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    I'm just posting here to rant, because I feel like I need to get this off my chest before I explode.

    Since the very start of Year 10 when we began learning the GCSE curriculums, our French education also fell behind somewhat, due to the absence of our teacher.

    I will give you a bit of a background. My school have recently decided to abolish French from the teaching syllabus, and now the MFL department teaches their one and only other language, Spanish. Throughout Year 8, the teachers that were able to teach French to GCSE level had all either retired or left, leaving just one teacher, the teacher I am supposed to have. However, upon returning from the summer into Year 9, we found ourselves without a teacher, because the teacher we were supposed to have was unfortunately having to take time off due to her husband falling ill, so we had supply teachers upon supply teachers upon supply teachers throughout the whole of Year 9. Because of this, barely anybody in the whole school elected for French; in fact, there were only 5 pupils (including me) who decided to choose it. I feel this is partially why the MFL department decided to abolish French from the curriculum after our year.

    Anyway, once I got into Year 10 to begin learning GCSE French, my peers and I were anticipating the return of our teacher, but during the summer, the husband that she was taking time off to look after, had passed away. Because of this, she was now off school to mourn. Obviously she is in no way at fault for this, and this topic isn't to rant about her, but about my school's conduct during this period of time. Please bear that in mind.

    So, we had more substitutes. And more substitutes. And more substitutes. All the way up until Easter, which is when our teacher had returned (woo, we were all really happy to see her. We felt as though we were finally going to have a good chance at doing well in this GCSE). So we now had our teacher back up until the end of Year 10, and she returned even after summer, into Year 11.

    Until Christmas.

    Unfortunately, our teacher fell seriously ill over the Christmas season and as such we still do not have a teacher (and we are five weeks away from our GCSE speaking examination). We had a substitute from Christmas until half term, and then we had another substitute from that half term until just now. She was brilliant, and I felt as though we were getting somewhere (again).

    So now we're getting to the really juicy bits.

    But after the half term, she never returned, despite telling us she would. How peculiar. Well, anyway, we now have a new substitute teacher, but wait.

    Get this.

    She doesn't speak French.

    Because the teacher we are supposed to have also teaches Spanish to other classes, our school obviously needed a substitute that was able to cover those Spanish lessons too. But because our class is the only French class, it genuinely feels to us as though we have been put on the back burner and forgotten about - we have our GCSE exams in a few months time, and we have been messed around and given hope and then it taken away from us. We all feel like the school couldn't care any less about the sorts of grades we receive at this stage, because they're abolishing French from the syllabus anyway, so who cares... right? That must be their mentality.

    So now I'm teaching myself French whilst a woman that doesn't even understand "Bonjour, j'apprends le Français dans votre classe." is supposedly "teaching" us.

    Cool.
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    That sounds awful. Have you spoken to your other teachers about this? I don't blame you for taking it in to your own hands and teaching your self.
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    (Original post by TheDevil)
    That sound awful. Have you spoken to your other teachers about this? I don't blame you for taking it in to your own hands and teaching your self.
    It is awful, I agree!

    My dad phoned the school recently and spoke to a Deputy Headteacher, I'm just waiting to hear anything back.
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    This is actually really horrible and so, so scary, considering how our speaking exams are literally right at our doorstep. This is really poor conduct from the school, and I doubt they would let you sit the exams - because it makes them look bad. If you don't even have a teacher who can speak French, no one can conduct the exams. I've felt this pain with biology, but no where near as much as you (since the start of year11, we're yet to have a real biology teacher) and it's so unhelpful having the self teach everything. But even then, that's science and this is languages - which is so much harder.

    Can you not talk to the exam board? I doubt it'll get you anywhere, but you never know. I'm hardly coping in French and I have a native french teacher, so that says something.

    I really do wish you all the best. You just gotta get it, no matter how unfair it is.
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    That sucks. With my GCSEs we had a bunch of teachers leave or go on maternity so we were left with cover. I can't see why they couldn't give the year 8s or something cover so we got actual teachers for our GCSEs. Really messed us up.
    Have you tried talking to somebody about the situation and seeing if anything can be done? Maybe if another teacher can be moved over to your class or something. These are your GCSEs after all. You'd think they could work something out. Don't be afraid to get some parental assistance. Parents are a better motivator than students.
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    Result!

    So after my dad, my peers, and our teaching assistant for a needy pupil (that speaks some French and was actually being forced to take over our class because of the incompetency of the other teacher) complained, we are getting one of the old French teachers to come back into school. She retired last year, so this truly shows how genuinely brilliant she is in order to go out of her way to come back and help us.

