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Joan in GE

When does your school district start offering foreign languages? & a second?

When and how many foreign languages are offered in your school district?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. When and how many foreign languages are offered in your school district?

    • foreign language offered in Primary school, Jr Hi, and Sr. Hi
      38
    • foreign language offered in Jr. Hi. and Sr. Hi.
      56
    • foreign languages ONLY offered in Sr. Hi.
      45
    • more than one foreign language offered in Primary school
      8
    • more than one foreign language offered in Jr. Hi...
      31


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And then when I actually went to college, I changed from music education to electrical engineering, so that physics class would have been more beneficial, but oh well. :tongue_smilie:

 

Oh if we could only see what we needed more clearly - but then for our best, it is not given...

 

As far as I know, schools around here only offer foreign language in high school still.

 

There is no elementary or jh foreign language options.

 

I'm glad people are voting in this situation...it didn't seem to be quite accurately represented before as maybe people didn't feel like voting if their district didn't offer FL before HS....Now I see that the proportion is greater...

 

Difference is that not all junior highs have foreign language offered, or maybe just one.

 

This does make it difficult to have an accurate poll, doesn't it....But with the explanations, then it is easier to see that the poll isn't really representative...Thank you for noting...

 

Joan

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This does make it difficult to have an accurate poll, doesn't it....But with the explanations, then it is easier to see that the poll isn't really representative...Thank you for noting...

 

Joan

 

I'm not sure if anyone voted from Canada, but I know that there are French immersion schools in more and more places. These kids are doing 2 languages, English French, throughout their school years. There's even one in my hometown area now. My middle brother's 4 kids have gone to French immersion schools since K in Alberta & BC, and my cousin teaches at a French middle-immersion school. This isn't exactly the same question, of course, and I'm not sure if they offer French classes in earlier grades in the regular English schools. My cousins went to a totally French school in Vancouver because their dad is considered francophone.

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I'm not sure if anyone voted from Canada, but I know that there are French immersion schools in more and more places.

 

I don't remember reading anything from Canada...

 

Even if they don't do immersion, are children starting to study French in primary school? or middle school?

 

And do people do a third language in high school or middle school?

 

Joan

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I don't remember reading anything from Canada...

 

Even if they don't do immersion, are children starting to study French in primary school? or middle school?

 

And do people do a third language in high school or middle school?

 

Joan

 

Not when I was in school they didn't, and so that's the attraction of French immersion schools. My db's kids, who go to French immersion, have all chosen German in high school so far (my dad's first language), with hopes of doing exchange programs. My nephew did that, my niece is heading to Germany in the spring (her German exchange student is heading back to Germany soon), and the next nephew is in grade 8 & just starting German. Not sure what the youngest will do. That said, it depends on the school & how many languages they can offer. It certainly isn't the norm as it often is in Europe.

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More statistics for you

Dual immersion program (Number of Districts and Schools by State, 2012) http://www.cal.org/t...ctory/state.htm

California Two-Way Immersion Programs Directory http://www.cde.ca.go.../directory.aspx

Texas Two Way Dual Language Education http://www.texastwoway.org/index.htm

Directory of Dual Language Programs in Illinois http://www.thecenter...-directory.html

 

For the University of California system AP credit for foreign language

"We grant credit for AP tests as described in the box below.

(Credit is expressed in quarter units. For Berkeley and Merced, divide total quarter units by 1.5 to convert to semester units.)

Chinese Language and Culture: 8

French Language and Culture: 8

German Language and Culture: 8

Italian Language and Culture: 8

Japanese Language and Culture: 8

Spanish Language: 8

Spanish Literature and Culture: 8"

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Now this is making me curious about the international schools here...I'm pretty sure they are studying two at Jr. Hi level, but they wouldn't be grading the students at a level of maternal tongue....

 

 

 

When I was in Vienna in hs I attended AIS. It followed a standard American curriculum and tested accordingly- languages were not tested against a maternal proficiency, but most students did take 2 foreign languages. So if testing at an international school doesn't work out look for an American International.

 

I went to AIS from an American school district (N.J.) that started foreign languages in middle school and offered at least 5 different languages in high school and many students took two different foreign languages simultaneously and many took 4 full high school years in at least one.

 

Where I live now foreign language classes are viewed as a box people check off for college prep but few actually expect any actual learning to take place.

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..Now this is making me curious about the international schools here...I'm pretty sure they are studying two at Jr. Hi level, but they wouldn't be grading the students at a level of maternal tongue...

 

Thought you might be interested to compare with the german international school PreK-12 in Silicon Valley. Physics, Biology and Chemistry are done all four years. German, English and Spanish/French are done for all four years too.

"The German International Abitur

The five Abitur exams (three written exams and two oral exams) are in the following subjects: German Literature, European History or Economics or Math or a Natural Science or a language. German is always part of the exams." The timetable and details for this german international school is on this link

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I see that this is an old thread, but now that it's back I'll pipe in. Our local PS offers FL only in Sr. High and ONLY up to 2 years of Spanish. No other languages or levels are available. This was a key reason in my decision to homeschool in the first place. I wanted FL available beginning in elementary, and I wanted a choice of languages.

