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Preparing to teach MFL

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by anon2460, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Dear All,

    I really hope you don't mind me posting here but I'd very much appreciate some advice. I'm in my second year of a French and German degree at the moment and am preparing for my year abroad in Germany next year. I'm fairly sure I want to teach after doing my degree because, as silly as I'm sure it sounds, it's what I've wanted to do for a long time! I've been very lucky in the fact that I've been able to get some work experience back at my old secondary school where I was a pupil myself. I did a few days last week where I observed some lessons and I was also able to take part in some moderation of GCSE orals which was obviously guided by the staff and the mark scheme. I really loved working with the pupils and seeing how the lessons were tought and those few days made me feel almost positive that teaching is what I'm aiming for after Uni. Please could you tell me, is there anything else you think I should be doing before applying? I know it's a long way away (I'd be applying after September 2012( but I know with being abroad etc time will fly and I want to be as well prepared as I can.

    I was also wondering, I know I'm only a Uni student myself so obviously I wouldn't be wanting to charge very much if at all, but do you happen to know of anywhere where tutors could advertise their services? (I'm bassed in the London area). I don't mean to sound as though I've got ideas way above my station before I even get into teaching, I only ask as it's a way I thought of recently of maybe getting some experience of working with pupils before applying for the PGCE. I would only feel confident in doing French and German upto GCSE.

    Just one more thing if that's ok. I did a beginner's Spanish module last year and really enjoyed it and I'm hoping to be able to continue to learn Spanish in Germany when I'm there next year then maybe get in touch with the Cervantes Institute in London and take either the A2 or B1 exam (I'm refering to the ones for adult learners that they offer) next summer on my return to the UK. Do you happen to know if those exams would be enough to teach KS3 Spanish? I only ask as I know how German is really losing popularity in schools but maybe the EBAC will change that, let's hope so!

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, I know it's really long. If you have any advice it'd be very much appreciated!

    All the best,

    MFL Student
  2. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Hey there!
    It sounds like you've got your plans pretty well organised! :) I'd say to get on the PGCE course, they want to see that you really want to become a teacher and aren't just there for an easy ride, that you'll be hard-working and that you want to do this for quite a few years, so definitely get some experience under your belt if you can. In your year abroad and as a native English speaker you'll probably get the chance to do one-to-one language tuition. Continue doing work placements at secondary schools, it's really good practice and might land you a job easier than you think.
    Good luck!
  3. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    You will notice from the jobs pages that the demand for German is falling and the demand for Spanish increasing - keep with your Spanish and get it to a suitable level that you can teach it would be my advice.
  4. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    btw.....teaching MFL <u>can be</u> the most fantastically rewarding, best fun job in the world ---- stick with that ambition and come back to us <u>whenever </u>we can be of help/support to you.
    (I've been doing it since 1990 and still wake up most mornings dying to get to school!!)

  5. Is the decrease in jobs for German due to the decrease in German graduates as well as the increase in Spanish graduates?
    I have studied 12 languages, and Spanish has never been one of them. I don't like the phonology and general "sound" of Spanish - it has too many voiceless dental fricatives.
    I disagree with the practice of pupils, who study two languages, taking two Romance languages. Instead, I believe they should be given the opportunity to study two very different languages, not only for linguistic appreciation of world languages, but quite often if a pupil struggles with one Romance language, they are likely to struggle with another. Often a pupil who struggles with a Romance language can excel in a different "type" of language, such as German or Mandarin.
    I think it is important for schools not to limit their language range to just French and Spanish. For this reason I will try (without force) to never learn Spanish, so as I can always promote the teaching of the non-Romance languages, and their benefits.
    I have nothing against Spanish other than for personal tastes, but I think schools should choose only one of Spanish or French, and offer the second, and even third language, as non-Romance.
    It doesn't help when teachers speak only Romance languages. This is why I believe German shouldn't be pushed to one side in favour of Spanish. The more teachers of German who learn Spanish, the quicker German is going to disappear.

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