Should a language be compulsory at GCSE?

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JayPlays
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#1
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I'm a strong believer that a language should be compulsory at GCSE level. A lot of secondary schools seem to be pushing their students into taking a language. Do you think that all students should have to take a language? And if so, which one?
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Dalek1099
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No because although I will have 2 language GCSEs by the end of Y11,I don't think they are worthwhile because I already have 1 of those GCSEs(in German) because I took it early and got an A and I don't know any German and I don't know why employers want these because they want you to understand different languages to communicate in them but when you get the job,languages being took at GCSE years ago and so little taught,you won't be able to know hardly any words in the language.
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TenOfThem
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No

There are plenty of students who need to focus on learning English to an appropriate level with it having to do an additional language
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Dandaman9999
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No, it shouldn't be compulsory but it should be encouraged (as many secondary schools are doing currently).
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CharlieBoardman
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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.
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Ho Chi Minh
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(Original post by Dalek1099)
No because although I will have 2 language GCSEs by the end of Y11,I don't think they are worthwhile because I already have 1 of those GCSEs(in German) because I took it early and got an A and I don't know any German and I don't know why employers want these because they want you to understand different languages to communicate in them but when you get the job,languages being took at GCSE years ago and so little taught,you won't be able to know hardly any words in the language.
Could you use fewer full stops, please?
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Dorito
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GCSE languages are absolutely no use when in another country, trust me.

Without sounding like an absolute tool, a lot of people in other countries can speak some English so it is easier to get by using English than trying and failing miserably at speaking their language. I think they're pretty accomodating as long as you embrace other aspects of their culture.
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melo341
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#8
**** no! Languages are boring as hell.
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ummm
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I didn't do a language at GCSE, which means I can't apply to UCL now. But no, I don't think it should be made compulsory - most of the people at my school who did it don't really know a word of the language and just used google translate, and memorised stuff for their speaking exams, and writing exams. I could do that now with my year-9 level knowledge of french. Pretty pointless really. I hated languages, so was glad I didn't have to take one.
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liveandstudy
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Yes! I think we need to make more of an effort in speaking other languages. Graduates in the UK are falling behind their EU counterparts who can speak 2 or even 3 languages. It can lead to job opportunities abroad and even with the UK. It irritates me when people say that foreigners are stealing UK jobs. If a job requires another language, and you are monolingual, you can't really blame them for not hiring you!

I think the real question is, should language learning at GCSE change its structure? Lots of people dislike foreign languages at GCSE, so perhaps we need to utilise other methods. Not to mention when you visit another country you actually realise how little you can speak in said language...
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Hobo389
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It's not about actually learning the language as such, as most people, sad as I say it, will never use it again. But it is a brilliant source for teaching pragmatic learning and provides a brilliant base for pragmatic thinking. There is almost always an underlying reason as to why we learn things, they must not simply be taken on face value. It is important for people to learn a language, GCSE level is not a big ask.
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Dalek1099
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(Original post by ummm)
I didn't do a language at GCSE, which means I can't apply to UCL now. But no, I don't think it should be made compulsory - most of the people at my school who did it don't really know a word of the language and just used google translate, and memorised stuff for their speaking exams, and writing exams. I could do that now with my year-9 level knowledge of french. Pretty pointless really. I hated languages, so was glad I didn't have to take one.
Google Translator doesn't work because it is non-human translator my teacher said,so they will lose a lot of marks for incorrect grammar and tenses because Google can only translate word for word.
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manic_fuzz
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Nope. Firstly I think it'd be unfair to force people to take a GCSE which would more than likely be of no use to that person in the future - especially considering the limited amount you learn in GCSE MFLs.

Additionally, if you're going to raise appreciation of other cultures etc through language-learning then you'd no doubt have to improve the current way in which it is taught and offer a broader range of available languages which'd be rather costly. A ridiculous amount of people end up completely despising languages upon finishing a GCSE in it - so it's likely to end up having a negative impact.
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burgerrr
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As much as i hate languages, they are a different skill, and most schools should encourage pupils to take them. My school forces pretty much everyone to! The actual sylabus is not hard tbh, 60% of my grade is memorisation!

I do think the syllabus need revising a little; at GCSE they don't teach you much useful stuff. More practical voacab should be taught rather than the repeated "describe your school"!
If i went to France, i doubt i could do more than speak single words in most cases. Sure i know how to say "my school is beautiful and old" but would i be able to ask for a train ticket? NO!
On the other hand, would GCSE really be able to teach someone language skills to "survive" there?

Let's face it, when in a different country, most people's English skill will (unfortunatly) exceed yours in speaking their language. GCSE atleast allows you to understand french and how the structure differs from english, and i think it teaches you versitility. Once you have "learnt" one language, it makes it easier to learn another, if you want to.
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daviesblue
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I used to think doing my language GCSE was a waste of time, and it still is since i havnt used French since. However, i am now starting to see the value in knowing certain languages, but for them to make it complusory, they should have a wider variety of languages to take. Not just, French, German, Spanish.
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[email protected]
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I think that it should definitely be encouraged, because in my course (AQA French) we learn useful (ish) vocabulary that you might use if you went to that country. However, in non-selective schools, such as mine, it wouldn't be a good idea to make it compulsory, because some people, with learning disabilities etc, it wouldn't do them any real favours, and it would probably be better for them to concentrate on English, Maths and other subjects, which are more useful for living in English speaking countries.
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Dalek1099
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(Original post by daviesblue)
I used to think doing my language GCSE was a waste of time, and it still is since i havnt used French since. However, i am now starting to see the value in knowing certain languages, but for them to make it complusory, they should have a wider variety of languages to take. Not just, French, German, Spanish.
They do.Bengali and Urdu are available and I hadn't heard of them before,until I checked the languages offered at GCSE.
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ummm
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(Original post by Dalek1099)
Google Translator doesn't work because it is non-human translator my teacher said,so they will lose a lot of marks for incorrect grammar and tenses because Google can only translate word for word.
There are other better translator sites. Their teachers used to check through it beforehand anyway.
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x-Sophie-x
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I don't think they necessarily should be compulsory, but at my school, one MFL is required to be taken at GCSE.
I like languages though so all's good However, I know some schools don't offer that opportunity, which should be available imo (:
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HarryPotterFanx
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If the GCSE's in Languages were made to be useful in society then yes. However, I know people who is taking the French GCSE, are getting an A but can't speak a word of French in a proper sentence.
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