How to Stop Truancy...End Compulsory French Lessons?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by kes1, Feb 11, 2009.

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    Fully expecting anti-French banter, however...

    Rather than learning European languages, maybe schools should be teaching languages that are more likely to be of use in years to come such as Farsi, Arabic, Chinese...and so on.

    Giving teenagers the choice to opt out of language lessons (and lets face it how many here would quite happily have chosen not to learn French :D ) is just pushing the UK further behind other countries when it comes to Education.

    Any other thoughts on this?
  2. If we are going to make languages compulsory then French, German and Spanish are our best options. They are very useful compared to most languages, and they aren;t nearly as hard as Chinese, Russian or Arabic. Let the best learn the hard ones, but make everyone learn one of the three big European languages.
  3. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    How about we teach them propper Inglish and spellin and grandma first, I no it would have dun me good.
  4. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I do believe teachiung Russian or Chinese would be an advantage in the future, as for the Arabic languages, they will not be much used after the nuclear blasts.
  5. You could argue that Europeans speak excellent English (in some cases better than English kids as BiscuitsAB pointed out :) ) so why do we need to bother? Not my opinion btw, just playing devils advocate.

    As for some languages being harder than others, yes but the earlier children learn a language the easier they find it, so why not teach them the harder languages in primary school.
  6. Re the middle East, as granpa Tonto said after being there in WW1, in 1915 they were selling their sisters, donkeys, ********* and anything else they could steal, and when the oil runs out they will be back to that. Far better to learn French or German as they will be more important to Britain.

    Most important to learn French, how can you surrender if you cant speak Frog
  7. So back to the issue of ending compulsory language lessons, you think thats a bad idea?

    And will it really reduce truancy figures?

    I believe they can surrender in 12 different languages :wink:
  8. We had compulsory French at Junior school from the age of eight, and compulsory French and German at senior school, and it was an utter, utter,utter,utter waste of time.

    It was basically scribbled out on my timetable and replaced with "doss around and f uck about, or bunk off"

    No one I know of my age group can speak either language, and I lived in Germany for 3 years and still only know how to order a beer and start a fight.

    Teaching anything to someone who doesn't want to learn it, and has no interest in retaining the information is a complete waste of time and resources better spent elsewhere.
    There is an Island mentality bred in this country, coupled with the fact that all other countries DO speak English if you prod them hard enough, I ran several jobs France, who are prolific "non speakers of English" if they think they can get away with it and always found the phrase "Well if you don't understand me then I'm not f ucking paying you, you c unt." managed to jog their memory a lot.

    In short, if you must teach languages to people who don't want to know them, try and put it into an interesting context rather than the rabbit fashion vocab learning that has switched off generations of kids.
  9. The way it's taught here is awful, and started much to late. Language lessons should start when children start school.

    From personal experience, my rugrat hates French lessons yet speaks Arabic fluently and found it easier to learn than French. So I think offering a wider choice of languages would interest children/teenagers much more than the standard French/German/Spanish.

    Also, if you look at the countries that 'interest' the UK (and will do so for some time) surely offering languages such as Chinese or Farsi would be more logical?
  10. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    The two powerhouse economies of the next several decades will still be India and China once everybody stops dragging their arrse on the floor over this supposed recession. So what ever they speak over there may not be a bad idea. Failing that lets take over the world again...
  11. We'd have to get each school to teach a different dialect then, India has around 20 and China has about 9 official dialects (I lost count of the regional dialects).

    I vote for taking over the world again :D
  12. I've just been to Brussels over the weekend on a graduate recruitment gig and the standard of English amongst the Boche/Scandies/Benelux types was uniformly better than at most comparable UK-based events and was at least as good amongst the Frogs and Easties.

    By all means, let students who're interested take French, Spanish or German - but to make them compulsory on the grounds of usefulness isn't really a reflection of the reality on the ground IMO. There are bigger trading blocks out there who aren't so fluent and now that Esperanto's died a death, there's more employability-mileage in learning their lingoes.
  13. They speak English.

    It's the international language of business, and business is what they do best.

    If you go to any inner city school in this country, language speaking isn't a problem.

    language UNDERSTANDING is a big one, some classes have up to 15 nationalities in them, half of which have poor or no English and they wonder why the English kids attending these schools are thick as f ucking mince.

    I had 24 year old plasterer from Peckham working for me in Sloane Street, who when I asked him to write down a list of materials he'd need for a job said with a straight face..

    "Nah.. I can't read or write mate, I was the only white f uckin face in my class, we spent all day just trying to get everyone to speak English, let alone learning how to write it"

    Maybe teahing to a good standard and learning our own language might be a good beginner before we start taking on board other peoples.
  14. Disagree. Teach them young enough and they soak it up like a sponge. I was taught french at primary school and still remember every bit of it. It's commonly known that the brain becomes more plastic and resistant to language pretty quickly beyond 8 or so. In Europe, part of the reason they speak English so well is they start teaching it earlier, and they're exposed to the language from an even younger age in the media.
  15. Teach everyone how to speak English correctly.

    After that, communication with foreigners is just about finding the correct volume level to penetrate their dense skulls.