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More statistics for you

Dual immersion program (Number of Districts and Schools by State, 2012) http://www.cal.org/t...ctory/state.htm

California Two-Way Immersion Programs Directory http://www.cde.ca.go.../directory.aspx

Texas Two Way Dual Language Education http://www.texastwoway.org/index.htm

Directory of Dual Language Programs in Illinois http://www.thecenter...-directory.html

 

For the University of California system AP credit for foreign language

"We grant credit for AP tests as described in the box below.

 

Wow, CA does give a lot of credit it seems for the AP's...

 

Thanks for those links Arcadia!

 

So if testing at an international school doesn't work out look for an American International.

 

Where I live now foreign language classes are viewed as a box people check off for college prep but few actually expect any actual learning to take place.

 

The testing I was talking about is the testing by the state, actually, which is mandatory. It would be nice if they would let kids get tested as a second language, but as it is, they test French at the maternal tongue level, and English as the third tongue level - which includes answering in French, even for foreigners who've only arrived a year ago...

 

It must feel curious to treat FL's almost as if they don't exist after you're used to lots of exposure....It's funny, when I go home, it's like a part of me doesn't exist because many of my relatives don't have to deal with this type of thing, or at least not at the same level of requirements as we do....

 

Thought you might be interested to compare with the german international school PreK-12 in Silicon Valley. Physics, Biology and Chemistry are done all four years. German, English and Spanish/French are done for all four years too.

"The German International Abitur

The five Abitur exams (three written exams and two oral exams) are in the following subjects: German Literature, European History or Economics or Math or a Natural Science or a language. German is always part of the exams." The timetable and details for this german international school is on this link

 

I'm quite impressed that there are so many Germans doing the Abitur in Silicon Valley! And thanks for the Int school link as I'd never looked at details of the Abitur, just presuming it would all be in German....But it's something that some people might be able to use for some universities here....I don't know if I'm reading it correctly, but it seems to be easier than the Swiss matu - with far fewer subjects. That's the International Version. If regentrude is reading this - I hope she'll tell me more...

 

 

I see that this is an old thread, but now that it's back I'll pipe in. Our local PS offers FL only in Sr. High and ONLY up to 2 years of Spanish. No other languages or levels are available. This was a key reason in my decision to homeschool in the first place. I wanted FL available beginning in elementary, and I wanted a choice of languages.

 

That's great that you can manage FL's already for elementary ages - do you have any tips for others? I think this is one of the hardest areas for home schoolers...

 

Thanks ladies! This topic is an ongoing issue.

 

Joan

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Yes, this is interesting.

 

Locally some of the elementary schools offer "exploratory Spanish" once a week (like art and music).

 

They offer Spanish in middle school. Then in high school they offer Spanish, French, German, and Latin.

 

No immersion programs though.

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That's great that you can manage FL's already for elementary ages - do you have any tips for others? I think this is one of the hardest areas for home schoolers...

 

Thanks ladies! This topic is an ongoing issue.

 

Joan

 

I used Rosetta Stone French for my (then) 2nd and 4th graders. The speaking, reading, and listening exercises were great for them. The written exercises became much too difficult for them toward the end of Level 1 so we had a rule "try it once, then move on". We did some written exercises from Enchanted Learning as well as from the Rosetta Stone supplemental CD. We also listen/dictate to the MP3 files in the car. While I wouldn't call it the perfect curriculum for gradeschool ages, it worked well for our family and situation. We also label various objects around the house. I haven't found a "perfect" program yet, and I've been looking. I do have a background in French but am not fluent by any means. We also do once-weekly French language movies (most of our Disney movies have French and Spanish tracks) and I bought a CD of French language songs on Amazon.

 

http://www.amazon.co...ench songs kids

 

We'll be starting Level 2 RS soon and we'll see how it goes from there. Once they get into High School I'll be looking for other High School Level courses or possibly dual enrollment.

 

I don't know yet how I'll be teaching my daughter, because I don't think I'll try RS with her until 2nd grade or so. I'm excited that the GSWL folks are introducing a French program. I'm also looking into Little Pim. For now I sing the French ABC's to her at diaper changes, as well as a few other French songs from time to time. She sits in on the weekly French language movies. (As long as she gets to hold the popcorn, she's happy)

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I used Rosetta Stone French for my (then) 2nd and 4th graders. The speaking, reading, and listening exercises were great for them. The written exercises became much too difficult for them toward the end of Level 1 so we had a rule "try it once, then move on". We did some written exercises from Enchanted Learning as well as from the Rosetta Stone supplemental CD. We also listen/dictate to the MP3 files in the car. While I wouldn't call it the perfect curriculum for gradeschool ages, it worked well for our family and situation. We also label various objects around the house.

 

snip

 

I'm excited that the GSWL folks are introducing a French program. I'm also looking into Little Pim.

