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MFL valued?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by gsglover, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    Mfl here is compulsory for all bar the statemented so my worries are slightly different as I am not sure that 30% or more will be able to cope at all with what is being proposed on paper. We shall have to wait and see whaty the reality of the situation is.
     
  2. toadman

    toadman New commenter

    Given recent events, time to reactivate this thread?
     
    karaka likes this.
  3. toadman

    toadman New commenter

    If anything the new GCSE has merely served to undermine the position of MFL in our school. It was already considered a difficult subject but now...
     
  4. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    My school has decided this year to stop MFL being compulsory for all.

    But it's not optional - Y8 have to pick a language as an option, then some individuals will be pulled from languages to do extra English and Maths. It has been implied that these numbers will be small, but we don't really know.

    I teach both of the bottom sets in Y8 and thre are some fab kids in there who I really hope are not withdrawn from MFL. But I think it's definitely the right decision for a small number of our weakest pupils.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    We've had our time allocation in Y8 and Y9 cut from 3 hours to 2.5 hours a week and been subsumed into World Studies.
     
  6. emartinez_1971

    emartinez_1971 New commenter

    For what I have seen, on several occasions by now, some MFL Teachers barely have a GSCE level themselves, the Schools only look at "how many" languages one is supposed to teach, not at how good their knowledge of the subject and how to help English speaking learners is. I have by now been told twice, by Head Teachers and HoD that at the end of the day a MFL is ony a matter of teaching a bit of Grammar here and a bit of Vocabulary there so they expect me to teach a language I can only barely say "hello my name is...". No respect whatsoever towards the MFL Teacher nor the students.

    So no, I really do not think that MFL are valued, unless we are talking of particular Schools that tend to have International links and really prepare their students for looking at international positions.
     
    pascuam49, minka1 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    We have had a resurgence in MFL based on the new exam- all year 10 now must do one language and 50% are doing 2. The new head is very pro-languages and we are not complaining.
     
    -myrtille- likes this.
  8. gregcolin

    gregcolin New commenter

    Good for you!
     
  9. toadman

    toadman New commenter

    MFL is compulsory for us, but not sure how many would have chosen it at KS4 if it hadn't been!!
     
  10. minka1

    minka1 New commenter

    If teachers do not value languages how can you expect students to.
     
  11. gregcolin

    gregcolin New commenter

    Who said teachers didn't value them?
     
  12. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    I couldn't work that out either!
     
  13. minka1

    minka1 New commenter

    Re. previous 3 posts. If mfl teachers really valued languages they would make a lifelong study of them. That would mean most would be polyglots . Not just proficient in the teaching of one or two. Sometimes teachers forget what it is like being a student.
     
  14. Dodros

    Dodros Occasional commenter

    Well, as a secondary school teacher of MFL I've certainly found that the in-depth study of French and German has given me the expertise and the confidence to research sources in other languages, including Russian and Chinese, now that I'm retired and have time to pursue my hobbies and interests. It's amazing what you can find out online and in print when you are already familiar with the subject matter of a text but have to overcome the challenge that the sentences and paragraphs are written in an unfamiliar foreign language. An awareness of how languages work, patience, scepticism, problem-solving skills, cognates, a good dictionary, the Linguee website, all help to get the job done when seeking to access knowledge beyond these shores.
     
  15. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    It would be lovely to have the time!!!
     
    salsera likes this.
  16. minka1

    minka1 New commenter

    That's what I'm saying. There is no general desire to be polyglots amongst teachers. Which is fine but don't expect anybody else to have a passion for language learning if you don't yourself.
     
  17. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    But we don't stop learning our languages when we walk out of university. Languages constantly change and we learn new words and phrases all the time. I always impress on my students that I am always learning, and I am always excited when, during our work together, they teach me a new word. But I haven't got time to learn a new language and get to such a standard that I consider myself a polyglot. I'll just settle for being trilingual ;)
     
    Dodros and curlyk like this.
  18. Dodros

    Dodros Occasional commenter

    Brits have a reputation for understatement. There's the classic tale of the Englishman who says "I play a little tennis" and then goes on to thrash his foreign opponent on the court. Few of us would ever claim to be "polyglots", but when we say that we "get by in languages", we may prove ourselves to be much more articulate than our modest claim suggests. I remember with great fondness my university professor of German, who wrote one of the most readable and scholarly books on Goethe's "Faust", because he was a rather shy and modest Scotsman who never bragged about any of his achievements, which included obtaining a doctorate at a prestigious German university in the late 1920s. He had a quiet passion about his subject that his students all found infectious.

    The fact that the majority of MFL teachers may sometimes lament their lot in life but remain in the profession is testimony to a passion perhaps well hidden from our colleagues in other subjects but one that is still very evident to students who witness the patience and commitment of MFL teachers every day. And, as I have explained in my previous message, I certainly didn't drop my own passion for languages either when I shifted into my school's special educational needs department or after I delivered my retirement speech. I use my teaching languages (French and German) daily and have branched out into other languages in the pursuit of my retirement hobbies. If that isn't a passion for languages, I don't know what is.
     
  19. minka1

    minka1 New commenter

    Hate to resort to cliché but Dodros I think you are the exception that proves the rule.
     

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