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Should a language be compulsory at GCSE?

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    Maybe if GCSE actually showed language ability..

    (Original post by pomme de terre)
    Maybe if GCSE actually showed language ability..
    I completely agree-GCSE is just deduction and memorisation and not much in depth language learning and GCSE doesn't prepare you enough for A-Level but maybe languages should be mandatory at GCSE because University's now require it and Employers favour even though, if they really understood the qualification,they would understand how poor it is.

    (Original post by CharlieBoardman)
    No, it shouldn't be compulsory. For somebody who is absolutely useless at languages, being forced to complete a GCSE in one would be a waste of time.
    I agree. If you make people who are no good at and don't like languages take one, there is not benefit. It just makes life difficult for those students, students who are in the class who are good at it and the teacher.

    I certainly think MFLs should be encouraged and that anyone who is capable should take one at GCSE. However maybe the courses could be revised slightly - 60% of my grade is in controlled assessments, which is just memorising. Plus its ridiculously easy to cheat the system, with teachers writing CAs for the students etc.

    But yes languages should be encouraged much more


    A GCSE in a language does nothing for your job prospects either.

    Learning languages is great. But GCSE doesn't really prepare you to speak that language. I did German at GCSE and got an A and even carried it onto A-level but truth be told if I was in Germany aside from a few helpful phrases I wouldn't be able to speak the language at all. GCSEs in language are petty useless so no, I don't think it should be compulsory.

    No. Langauges at GCSE are usually really badly taught, it doesn't enable you to actually speak the language. It should be peoples own choice to take one, being forced into doing something doesn't achieve anything.

    No, just strongly encouraged - it's not fair to force those students whose learning differences ( eg severe dyslexia) through a subject they'll never be able to score hugely well on.

    I say this as an A Level Spanish student who tutors a year 9 with dyslexia.

    I think it should be encouraged. My school makes you take at least one science, one humanity and one 'art': so you have to choose from Biology/Chemistry/Physics, Geography/History, and a language/Art/D&T. That way you get a nice balance, and most people choose a language over Art or D&T. That said, I don't feel that my IGCSE in Spanish really helped me learn the language. I can probably remember some tourist-y phrases, and even that will be forgotten within a few years.

    Having a GCSE language is not compulsory. Most people in my year group, including me, take a language, because we have to however some of the less able studens (no disrespect intended there) taking business instead. A lot of teachers do however say that if you do, it looks good as part of your qualifications and for the sixth form your applying to. It might even look good, even if you did just take it at GCSE, for universities. I wouldn't say it's compulsory because if it was the case, everyone would take it, whether it's just like this in my school or in others, it doesn't seem compulsory but it is a old qualification to have and most schools do encourage it to a lot of students


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Updated: April 11, 2012
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