    Think I might buy her some flowers.
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    Not a French GCSE student, but I can give you advice on self-tutoring as I learn multiple languages out of hobby.

    I would be mad as hell too if I didn't have a teacher at school for the language I am learning for GCSE, as unlike with learning a language for a hobby you do have a time limit to learn it to a good standard to pass an exam, so you have to work hard.

    Practice, practice, practice with native French speakers and fully fluent French speakers. I'd recommend HelloTalk or Tandem, but Tandem is probably the better of the two. These apps allow you to connect with native or fluent speakers of your target language so you can speak with them in that language.
    Because you'll be pulled straight into conversation (either through typing or, if you really want to, voice calling) you will need to use an online dictionary or physical dictionary of any sort to keep up with the conversation, meaning you will pick up new vocabulary. Your brain will also be quickly tasked to recall vocabulary and structures you already know in order to keep up with the conversation, which will help you with thinking on the spot in speaking and writing quickly in writing. The native/fluent speaker can also help fix any grammar or spelling errors you make.
    Cheaper and generally more effective than getting a tutor.
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    Obvs just talking to total strangers isn't your only option, you could just try thinking in French (learn new vocabulary, keep talking/thinking to yourself in French using phrases which include this vocabulary) and writing down on a scrap of paper random sentences that incorporate any vocabulary you are trying to remember.

    For me, personally, trying to learn vocab just off of a list is completely useless. Learning it in context helps me remember it more.
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    (Original post by hqnnlr)
    Not a French GCSE student, but I can give you advice on self-tutoring as I learn multiple languages out of hobby.

    I would be mad as hell too if I didn't have a teacher at school for the language I am learning for GCSE, as unlike with learning a language for a hobby you do have a time limit to learn it to a good standard to pass an exam, so you have to work hard.

    Practice, practice, practice with native French speakers and fully fluent French speakers. I'd recommend HelloTalk or Tandem, but Tandem is probably the better of the two. These apps allow you to connect with native or fluent speakers of your target language so you can speak with them in that language.
    Because you'll be pulled straight into conversation (either through typing or, if you really want to, voice calling) you will need to use an online dictionary or physical dictionary of any sort to keep up with the conversation, meaning you will pick up new vocabulary. Your brain will also be quickly tasked to recall vocabulary and structures you already know in order to keep up with the conversation, which will help you with thinking on the spot in speaking and writing quickly in writing. The native/fluent speaker can also help fix any grammar or spelling errors you make.
    Cheaper and generally more effective than getting a tutor.
    I'm not sure if you are familiar with the discussion software Discord, but it is similar to Skype. There are a number of French-based chatrooms on there and hundreds of people that are both learning French and that are French natives are on there, and with voice channels and regular chat channels, I can easily dip in and out of conversations and ask for help if i need it. This has been so useful to me over the past few months.
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    And that makes me angry AF that they're only offering one language. Languages are an incredibly useful and important subject in our global world, so you need to be given a variety. It especially makes me angry because most colleges only allow you to do a language that you've done at GCSE. So if you wanna do French but your school only offers Spanish (luckily you got French), then your chances of doing it at college are completely screwed and you'd have to look hard for an ab-initio degree at university in a language that usually is only given to students with prior qualifications.
    Or you'd have to do an external GCSE/A-Level, which costs money to enter the exam aswell as paying for private lessons if you choose that.
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    (Original post by cataplasia)
    I'm not sure if you are familiar with the discussion software Discord, but it is similar to Skype. There are a number of French-based chatrooms on there and hundreds of people that are both learning French and that are French natives are on there, and with voice channels and regular chat channels, I can easily dip in and out of conversations and ask for help if i need it. This has been so useful to me over the past few months.
    That's good you're doing that. If you have any way of knowing (due to your messy MFL department), what grade are you currently working at in French?
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    (Original post by hqnnlr)
    That's good you're doing that. If you have any way of knowing (due to your messy MFL department), what grade are you currently working at in French?
    A 7 I think but it’s hard to judge. Our class only consists of 5 pupils, 3 of whom are sitting the foundation exam. Myself and one other are doing the higher paper.
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    7’s really good - especially considering your circumstances.
    What are you struggling with in French?
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    (Original post by hqnnlr)
    7’s really good - especially considering your circumstances.
    What are you struggling with in French?
    Im concerned about remembering the content as well as the conjugation of verbs for the different tenses. I need to revise those and write them down.
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    Remember to practise practise practise in context. Write stories, sentences, or anything creative with the tenses
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    (Original post by hqnnlr)
    Remember to practise practise practise in context. Write stories, sentences, or anything creative with the tenses
    Thanks so much for your help. I’ll be sure to take your suggestions on board.
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