 

 

(As long as she gets to hold the popcorn, she's happy)

 

Your dd sounds cute with the popcorn...and it sounds like your making a good effort....I think that how the parents embrace foreign languages can have a strong effect on the children and it can be quite positive if the parents make language learning a joyful time...That's one nice thing about starting younger....there isn't the stress of reaching a certain level so it can more 'ludique'...

 

Joan

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I haven't read all the responses yet and will go back and do so, but I just don't get why it is so hard to schedule more than 1 foreign language.

 

I went to high school in England for several years, back in late 70s and early 80s and did O levels in French, Spanish, German, History, Geography, Biology, Math, English Lit and Lang. I studied those 8/9 courses for 2 straight years and then did quite difficult exams in them - usually two 3 hour papers that involved writing 5 essays, so they were not just basic, easy classes. We also did PE each year, we had to. Our school day was not longer than the current school day in our local school. I just don't understand why students can't fit in more options these days.

 

ETA - I forgot until reading Regentrude's post that we also took Religious Education each year.

 

Also, our language teachers usually taught 2 languages, for instance French and German. They weren't all native speakers but I went on to study German A level for 1 year, before going to an American High school for my senior year, and our teacher was able to teach us German Lit also, we studied a German novel, poems and a play. I think they did a reasonable job with 2 languages I guess.

 

My dd12 is homeschooled but has been taking Spanish 1 this year at the high school, she attended the gifted program (1 day /week) when in school and has continued to do so along with homeschooling, and they allow 7th gr to do this. She has really enjoyed this class and has learned a fair amount, but when I compared what they covered to BJU Spanish 1, they covered much less over the year. This was partly due to the fact that the Spanish teacher had to teach the ps kids English grammar before she could teach them Spanish. Conjugating verbs and DO etc. took a number of weeks because the concept was unfamiliar even in English for them.

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but I just don't get why it is so hard to schedule more than 1 foreign language.

 

I think it is partly the scheduling system, partly that extracurriculars are more important in the US, and partly that languages are not a priority in many areas of the US, so they don't get the funding for more teachers and materials....

 

About the scheduling system - I haven't sat down with schedules from each country to compare exactly how it is done; I've just looked in general but still can't quite figure it out. Clearly there's something different though....

 

Joan

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I work with lots of Brits and their education is not superior-- just more specialized. Compared to the schedule listed above, for example, over the first two years of my local public school, the students would have another science, probably a physical one, like Chemistry. So, over thos 2 years, they would have: English Language and Literature for both years, Math for both years (here, the average student takes Geometry and Algebra II at the beginning of high school but, throughout the country, Algebra I and Geometry are the more typical sequence), one foreign language for two years (at my local school, the typical student is either doing level 2-3 or 3-4 in the first two years of high school), Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, U.S. Government, at least one year of art, one year of physical education/ health and two more years of *something* which could be a second foreign language, computer courses, additional science, etc. The school system here operates on 7 periods a day, so students would have 14 years of classes by then and have 2-3 hour finals in all the academic classes at the end of each year. By graduation from high school, they would have taken 28 credits.

 

At my public high school, back in the 80s, we took 8 classes at a time. By the time I graduated, I had studied three foreign languages, as had my sister. One of my kids also graduated ps with credits in 3 foreign languages (one through AP level, one through IB level and the other was Latin, of which he had a reading level). It's not that it can't be done, it's that, in public high schools, more than one foreign language is optional and few Americans are interested in doing that. They're more likely to take computer classes, for example. So schools often schedule different foreign languages at the same time because it causes a conflict for few students. This is less of a problem in large schools or school districts with a lot of foreign languages. There is a lot more interest in Europe in learning multiple foreign languages.

 

By the way, I've asked my British coworkers who have children in our public school system to compare it with theirs and none has said ours is easier than what they studied. The only problem some of them have had is transferring their child in at the high school level because I don't think the studies align well. Most of them end up having their kids finish high school in whatever system they started.

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I found this link online to old O-levels. The English language, literature, Biology, history and foreign language exams do not seem particularly difficult for the end of 10th grade.They look pretty close to what we would expect from a student in a college-prep class. (The foreign language and bio exams actually seem a bit easy to me.)

 

http://www.cie.org.u...olevel/subjects

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I think it is partly the scheduling system, partly that extracurriculars are more important in the US, and partly that languages are not a priority in many areas of the US, so they don't get the funding for more teachers and materials....

 

About the scheduling system - I haven't sat down with schedules from each country to compare exactly how it is done; I've just looked in general but still can't quite figure it out. Clearly there's something different though....

 

 

Yes, scheduling is definitely to blame. The standard in the US is to spend one period per day on each subject, with identical schedules for every day, and that allows students to take only 6-7 subjects concurrently. Foreign languages have to be studied on a continuing basis to make it worth it - so i can see why it would be impossible to fit in two foreign languages with this scheduling system.

