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Setting and Languages Offer

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by allowitmissman, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. allowitmissman

    allowitmissman New commenter

    I am conducting a review into the offer of languages at our school, and would really appreciate your views on what works for you.
    The key questions are:
    1. What languages do you offer Y7 at your school, and how do you go about this (ie. can incoming Y7s choose French or Spanish, or are they allocated one or both etc?)
    2. Do you set? I've looked at some forums on setting and there are some extremely interesting and valid points raised, but I'd like to know specifically about the concept of top sets only doing a second language. I also like the idea of 2 top sets (esp in Y9 to encourage uptake). How do people that do this find it works?
    3. What strategies are you putting into place for EBACC? Any success stories (I read in another forum about 110 pupils choosing MFL!)?
    4. How many languages do you offer at KS3 and KS4 and how do you allocate these?
    Any input on any of these very, very much appreciated!

     
  2. allowitmissman

    allowitmissman New commenter

    I am conducting a review into the offer of languages at our school, and would really appreciate your views on what works for you.
    The key questions are:
    1. What languages do you offer Y7 at your school, and how do you go about this (ie. can incoming Y7s choose French or Spanish, or are they allocated one or both etc?)
    2. Do you set? I've looked at some forums on setting and there are some extremely interesting and valid points raised, but I'd like to know specifically about the concept of top sets only doing a second language. I also like the idea of 2 top sets (esp in Y9 to encourage uptake). How do people that do this find it works?
    3. What strategies are you putting into place for EBACC? Any success stories (I read in another forum about 110 pupils choosing MFL!)?
    4. How many languages do you offer at KS3 and KS4 and how do you allocate these?
    Any input on any of these very, very much appreciated!

     
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Selective school, ranging from mid to top ability so perhaps not helpful.
    1. French and German equally, 3 periods a week of each (40 mins), all pupils have to do it but really weak pupils may be disapplied from one at the end of Y8. They all have to do one at GCSE. In Y9, top 25% of the year group is offered Spanish on top (they lose some of their technology for this).
    2. no setting until Y10 but bear in mind that we in theory only have middle to top ability anyway. Would like to set from Y9 onwards at least but school is not keen.
    3. Having lots of pupils choosing MFL could be a curse in disguise, so be careful what you wish for. We have compulsory languages but bottom sets can be hard work, even in high achieving schoo
    4. We offer all three as set out above.
     
  4. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    It's funny that you talk about a 'curse in disguise' Noémie. I have been on a 'charm offensive' with year 9 to get them to take languages in year 10. I think I will regret it if I have 30 pupils in my classes. If our 'options allocator' gives me more than 30 in year 10 groups, I think I will cry!
    MM
     
  5. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    The only credit to our timetabling is that once the pupils have chosen, as we are a small secondary school, I think it will be difficult to timetable the pupils at the same time.
    MM
     
  6. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Incoming pupils get to put down a first choice of language, but they are not guaranteed to get this choice because you need to end up with 2 forms of French, 2 forms of Spanish, 2 of German (or whatever).
    Taking up a second language in Year 8 works well because by this time you've established your first language, and you've got enough time to get them up to a good level by the beginning of the GCSE course (and therefore the opportunity for people to choose 2 languages for GCSE).
    One school I worked in had everybody doing French, so those who had taken Spanish or German in Year 7 added French, and those who had taken French in Year 7 added German or Spanish - but there was no choice when it came to the second language.
    I would have thought allowing pupils to choose would be expensive because then you end up with classes smaller than 30. Also, it makes timetabling more difficult. To a few families it matters hugely what language their child studies, but to the large majority it makes little difference (plus all get to do two out of the three languages anyway.)

     
  7. allowitmissman

    allowitmissman New commenter

    Thank you all so much for your replies. Very informative and helpful indeed!
     

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