want to study Media. And, if certain people are unable to see the influence of the mass media within society then, that worries me. So, to belittle Media as some sort of worthless 'waste of time' simply highlights ignorance, stupidity or, desperation. Let's consider propaganda - manipulatory persuasion via (hey!)the mass media! Not a new concept unlike Media Studies which some tutors seem to believe has just fallen out of the sky.

    I know that students like to opt for Media Studies on occasion though, let's be fair, one can't assume that it is because it is considered an easy option compared to other subjects. Perhaps, one should ask the simple question "How do you get students to study languages?" or, "Do children study languages too late in life to really see the greater benefit?"

    Rant over (for now)

  17. Maybe I live in a slightly different world to everyone else, but the majority of my friends that did A Level Media or Film or both now work in film, most making their own scripts, short films and winnning screenings and awards, I, myself went straight out of uni and said "I must make my own films...and now I do", it is only the lazier students or those that lose interest in the subject that don't do this, and don't forget many students go into marketing (which is "apparently" media related). They also have found other ways to use their media skills such as teaching, working a photographer, web designer... and other marketing/ business jobs.

    The problem with the world is the People THINK media is a "Soft option", when to actually do well at it is (or atleast was, when I was at school) really hard. My media and film A Levels combined covered English Language (semiology/semiotics)/ Literature techniques, journalism, business studies, law, politics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, world cultural studies, critical studies, communication studies, lighting, directing, art, photomontaging/ image manipulation, filmmaking, ICT, Maths, Physics (albeit basic).... and then my degree went into the details of Soviety and European politics and cultural studies, advance ICT use (Sound design programmes and Editing platforms etc) and psychoanalysis i kid you not. Now tell me that THAT makes it a soft option?

    Rather than students doing 1001 options, they can do Media/Film and get the combination of skills that several other subjects would have just about covered.
    Maybe it should be renamed; "the little pocket book of knowledge...studies" (of course we can't let it be reputable now can we and take the "Studies" off).

    Now that doesn't sound like a soft option to me and my book shelf full of Plato, Freud, Jung, Kant, Adorno, Bersani indeed further proves that Media is not the soft option people think it is...

    ...thus why Media has such a terrible drop out rate and why it is very easy to lose faith in people due to their ignorance!!!!

    successful media studies/ media arts/ film studies students are highly intellectual students who to be honest are as intelligent and well read as Oxford/Cambridge students regardless of where they did their degree... and as all "well read" students they have very little common sense, but atleast Media students are one up on the rest of the student-world they have worldly knowledge...as they know how to read the media.

    People are forcefully submitted to read media products millions of times more than they will read a book...even within the space of the month, surely therefore media is a bigger part of people's lives?
  18. But how will all these kids with GCSE Media ever be able to understand French, German and Spanish media?
    How will they be able to use their Media qualification in a globalised society, if they don't break down the barriers of communication by learning another language?
  19. MrPuss

    MrPuss New commenter

    No need, the language of Media is international, mate... a little like the language of bullsh*t.......
  20. So if you saw an advert in German magazine with the following slogan, a Media studies teacher would understand it:

    'Der Joghurt mit der Ecke, der Ecke mit was drin!'

    Gosh. Media is not as mickey mouse as I thought if you're all multi-lingual by the end of it.

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