 

In contrast, in Germany students take 12 or so different subjects concurrently every single year. This is possible because NOT every subject is taught at the same time for one period every.day.of.the.week. Students have different schedules for each weekday, with varying numbers of periods for each day, and varying sequences of subjects. At high school level, a student would take four periods of math, four of German, two of each of the three core sciences, three of each foreign language (I looked up those numbers for another thread recently, but can't find it and am in a hurry), plus 1 period of art and music each, two periods each of history, government and ethics, PE.

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Our district offers Spanish starting in 7th, and then the high schools offer Spanish, French, and German. The high school in the town to the south of ours that is considered the best in the area offers those 3 plus Japanese, Chinese, and Latin.

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My vote isn't 100 percent accurate, but since there was no "other" I voted Sr High school only. We don't even have jr or sr high's here, but elementary, middle & high schools.

 

Here honours students can take Honours Spanish 1 in gr 8, which is usually jr high or middle school. If jr high includes gr 9, which I saw when I lived in CA for a while in the 1970s (bring out the violin ;) ), then yes to both, and, in fact, mulitple languages for jr high.

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I work with lots of Brits and their education is not superior-- just more specialized. Compared to the schedule listed above, for example, over the first two years of my local public school, the students would have another science, probably a physical one, like Chemistry. So, over thos 2 years, they would have: English Language and Literature for both years, Math for both years (here, the average student takes Geometry and Algebra II at the beginning of high school but, throughout the country, Algebra I and Geometry are the more typical sequence), one foreign language for two years (at my local school, the typical student is either doing level 2-3 or 3-4 in the first two years of high school), Biology, Chemistry, U.S. History, U.S. Government, at least one year of art, one year of physical education/ health and two more years of *something* which could be a second foreign language, computer courses, additional science, etc. The school system here operates on 7 periods a day, so students would have 14 years of classes by then and have 2-3 hour finals in all the academic classes at the end of each year. By graduation from high school, they would have taken 28 credits.

 

At my public high school, back in the 80s, we took 8 classes at a time. By the time I graduated, I had studied three foreign languages, as had my sister. One of my kids also graduated ps with credits in 3 foreign languages (one through AP level, one through IB level and the other was Latin, of which he had a reading level). It's not that it can't be done, it's that, in public high schools, more than one foreign language is optional and few Americans are interested in doing that. They're more likely to take computer classes, for example. So schools often schedule different foreign languages at the same time because it causes a conflict for few students. This is less of a problem in large schools or school districts with a lot of foreign languages. There is a lot more interest in Europe in learning multiple foreign languages.

 

By the way, I've asked my British coworkers who have children in our public school system to compare it with theirs and none has said ours is easier than what they studied. The only problem some of them have had is transferring their child in at the high school level because I don't think the studies align well. Most of them end up having their kids finish high school in whatever system they started.

I found this link online to old O-levels. The English language, literature, Biology, history and foreign language exams do not seem particularly difficult for the end of 10th grade.They look pretty close to what we would expect from a student in a college-prep class. (The foreign language and bio exams actually seem a bit easy to me.)

 

http://www.cie.org.u...olevel/subjects

 

Interesting comparisons....It does seem like the A-levels are quite specialized...I'll have to read more. That exam link is very useful for comparisons! Thanks! Joan

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Yes, scheduling is definitely to blame. The standard in the US is to spend one period per day on each subject, with identical schedules for every day, and that allows students to take only 6-7 subjects concurrently. Foreign languages have to be studied on a continuing basis to make it worth it - so i can see why it would be impossible to fit in two foreign languages with this scheduling system.

 

In contrast, in Germany students take 12 or so different subjects concurrently every single year. This is possible because NOT every subject is taught at the same time for one period every.day.of.the.week. Students have different schedules for each weekday, with varying numbers of periods for each day, and varying sequences of subjects. At high school level, a student would take four periods of math, four of German, two of each of the three core sciences, three of each foreign language (I looked up those numbers for another thread recently, but can't find it and am in a hurry), plus 1 period of art and music each, two periods each of history, government and ethics, PE.

 

 

I guess I'm so time/credit oriented, it's hard to understand how this works....and how it differs from block scheduling for example. Is it really any different? And when you say "four periods of math"...And varying numbers of periods - each period is still the same amount of time, right?

 

Joan

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I guess I'm so time/credit oriented, it's hard to understand how this works....and how it differs from block scheduling for example. Is it really any different? And when you say "four periods of math"...And varying numbers of periods - each period is still the same amount of time, right?

 

Each period is 45 minutes. It has absolutely nothing to do with block scheduling, because all subjects are taught every week. Not every subject is taught daily, but every subject is taught for the required number of periods each week.

Every day of the week has a different schedule and often differing numbers of class periods.

Sometimes a subject is scheduled for two consecutive periods on the same day.

