1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Spanish GCSE in 3 years

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by france1938, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. france1938

    france1938 New commenter

    Hi guys

    Looking for advice here, is there any chance pupils could succeed at GCSE Spanish starting in y 9 and study for 3 years?
    that is without studying Spanish in y 7 and 8.

    any ideas?
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Depends on:
    • any previous language learning
    • ability
    • time allocated
    For 8 years I taught (with a 100% A*-B success rate) GCSE Spanish in 2 terms, to sixth formers.
    Well, two and a bit. Starting in mid Sept, exams after Easter. Everyone already had GCSE French or German. 3 x 45 min periods a week. This was in a FE College.

    In my school, pupils began Spanish in year 10 as an option, having done Latin and French in yrs 7 - 9. Not taught by me, I was Head. Again, very successful, with similar results to the French GCSE, which many pupils had already done in Primary, as well as in 7-9.

    So yes, it can be done.

    Best wishes

    Dodros likes this.
  3. nellydean

    nellydean New commenter

    If you get the right pupils doing it, yes. Though I guess it might be harder with the arrival of the new GCSE, which is harder.
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    O level Spanish was, arguably, harder than GCSE Spanish.
    I started learning French in my first year of Grammar school in 1965. I started Spanish 2 years later. Everyone in the class passed the O level with a good grade. We never learnt ready-made phrases. We had to learn lists of vocabulary and we were taught grammar systematically, building up from simple to complex language usage.

    In my opinion,the reason why MFL acquisition has been so slow and boring in recent years is that there was no real progression from Yr7 to Yr8. Topic-based learning meant that every module went through the same level of 'difficulty', with new vocabulary added to the endless repetition of " I love / I like/ I hate/ I prefer" etc.
    minnie me likes this.
  5. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    Does this mean class time has little or no relation to exam success in MFL?
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    There has been too much 'fun and games' in MFL lessons at the expense of serious learning.

    It also needs to be accepted that it's pointless to be making lower ability children learn an MFL when their English literacy is so poor. MFL, with so many cognates used (to accommodate weaker pupils) but slightly different spellings, actualy serves to confuse their mother tongue literacy.They should have extra English instead, with general knowledge about a European country incorporated.
    SenoritaShen and Vladimir like this.
  7. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Nail on the head in MFL, as usual. We can agree over here, even if we'll never agree over there! 'Tis a pity your impeccable logic doesn't carry. Anyway...

    GCSE is more than possible in 3 years; many schools do it in two with excellent results. It does depend on how it is taught but if you take away all the songs, games and other 'communicative' nonsense, that is - like it or not - there to entertain rather than to teach, and focus on structure in class and put the onus on the pupils to take most of the responsibility for learning of vocabulary, then it is perfectly possible in one year, if you've got pupils who want to learn and are able to do so.

    GCSEs are very easy to pass.
  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    What do they actually learn in Y7 and Y8? You could cover it in a month, easily, with a motivated class and some selective (read 'proper') teaching.
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I was once a new Head of Faculty in a school where the students had studied German at KS3. I could only offer French and Spanish and was appointed I think on reflection because the setting wanted an experienced ' manager '. There were huge staffing problems and no one to offer German at KS4 ( except the Headmistress ) who clearly thought this was not an option. The group were large in number, bright but disaffected. This was due I think to the numerous issues the school was facing and their anger and frustration at having seemingly lost three years of study. They had also enjoyed German I think and felt cheated at not being allowed to pursue. My only solution to the problem was to offer Spanish so the students stood a chance of a languages accreditation. I would say yes it is possible in two and easily acheivable in three years. Agree that it might be a 'shallower' knowledge but when I was teaching at KS4 we just seemed to be repeating KS3 material anyway.
  10. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    That's the consequence of a topic-based approach jubilee referred to, you can't go wrong with a grammar-based course that builds up structure progressively over the years rather than all this random, fuzzy stuff that, incidentally, the kids hate. How many times has a language teacher heard 'We've done this!' only to find that although the 'topic' has been done before, very little is actually retained.
  11. jkhanom

    jkhanom New commenter

    Hello all, hope you are well. We are currently completing Spanish IGCSE in 2 years. I was wondering if anybody has a copy of a recent SOW for 2 years preferably for Edexcel IGCSE. We have many new Korean students for whom this is a third language and was wondering if there was anything to tweak within our own schemes of work. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
  12. desertestrella7

    desertestrella7 New commenter

    I teach Spanish in a British school in Kuwait and we follow the Cambridge IGCSE course in Years 10 & 11. We have a variety of nationalities doing the course over the 2 years from Egyptians, Lebanese, Kuwaitis and native speakers from Spain, Paraguay, Venezuela (who all need to learn how to spell and use accents in their own language after a few years of living in the Middle East...!). Oh, and we only have 2 lessons a week....

    We also have a wide range of abilities - from bottom sets who have been doing extra English in Years 7 - 9, to top set students who have been studying French for those 3 years. The bottom sets tend to pick it because they are massive Barcelona or Real Madrid fans and love what they have heard of the language so far, plus they've "not failed" at the subject yet. A few drop it at the end of Year 10. I agree with others on here that we can do things like the weather, animals, school subjects etc in a very quick lesson as opposed to over a few lessons like Year 7 French. It's a case of "This is an intensive course, we don't have time to teach you what is in your pencil case but the word for pen/pencil/dog/rabbit could well come up in a reading or listening question at some point. So learn the vocab!" and they do.

    However, speaking in Spanish almost the entire time, they get it and we have most of our students passing each year, from A* to D being our lowest grade in the last few years. It never ceases to amaze me how they do it and I get very proud of them.
    Dodros likes this.

Share This Page