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SKE courses/possibility of teaching Spanish with French+German degree

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by LudwigVonDrake, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. I've applied to do a PGCE in French this year and may indeed get something at the last minute, but I'm thinking about what I'm going to do if I have to re-apply next year. While I'd be happy enough to keep doing French and German (which my degree was in), for reasons of employbility and my own intellectual curiosity, I'm considering looking into Spanish. I therefore have a few questions:
    <ol>[*]If I re-apply next year, how exactly would doing a SKE in Spanish appear to employers/university tutors if I could feasibly teach German, in which I have a good enough knowledge to teach up to KS4, alongside French? [*]If I were to get a PGCE for this year by luck, would it be possible to eventually teach Spanish, even if only to KS3 level, by gaining a strong enough subject knowledge through accredited evening/weekend courses (e.g. Instituto Cervantes courses)? </ol>Thanks in advance for any replies. :)
  2. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    Probably. Re-training while in service is not unknown.
    Good luck!
  3. Hi,

    It could be worth speaking to universities (at interview if you get any this summer, or before you apply next year) if they would send you on a Spanish SKE course.
    I applied for a Secondary French PGCE back in March, and when I had my interview I was asked whether I'd be interested in doing a Spanish SKE because this would boost my employment prospects.
    In the end (after the tutor made some phone calls when I was out of the room doing the written task), they gave me the choice - I could either have an unconditional offer for French (which is what I applied for), or a conditional offer for French with Spanish (the condition being that I complete the Spanish SKE). They said that if something happened to prevent me from completing the SKE they would simply change my offer to unconditional for French, but they had to make it conditional in order to get funding for the SKE.

    Obviously not all universities will suggest this - I was quite surprised at being made this offer and given a choice on the day - but it could be worth raising the question yourself.
    Apparently German is really declining in popularity nowadays. I have AS Level German but they didn't suggest sending me on a German SKE or even seem interested in my German at all. I only have GCSE Spanish, but plan on brushing it up a bit before I do the SKE in August.

    Where have you applied?
    Good luck!

  4. delnon

    delnon Lead commenter

    German is going down the pan. I'm not quite as up to date with this as I'd like to be, but my understanding is that it's perceived as a "hard" subject, best left to the public schools and the grammar schools.
    A smaller exam cohort of more able candidates ought to be pushing up the A*-C grades, but the opposite appears to be the case. Add the factor that the exam boards in general -and AQA in particular- appear to be norm-referencing rather than criterion-referencing, and it's becoming very hard indeed to win a decent grade in German.
    Schools threatened with extermination by il Gove are hardly likely to opt for a subject which will push them down the league tables.
    None of this will cut any ice with the none-shall-have-prizes brigade, but dear God what a mess it's making of our commercial prospects.
  5. As a hispanist I agree with you. I think that there should be a greater variety of languages taught. Putting nearly all our eggs in two closely related baskets is madness. One of which is currently an economic basket case!
    We should be teaching a greater variety of languages. Students benefit so much more from being taught by someone who has a deep knowledge of a language and associated culture(s). We have many MFL teachers who are no using their linguistic skills properly because they are forced to teach Spanish and to a lesser extent French. We should encorage linguistic diversity. So not just the neglected but econimically useful German, what about Russian, Italian, Portuguese. Now trade with Brasil is going to get even more important, how many Portuguese speakers do we produce?
    I am aware of the importance of Asian language learning. I just think that they will always have a more minor role to play in UK schools. However I could be so wrong.
  6. In the light of some of the replies, I wish to make it known that I ultimately do lament the decline in German and some other languages as part of a general apathy towards languages in general (except for maybe French and Spanish). As much as I love learning about other languages and places, it is sort of a last resort that I'm considering having to drop German in favour of Spanish. Though I perhaps wouldn't feel confident teaching German up to A-Level, I know for sure that I have the skills and cultural backing to teach it up to GCSE.
    The thing is that I only have a casual beginner's knowledge of the language, and I believe that there's no chance I'd be able to do a SKE course for this year should I get on a PGCE for this year (as unlikely as it feels at this stage...). I equally don't have a Spanish GCSE or A-Level, since I never did it at school (we had to choose between German and Spanish to study alongside French), so I can't even fall on those as a default. If I do get another interview, I'll probably try and reword what I've asked here (something like: "would a placement/employing school make me learn Spanish just so that I could teach it?")

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