A typical schedule could look like this:

 

Monday - 6 periods. Math, German, English, Biology, Art, PE

Tuesday- 7 periods: double Math, French, Physics, Ethics/Religion, History, Music

Wednesday - 6 periods: double English, German, Physics, Biology, Government

Thursday - 7 periods: Math, French, Chemistry, History, Geography, Econ, PE

Friday - 6 periods: double German, Chemistry, French, History, Geography

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Yes, scheduling is definitely to blame. The standard in the US is to spend one period per day on each subject, with identical schedules for every day, and that allows students to take only 6-7 subjects concurrently. Foreign languages have to be studied on a continuing basis to make it worth it - so i can see why it would be impossible to fit in two foreign languages with this scheduling system.

 

In contrast, in Germany students take 12 or so different subjects concurrently every single year. This is possible because NOT every subject is taught at the same time for one period every.day.of.the.week. Students have different schedules for each weekday, with varying numbers of periods for each day, and varying sequences of subjects. At high school level, a student would take four periods of math, four of German, two of each of the three core sciences, three of each foreign language (I looked up those numbers for another thread recently, but can't find it and am in a hurry), plus 1 period of art and music each, two periods each of history, government and ethics, PE.

 

In some schools, it is even worse. My high school only offered 5 classes per day. With the math, English, science, every year and a fourth period taken by mandatory classes (history, govt, phys ed, etc), students had to choose between music/art and a first foreign language. A second was out of the question.

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Each period is 45 minutes. It has absolutely nothing to do with block scheduling, because all subjects are taught every week. Not every subject is taught daily, but every subject is taught for the required number of periods each week.

Every day of the week has a different schedule and often differing numbers of class periods.

Sometimes a subject is scheduled for two consecutive periods on the same day.

A typical schedule could look like this:

 

Monday - 6 periods. Math, German, English, Biology, Art, PE

Tuesday- 7 periods: double Math, French, Physics, Ethics/Religion, History, Music

Wednesday - 6 periods: double English, German, Physics, Biology, Government

Thursday - 7 periods: Math, French, Chemistry, History, Geography, Econ, PE

Friday - 6 periods: double German, Chemistry, French, History, Geography

 

The high school my son attended follows a rotating schedule similar to this, except the first period of the day is fixed as students from three different schools may travel to other schools for a class (advanced wind ensemble, AP Latin, etc).

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I found this link online to old O-levels. The English language, literature, Biology, history and foreign language exams do not seem particularly difficult for the end of 10th grade.They look pretty close to what we would expect from a student in a college-prep class. (The foreign language and bio exams actually seem a bit easy to me.)

 

http://www.cie.org.u...olevel/subjects

 

Yeah they seem fairly easy to me now as an adult, didn't seem so at the time though, as a 16 year old.

 

ETA I can't seem to find any old O-levels at the link above, all I could see was 2011 as the oldest. Where did you see them? I did mine in 1980.

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In some schools, it is even worse. My high school only offered 5 classes per day. With the math, English, science, every year and a fourth period taken by mandatory classes (history, govt, phys ed, etc), students had to choose between music/art and a first foreign language. A second was out of the question.

 

Our high school only offers 4 classes per semester, but crams in an entire year's worth of material into it. The only way to go full time and to take more is to do dual enrollment or do homeschooling on top of it. My 15 yo, who worked very hard to get to go to pubic high school (lots of goals she had to meet in a number of areas) is doing dual enrollment with ps & cc in order to get more classes in so that she can get more electives in her freshman and sophomore years. It will actually hurt her class ranking, since it means she's taking her foreign language at cc, which means it doesn't count for her GPA or class rankin and so far she's repeating what she learned in Hon Span 1 in gr 8. She wasn't allowed to enroll in the second course, but on the sheet handed out by the instructor, it said kids like her should be in the second semester. Her extra electives don't come in honours levels, and the top 10 percent has many kids who are very close in GPAs spread out as they determine your GPA to 4 points to the right of the decimal point.

 

These are a few of the many reasons I would be much happier had my middle daughter chosen to continue homeschooling, at least part time if not full time, and partly why I've insisted that ds start ps part time (and ideally stay that way throughout.) We do have some excellent honours and AP classes, particularly in math, at least for level; the AP math teacher was fairly abysmal, and it was the first time it really mattered for dd to have a good one.

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In my district, you can take a foreign language "preparatory" course in 7th or 8th in Chinese, Spanish, French, or German. These courses earn no high school credit. In 8th, you can take French, Spanish, or German 1 for high school credit. The high schools offer Chinese 1, Spanish 1-5, French 1-5, German 1-5, and Latin 1-4.

 

As far as requirements, the diploma requirements for my state list one credit (one year) of foreign language OR Career and Technical Education. The course catalogs for the schools say that students planning to go to college must have two credits in the same foreign language, preferably three.

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I found this link online to old O-levels. The English language, literature, Biology, history and foreign language exams do not seem particularly difficult for the end of 10th grade.They look pretty close to what we would expect from a student in a college-prep class. (The foreign language and bio exams actually seem a bit easy to me.)

 

http://www.cie.org.u...olevel/subjects

 

It's interesting as it does seem to involve a lot of writing compared to the SAT II, at the same time, it seems like there are more verb tenses covered for the SAT II...

