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    Hello,
    I've been wanting to learn a new language for a while. I've had the idea that I could just buy a second hand GCSE revision guide and start learning from there; not neccesarily take the GCSE course, but I suppose I could always enrol for the GCSE exam if I wanted to cash in what I hope to learn in my free time.

    The problem though is whether it's worth it. How far do you need to go before it is considered a benefit- do you have to go all the way (A level, university level, etc).

    I'm at university so am questioning whether it would be worth learning a language to GCSE level as a minimum in my spare time.

    Any help?
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    Why not
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    I want to learn one too.

    There are many resources online and youtube videos
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    definitely buy the gcse book, they include grammar points that are easy to pick up, then you can move on. i also think learning a language outside of a classroom environment is better (i've taken 2 years of french in class and was ready to let it go, but still love it enough to learn outside)

    this summer i recommend buying books in that language to read and pick up vocabs. if you have any curiousity about the language, make sure to google it straight away, the more you know, the better. i've also subscribed to a lot of french youtubers for listening. i find it quite impossible to be fluent in a language while learning it in class because they give you phrases so you're more likely to remember phrases rather than putting things together yourself.
    but defo buy some gcse books and work up to a level :P
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    I did gcse French and really enjoyed it, in fact it was my favourite lesson. I'm not doing it for A level but I am learning more in my spare time. It's interesting and useful so I think it's worth it
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    All academics are fluent in multiple languages

    An Asian and a European. Language are good starters, like Japamese and Spanish
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    (Original post by Wiggly)
    Hello,
    I've been wanting to learn a new language for a while. I've had the idea that I could just buy a second hand GCSE revision guide and start learning from there; not neccesarily take the GCSE course, but I suppose I could always enrol for the GCSE exam if I wanted to cash in what I hope to learn in my free time.

    The problem though is whether it's worth it. How far do you need to go before it is considered a benefit- do you have to go all the way (A level, university level, etc).

    I'm at university so am questioning whether it would be worth learning a language to GCSE level as a minimum in my spare time.

    Any help?
    Theres not really any negatives to it so go for it.

    Benefits are:
    Can get around more easily in several foreign countries.
    Productive hobby.
    Opens up oppurtunities.

    My cousin got a job straight out of uni that pays just as much as my mum who is a medical doctor with a PhD
    All because she speaks 3 languages.

    Im planning to learn spanish in my gap year since its the most world-spread language after english, and is spoken in some really nice holiday destinations which will help me get around.
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    Learning a language to GCSE level will give you an advantage these days, as fewer and fewer people are choosing to study them, and a lot of the ones who are are not achieving the top grades. Therefore, having this qualification makes you stand out. Getting a high grade at GCSE in a Foreign Language is said to correspond to around A2 on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), which is beginner. (It goes from A1-C2)
    If you're not going to actually do the GCSE qualification, I would recommend studying for more specific proficiency tests, ie an A1 test in the language, then A2, then B1 and so on. These qualifications are valued by employers.
    Aside from job-wise, learning a foreign language is always worth it. I speak 3 foreign languages (at varying degrees of fluency) and studying them has enabled me to meet people who I would never have met otherwise. Learning another language helps you to become more culturally aware and also helps you to understand your native language more.
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    Thanks all^
    Back in high school we did Spanish and Welsh before we got to choose our GCSE options, but I didn't want to continue with them at the time. This gives me a sort of jump-start, I suppose.
    I'd like to regain a knowledge in these languages due to Spanish of-course being a large one and Welsh being a local (within the UK) but somewhat 'dying' one.

    But...when do you get to earn the right to say 'I can speak the language of __'? For example on a CV, is GCSE level going to appear too basic to an employer?
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    If you're just doing it for the utility it's probably not worth it.

    Don't learn from a revision guide. Get a proper textbook(second hand or whatever).
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    (Original post by Wiggly)
    Thanks all^
    Back in high school we did Spanish and Welsh before we got to choose our GCSE options, but I didn't want to continue with them at the time. This gives me a sort of jump-start, I suppose.
    I'd like to regain a knowledge in these languages due to Spanish of-course being a large one and Welsh being a local (within the UK) but somewhat 'dying' one.

    But...when do you get to earn the right to say 'I can speak the language of __'? For example on a CV, is GCSE level going to appear too basic to an employer?
    If you're only going to learn a language upto GCSE level, I wouldn't bother.
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    (Original post by Wiggly)
    Hello,
    I've been wanting to learn a new language for a while. I've had the idea that I could just buy a second hand GCSE revision guide and start learning from there; not neccesarily take the GCSE course, but I suppose I could always enrol for the GCSE exam if I wanted to cash in what I hope to learn in my free time.

    The problem though is whether it's worth it. How far do you need to go before it is considered a benefit- do you have to go all the way (A level, university level, etc).

    I'm at university so am questioning whether it would be worth learning a language to GCSE level as a minimum in my spare time.

    Any help?
    Depends on the language chosen
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    Personally, i dont think learning a language to GCSE level is enough for it to be a 'benefit' on your CV or for your job prospects.

