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Single Honours Language Degree

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by LadyPsyche, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. LadyPsyche

    LadyPsyche New commenter

    That will very much depend on where you want to live and work. In my area (M3 / M4 corridor and surrounding area) there have been very few vacancies for German at all, and most of those required either French or Spanish alongside. I have acquaintances who have found getting any MFL job in this area very competitive, and some have left teaching altogether and not by choice. Some schools are phasing out German in favour of more global languages, which isn't helping the situation.
    However, there are areas where German is still taught in many schools. It might be worth keeping an eye on the job vacancies to see where those are. Sorry this is a bit downbeat, maybe other MFL teachers have different news for you.
  2. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    Hi Shaun,
    Hi Shaun,
    German was phased out at my last school, and the school before that, and I did further study in order to change subject to a core subject. Spanish seems to be the lead language in MFL these days and most jobs require Spanish and French; those that do require German would expect a second language (and one of Spanish or French would be the most helpful.) Colleagues who had German and Russian (a popular combination when I was studying) have suffered, and I know many who are now studying for Spanish / French to help their chances of being employed.
    I think you need to be able to offer another subject if you're going to be able to get a job somewhere you'd like to work, rather than only going where the work is. I changed completely as it seems German doesn't have much a future in the UK (so sad), though I'd love to teach it again. It seems odd that Germany is such a powerhouse in Europe and yet the subject is declining in schools, much like Latin - that is such a rare subject now. Your supporting subject doesn't necessarily need to be in MFL if that would make life easier - learning a new language is quite intensive, perhaps you could study a more "fact-based" subject as your supporting subject?
    Good luck in Germany and I hope things work out well.
  3. Thanks to both of you for the replies. That's absolutely gutting news! I knew there seemed to be less and less a demand for German every year but I wasn't aware of how low the demand had got, it is strange considering Germany's economic status. In response to 'lighthouse keeper', how do you go about training to teach something that you didn't study at university? I studied 'History' and 'Government and Politics' at A-Level alongside German and I wouldn't mind teaching a bit of History. As well, my degree has led me to read a lot of literature, mostly auf Deutsch, so would it be possible for me teach English at all?
  4. OK, thanks I'll have to have a look around. I'm pretty flexible to be honest, although I would probably like to move closer to home (Leeds) later on in life I am all for experiencing somewhere new. Bielefeld - die Stadt, die nicht wirklich existiert!(Check out the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bielefeld_Conspiracy) It's not too bad, the town centre itself is a little small considering it has over 300,000 residents but I'm settling in and meeting people. That said, I'm still struggling to get my head round post-apocalyptic Sundays in Germany.
  5. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    This recent thread is worth a read - https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/534542.aspx
  6. Haha, Bielefeld, großartig :D. One of my professors taught at Bielefeld University before he came to our uni and his main hobby is joking about the conspiracy. Somebody even made a film about it.
  7. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    Hi Shaun,
    Once you have a PGCE your school can ask you to teach anything at all! Well, that sounds extreme but I taught Year 7+8 in one subject after only having a GCSE in it myself, and I taught Year 13 in another subject because I had done a module on it as part of my degree (but was terrified teaching it the whole time, I had only studied select topics and I didn't know 80% of the stuff I had to teach - Year 13 was a drop in the deep end!) You could probably teach English if you've done lots of literature - you could certainly teach KS3 with absolutely no problems! I have done an MA in English Literature in order to swap to English, I did it for one year. I got onto the course even though my degree was in German. I also taught French on PGCE and in my school once I got my job, even though my French was really rusty when I started - it was soon fine, it all came back to me. So schools can get you to teach anything really! Once you are a qualified teacher that is.
    I know someone who was an English graduate but did an RE PGCE because the bursary was better (don't know if bursaries even exist anymore!) and then got an English job with some RE. I just don't know what getting onto a PGCE in German would be like without a supporting subject of French / Spanish / or some other vogue language like Mandarin / Japanese.... I wonder could you do a qualification in one of these whilst you're out in Germany? I just feel the market for German teachers isn't really there, though it's such a shame (I'm really missing teaching German though I love doing the English). I feel it would be wrong to mislead you and say you'd easily be able to get onto a PGCE with German and without another language or that you'd be able to get a job easily....it's tough right now.
    My advice, and feel free to ignore it of course, would be to make yourself more employable with another language if you can, but if that isn't an option, maybe look at doing a qualification in another subject if teaching is what you want to do. You could do English Lit - I'm proof of that! I'm sure you'd be great - you have great skills already from studying German and its literature, and from teaching English as a foreign language.
    Anyway, I hope you find a route into what you want to do.
    Best of luck,
  8. Thanks for all the great responses everyone. Thanks for the link Geekie and I appreciate your honesty, Lighthouse Keeper. I don't know if I have the will power or the mental capacity to learn another language in all honesty. I've tried in the past and I find it frustrating as I'm used to being able to get over what I want to say auf Deutsch, whereas with a new language I'd obviously struggle. I will most certain look into teaching English and if I were able to teach only a few lessons of German a week, it would be excellent to be in a career, where I could practice my German. Thanks again everyone, I'm sure I'll be back here in a year or so telling everyone about what PGCEs I have applied for!
  9. That's a disgraceful state of affairs, isn't it -- allowing kids to be "taught" by people who have only the barest of clues of what they're talking about, and then maintaining that they're "qualified"
    A more amateur and minimalist approach is scarcely conceivable
  10. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    I agree, it's dreadful! It's also really bad for your own morale when you're constantly feeling like you don't know what you're doing, and god forbid the kids should pick up on that...
  11. ...which isn't too difficult these days, given the prevalence of smart phones and the like. If you don't know your stuff, an inquisitive student can catch you out within the minute, and the more often it happens, the faster the word will spread
    Because... it's great fun poking the "experts", always has been. Especially when it turns out the "expert" isn't an expert at all, and only has a thin veneer of presentational skills with next to nothing behind it
    An unenviable position indeed
  12. I am a languages teacher with only one language, French, and no one pointed out to me the problems. Even with French it cut the possibilities of getting a job down to about 10% of those available. 30 years ago, when I started, German was more popular, as it should be because we do more trade with Germany than any other country, but our Head has now closed it and French struggles, Spanish is now the language of choice. But we have started Mandarin in a small way. My advice is to either learn another language or do Maths. Teachers of Maths seem to be able to get a job anywhere and to stop and restart teaching whenever they want. Or Physics!
    Without wishing to put you off, language teaching is hard. Today's kids find learning, as they have to do for us, extremely alien. But there are parts of the profession where its fine. Our art teachers all seem a happy bunch and they do not have half the marking we get! Can you paint?
    Only joking! Best of luck!

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