 

Some of the topics from a SAT II review book - I think I agree with the analysis that they go into depth more in the UK but that it is not harder per se...Still this is for SAT II, the level before AP, so perhaps taken a year later than O-levels... Joan

 

Chapter 8

Verbs

L'indicatif

L'impératif

Le passé composé

L'imparfait

Le plus-que-parfait

Le futur proche

Le futur

Le conditionnel

L'infinitif

Le participe présent

Les verbes pronominaux

Two Other Past Tenses of the Indicative

Chapter 9

The Subjunctive

Formation: Regular Verbs

Uses of the Subjunctive in Subordinate Clauses

Uses of Subjunctive after Certain Conjunctions

Le passé du subjonctif

Chapter 10

Adverbs

Formation of Adverbs

Irregular Forms

Placement of the Adverb

Comparative of Adverbs

The Superlative

Some Common Adverbs

Interrogative Adverbs

Adverbs that Connect Nouns, Phrases, and Clauses

Chapter 11

Prepositions and Conjunctions

Prepositions

Compound Prepositions

Prepositions with Geographic Names

Common Verbs + Preposition + Infinitive

Conjunctions

Chapter 12

Basic Idiomatic Expressions

Expressions with avoir

Expressions with faire

Impersonal Expressions with il

Idiomatic Expressions with être

The Verb manquer

Measuring Time with depuis/depuis que

Connaître and savoir

Miscellaneous Expressions

Chapter 13

Negation

Positive and Negative Adverbial Expressions

Quelque chose de/rien de + Adjective

Chapter 14

Useful Vocabulary

School (L'école)

Animals (Un animal; Les animaux)

The Body (Le corps)

The City (La ville)

Clothing (Les vêtements)

Colors (Les couleurs)

Drinks (Les boissons)

The Family (La famille)

Foods (Les aliments)

Illnesses (Les maladies)

Professions, Occupations (Les professions, les métiers)

Sports/Leisure (Les sports et les passe-temps)

Countries (Les pays)

Professions (Les professions)

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It's interesting as it does seem to involve a lot of writing compared to the SAT II, at the same time, it seems like there are more verb tenses covered for the SAT II...

 

Some of the topics from a SAT II review book - I think I agree with the analysis that they go into depth more in the UK but that it is not harder per se...

 

O Levels for english and other languages aren't hard. Just a lot of writing. I easily clock in more than 2,500 words for my english paper's composition section.

There is however plenty of writing for math and sciences. Writing of proofs is part of the math exams. There are laboratory exams for O Level Biology, Physics and Chemistry. I can't remember if there is any multiple choice questions in O Levels as it is so rare to have MCQ for any exam.

 

ETA:

I didn't had time to count how many words I wrote for my chinese composition exam for O Levels. Some students took three languages for O Levels. The third languages commonly taken for my batch was French, German, Japanese, Bahasa Malayu and Punjabi.

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I don't think the current exams taken in England at the moment are called O levels anymore. I think they are GCSEs, which I think are supposed to be a combination of O level and the old CSEs which were the exams that were less difficult than O levels.

 

It was interesting to see the difference in the difficulty of the 1980 and present Math exams. I don't know how the current language ones compare to the old O levels. It seemed pretty obvious to me that the current math exams were less difficult. When I did O levels, the only thing that counted was your final exam. Now, I think, they also count course work towards your final grade.

 

ETA - Sorry this is off topic from the initial ? but interesting to me.

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I see that this is an old thread, but now that it's back I'll pipe in. Our local PS offers FL only in Sr. High and ONLY up to 2 years of Spanish. No other languages or levels are available. This was a key reason in my decision to homeschool in the first place. I wanted FL available beginning in elementary, and I wanted a choice of languages.

This. We have the same thing here and it was one of the main reasons we chose to homeschool.

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Sadly, our local schools offer no foreign language whatsoever. There's only English and French and neither of those is a foreign language.

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I don't think the current exams taken in England at the moment are called O levels anymore. I think they are GCSEs, which I think are supposed to be a combination of O level and the old CSEs which were the exams that were less difficult than O levels.

 

 

You're right about the name change - and I recently read that they are thinking of changing the name again... to I levels

 

It's interesting to me too as I periodically toy with the idea of dd doing them/A-levels for certain subjects instead of AP's and I know there is a girl doing them here because the mom thought it was easier than doing the AP/diploma route...

 

Joan

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O Levels for english and other languages aren't hard. Just a lot of writing. I easily clock in more than 2,500 words for my english paper's composition section.

There is however plenty of writing for math and sciences. Writing of proofs is part of the math exams. There are laboratory exams for O Level Biology, Physics and Chemistry. I can't remember if there is any multiple choice questions in O Levels as it is so rare to have MCQ for any exam.

 

 

The emphasis on expression is interesting to me....do you think of using British materials for writing? and if so, which ones?