    However, if you for example, learnt a language to GCSE level and then lived/worked there for a year and then came back to the UK, then 100% that would be a real stand out strength in your CV. Especially if you apply for jobs where you have to speak that language, e.g selling UK products overseas

    Ultimately, learning a language is like learning any other skill. My granddad's been speaking portuguese for 40 years for work and still makes mistakes in pronunciation and grammar. I think it's a skill that you have to spend a lot of time building, but you'd definitely get loads of benefits from it in the long run.
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    (Original post by Wiggly)
    Hello,
    I've been wanting to learn a new language for a while. I've had the idea that I could just buy a second hand GCSE revision guide and start learning from there; not neccesarily take the GCSE course, but I suppose I could always enrol for the GCSE exam if I wanted to cash in what I hope to learn in my free time.

    The problem though is whether it's worth it. How far do you need to go before it is considered a benefit- do you have to go all the way (A level, university level, etc).

    I'm at university so am questioning whether it would be worth learning a language to GCSE level as a minimum in my spare time.

    Any help?
    It's always worthwhile to learn a new language! If you enjoy learning the language and it's a country you're interested in, you'll do well. I wouldn't do it for the sake of it looking good on your CV, although I guess it shows self-discipline, motivation and time-management skills if you've managed to self-teach a language alongside your degree.
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    I think it's really worth learning a language - it makes you a lot more employable and the skills you develop when learning a language (comprehension, communication skills, logic skills from grammar etc.) are also really valuable.

    (Original post by lostintrnslation)
    Learning a language to GCSE level will give you an advantage these days, as fewer and fewer people are choosing to study them, and a lot of the ones who are are not achieving the top grades. Therefore, having this qualification makes you stand out. Getting a high grade at GCSE in a Foreign Language is said to correspond to around A2 on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), which is beginner. (It goes from A1-C2)
    If you're not going to actually do the GCSE qualification, I would recommend studying for more specific proficiency tests, ie an A1 test in the language, then A2, then B1 and so on. These qualifications are valued by employers.
    I'd agree with this - being able to give a CEFR level might be more useful to an employer - after all, some people take a language GCSE but will have forgotten most of it by the time they come to apply for jobs (often 5+ years later), whereas this rating will give an idea of what your actual proficiency is. It is also a qualification valued across Europe (opening up more job possibilities). That said, if you don't have access to these courses, a GCSE may be better than nothing.

    Personally though, I'd think that a GCSE doesn't equip you with the type of language skills that you'd need to communicate fluently in a foreign language. I wouldn't think it would be enough to, for example, apply for a job in France, however having some language basis is better than having none. If an employer wanted someone to speak French, they might prefer to just re-train someone who had experience of speaking some French before to having to teach someone from scratch. As such, even having a GCSE is an advantage.

    If you're learning the language right from the beginning, a GCSE revision guide might not be the best starting point as most people take a GCSE having already studied the language a little (often for 3 years), so it might not cover all of the basics in the way you'd need when learning from scratch. You could however have a look at online resources such as Duolingo etc. to begin learning, and then buy a GCSE guide when you're at the right level - or it could get pretty expensive to keep buying resources! Looking at a range of resources, such as films/books/youtube (even with subtitles at first) is also a really good idea because it puts the language in context, and can often be relatively cheap. It also stops you from getting bored by not just doing exercises.

    You also say you're at uni - it might be worth seeing if your uni library has resources that you could use, or if your uni has a language centre, they might have some. I know my uni's language centre has a free DVD library of foreign language DVDs. It also offers some short language courses over the course of the year. These often have a charge but may be worth considering to build up an initial knowledge of the language with someone supporting you, which you could then continue on your own with a revision guide type resource.
    • Community Assistant
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    It never hurts to have a language.
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    Doesn't hurt to learna language but GCSE will not get you very far - it will probably be around A2 level on the CEFRL. AS - A2 would be a lot better to aim for (I think you're meant to be around B1/B2 by the end of A2 but not 100% certain).

    There's not really any downsides and its worthwhileness is down to what you choose to do with such a language

    Though considering fewer and fewer people in the UK have the knowledge of another language, it is incredibly true that it will help you stand out certainly in this country as opposed to many many other European countries.
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    (Original post by Wiggly)
    Hello,
    I've been wanting to learn a new language for a while. I've had the idea that I could just buy a second hand GCSE revision guide and start learning from there; not neccesarily take the GCSE course, but I suppose I could always enrol for the GCSE exam if I wanted to cash in what I hope to learn in my free time.

    The problem though is whether it's worth it. How far do you need to go before it is considered a benefit- do you have to go all the way (A level, university level, etc).

    I'm at university so am questioning whether it would be worth learning a language to GCSE level as a minimum in my spare time.

    Any help?
    So you know who's talking about you.

    (Original post by Wiggly)
    Thanks all^
    Back in high school we did Spanish and Welsh before we got to choose our GCSE options, but I didn't want to continue with them at the time. This gives me a sort of jump-start, I suppose.
    I'd like to regain a knowledge in these languages due to Spanish of-course being a large one and Welsh being a local (within the UK) but somewhat 'dying' one.

    But...when do you get to earn the right to say 'I can speak the language of __'? For example on a CV, is GCSE level going to appear too basic to an employer?
    Same, at key stage half of our year group's studied Spanish which was (I was that half) and the other half studied french.
 
 
 
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