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Will taking a degree module in French improve my employment prospects?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by rosetea, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Hi MFL teachers,

    I'm currently a Secondary PCGE student, training to be an English teacher. I've found that the workload for my course -so far- hasn't been as monstous as I'd feared, and I've worked out that I can probably spare a few hours a week in the new year to study a foreign language. In some ways, the idea of learning something totally new appeals, and as I live in London I've found that there are a lot of beginners' evening language classes available both in FE colleges and higher education institutions, such as King's (and I'm a UoL graduate so I qualify for a reduced course fee there).
    I'm mostly wanting to do this just for my own enjoyment and benefit- and learning Italian or Russian really appeals. But I'm also thinking of my career, and as I've already got an A Level in French, and have spent some time living in France, I've thought about taking a module of a French degree - the O.U. offer one that sounds perfect. I should have time to do it as the final assessment is in the summer, when my PGCE will hopefully be finished. The only trouble is, it costs £850, which is quite a lot to part with. If I did decide to take the degree module, would it improve my employability prospects? Would schools be willing to let me loose on, say, KS3 or even KS4 kids? I should say that studying French to a higher level would also offer me a great deal of personal satisfaction, but I could more easily justify the cost if I thought it might help me get a job, too...

    Thanks for any advice you might be able to offer!
  2. It could make you more employable, although personally I feel you would be likely to be given KS3 French and you should think carefully whether you want that given the issues with behaviour and motivation in some schools. Also as Hod I would want someone who was language trained and not just someone with a PGCE in another subject- there are lots of things we do in MFL which are quite specific and you need to learn these. Can't you do some teaching for your PGCE in MFL at KS3 to gain experience?

    PARTALOA New commenter

    Although it may give you some personal satisfaction in learning French in my experience I haven't been able to secure any full time permanent work as a language teacher. I have a degree in languages Spanish with Italian including English and Applied Linguistics. I have also just graduated this year with a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education Sector. Additionally, I have the Cambridge English Language Teaching Certificate. All of this hasn't got me far. I have been teaching Spanish and Italian for the last 3 years on temporary short term contracts. The problem with this is that I can't get the experience in teaching at GCSE/Alevel and can't get any jobs in the language sector. Therefore, I'm teaching on a private tuition basis and temporary basis in FE environment. I can't do supply teaching as I have to work during the day to pay my bills and feed 2 small children. The part time work is not permanent therefore I can't leave my day job! Therefore, I can't obtain the relevant GCSE/ALevel experience!! So far for me, I'm working during the day as a carer to make ends meet whilst doing some small assignment work. This is not what I intended, sadly I don't think I will ever get a teaching job full time. I find this frustrating as I done my degree and PGCE part time (total of 9 years) because I couldn't afford to leave work to go to university full-time. When I see the advert from the TDA website those who can - can teach, it makes me angry. It is not for the want of trying!!!!

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