 

Joan

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If you are in public school here you are required to take french from gr 4-9, high school gives you more options of other foreign languages. They do offer a 3 year french in high school for those that eitehr repeatedly failed the gr 4-9 requirement or that never took it before, or they have the extention of that 4-9 program making it a total 9 year french program rather than 3. same level of material taught, the 3 year just uses the first year to teach everything that was taught in gr 4-9. In high school they also offer german, spanish, cree, ukranian etc depending on which school you attend. I think some junior highs are starting to offer more options than just french as well, though french is still the rquirement.

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If you are in public school here you are required to take french from gr 4-9, high school gives you more options of other foreign languages. They do offer a 3 year french in high school for those that eitehr repeatedly failed the gr 4-9 requirement or that never took it before, or they have the extention of that 4-9 program making it a total 9 year french program rather than 3. same level of material taught, the 3 year just uses the first year to teach everything that was taught in gr 4-9. In high school they also offer german, spanish, cree, ukranian etc depending on which school you attend. I think some junior highs are starting to offer more options than just french as well, though french is still the rquirement.

 

These kids sound like they have the possibility of having a pretty good grasp of the language by the time they finish school. Having said that, I do think it is possible to do well in the local school here, in MO, if you really apply yourself and have a natural aptitude. My nephew took 4 years of Spanish at high school and was starting to get fairly fluent by the end. He then went on to study Spanish at college, as a minor, and, last year, married a lovely girl from Mexico. So now he really is fluent. He applied himself well to the course though. But of course that is only 1 FL. I don't think any of the kids here do more than 1 in school, and I think they only offer French and Spanish. I really think it's a shame that scheduling prevents kids doing more than 1.

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The emphasis on expression is interesting to me....do you think of using British materials for writing? and if so, which ones?

 

Joan

 

I am assuming you are asking about writing in the languages exams. What is interesting is that hubby and I do not have any writing curriculum growing up. There is none now too for my nephews and nieces.

For 1st to 6th grade, composition was done in class or as homework at least once a week in a exercise book/composition book. Teachers will mark with the infamous red pen and grade it. There are tests and exams four times a year which include composition as part of the exam.

For 7th grade onwards, composition is done on foolscap/college ruled paper, once a week usually as homework and graded. We have composition exams twice a year.

So the volume of writing assignments that are critically graded is very high. Summer and winter holidays homework includes writing assignments that are also graded. We always joke about red ink all over our papers. Teachers are given red pens as presents for Teachers Day.

Grammar and vocabulary are given strong emphasis in elementary grades for language arts. At the upper levels the focus switch more to refinement of the essay. Vocabulary enrichment, organisation of the essay, preparing of drafts and proofreading of own's work. All the different types of writing are covered and practised.

ETA:

Our science, literature, history, geography and all the other subjects teachers will correct grammar mistakes in our work too. And if our grammar is bad, our other subject teachers will complain to our english teacher which means remedial english classes after school. The ratio was 1 teacher to 40~45 students for 1st to 10th. Grade 11~12 was taught university lecture style so 1 to 400 for lecture and 1 to 25 for tutorials.

ETA:

The below link is an Australia study on high frequency words used by 3rd and 4th graders in their writing. While the article is partially advertising OUP's wordlist, it is still an interesting read of how vocabulary affects writing.

http://au.oup.com/do...mary Report.pdf

This one is for the younger grades and also brings up interesting points about how daily life affects the words used compared to more than 30 years ago.

http://au.oup.com/do...st_Research.pdf

ETA:

For argumentative writing, we have mini debates in class. The teacher would put out a topic like "Money is the root of all evil" and we would have a lively debate about it in class and than write an argumentative essay for homework. A funny topic we had for school exams was "Is love required for a successful marriage". Many science track kids chose that topic and had great marks. The science track and art track kids attacked the topic differently.

Another thing that I found which would put the effort on the teacher rather than the curriculum:

"Writing is an interactive skill, which relies on an audience (reader) to provide feedback;

Written style develops as the writer reads more and gains more experience;

Everyone approaches writing in a different way; there is no 'set formula' for writing an essay, dissertation or thesis;" (link)

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I am assuming you are asking about writing in the languages exams. What is interesting is that hubby and I do not have any writing curriculum growing up. There is none now too for my nephews and nieces.

For 1st to 6th grade, composition was done in class or as homework at least once a week in a exercise book/composition book. Teachers will mark with the infamous red pen and grade it. There are tests and exams four times a year which include composition as part of the exam.

For 7th grade onwards, composition is done on foolscap/college ruled paper, once a week usually as homework and graded. We have composition exams twice a year.

So the volume of writing assignments that are critically graded is very high. Summer and winter holidays homework includes writing assignments that are also graded. We always joke about red ink all over our papers. Teachers are given red pens as presents for Teachers Day.

Grammar and vocabulary are given strong emphasis in elementary grades for language arts. At the upper levels the focus switch more to refinement of the essay. Vocabulary enrichment, organisation of the essay, preparing of drafts and proofreading of own's work. All the different types of writing are covered and practised.

ETA:

Our science, literature, history, geography and all the other subjects teachers will correct grammar mistakes in our work too. And if our grammar is bad, our other subject teachers will complain to our english teacher which means remedial english classes after school. The ratio was 1 teacher to 40~45 students for 1st to 10th. Grade 11~12 was taught university lecture style so 1 to 400 for lecture and 1 to 25 for tutorials.

ETA:

The below link is an Australia study on high frequency words used by 3rd and 4th graders in their writing. While the article is partially advertising OUP's wordlist, it is still an interesting read of how vocabulary affects writing.

http://au.oup.com/do...mary Report.pdf

This one is for the younger grades and also brings up interesting points about how daily life affects the words used compared to more than 30 years ago.

http://au.oup.com/do...st_Research.pdf

ETA:

For argumentative writing, we have mini debates in class. The teacher would put out a topic like "Money is the root of all evil" and we would have a lively debate about it in class and than write an argumentative essay for homework. A funny topic we had for school exams was "Is love required for a successful marriage". Many science track kids chose that topic and had great marks. The science track and art track kids attacked the topic differently.

Another thing that I found which would put the effort on the teacher rather than the curriculum:

"Writing is an interactive skill, which relies on an audience (reader) to provide feedback;

Written style develops as the writer reads more and gains more experience;

Everyone approaches writing in a different way; there is no 'set formula' for writing an essay, dissertation or thesis;" (link)

 

Arcadia - I like all your ETA's ! quite interesting information...The idea of having mini debates first and then writing about it seems like a good idea too. The thoughts are there and then the emphasis is learning how to write about them...I'd always felt like I was cheating if I discussed something before having dc write about it....

 

Thanks for all the info!

Joan

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The thoughts are there and then the emphasis is learning how to write about them...I'd always felt like I was cheating if I discussed something before having dc write about it....

 

We have engaging discourses not only for languages but also for literature. Since we are "in school" why not tap on everyone's life experiences, perspective and pick each others brains in a non-competitive manner.

In the working world, I would need to draft my technical marketing slides, run them by my colleagues, improved on them before presenting to the clients. I view writing the same way; my kids brainstorm, we have a discussion, and they write it their way/style.

 

ETA:

My personal experience is that it works for all languages, the more discourses and verbal sparring the faster the improvement. It is like trying to win Scrabble. To optimism the score, the person can increase their vocabulary through reading more or vocabulary work. I find reading, vocabulary and writing feeds on each other.

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We have engaging discourses not only for languages but also for literature. Since we are "in school" why not tap on everyone's life experiences, perspective and pick each others brains in a non-competitive manner.

In the working world, I would need to draft my technical marketing slides, run them by my colleagues, improved on them before presenting to the clients. I view writing the same way; my kids brainstorm, we have a discussion, and they write it their way/style.

 

ETA:

My personal experience is that it works for all languages, the more discourses and verbal sparring the faster the improvement. It is like trying to win Scrabble. To optimism the score, the person can increase their vocabulary through reading more or vocabulary work. I find reading, vocabulary and writing feeds on each other.

 

 

I hope you've written about this in some English threads - it's quite a novel idea to me and it would probably help others!

 

Thank you!

Joan

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I'd always felt like I was cheating if I discussed something before having dc write about it....

 

This comment brings to mind something else. The teaching of philosophy was kind of integrated/embedded into Languages. That might have affected my viewpoint of writing.

There is a UNESCO article "Teaching Philosophy in Europe and North America" that might interest you. Page 52 has a case study on Bern's Bienne Gymnase.

http://unesdoc.unesc...140/214089e.pdf

ETA:

This is another interesting one about philosophy club in middle school.

http://www.washingto...0010301690.html

ETA:

Not sure how it is done here in the states, my junior college (11th-12th grade) covered resume, curriculum vitae and cover letters as part of language. My classmates basically graduated high school with a vetted copy of their resume.

Etymology was also integrated into language classes.

This point is purely a difference in education system issue (which there is no right or wrong). Since there was no social promotion and there are high stakes national exams for Singapore in 3rd grade and 6th grade, the kids entered 4th grade and 7th grade with a minimum baseline. Grade retention for languages if needed is done at 6th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade. The students repeat the the year, pass the language minimum and move on. While there is no way to guarantee all the public school students would reach a high proficiency in languages, there is a decent basic proficiency by the time they finish 10th grade and opt for an academic or more technical track. It is harder to fall through the cracks and teachers are not penalise for "poor student performance".

Student performance is pretty much micro-managed by the ministry of education. Kids academic performance are tracked in school like their growth charts. Once a child fall off the charts, "warnings" go off. Another thing is that because of the level of performance management, a child that had an F for 1st grade and subsequently gets a D in 2nd grade is considered a "well done" job by the teacher. Performance of the school is partially gauge by the improvements by the students rather than how many students entered 1st grade as A students and graduate out of elementary school as A students.

Since my boys german school separates the kids by proficiency instead of age, my kids would have to earn their promotion to a higher level class.

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This comment brings to mind something else. The teaching of philosophy was kind of integrated/embedded into Languages. That might have affected my viewpoint of writing.

There is a UNESCO article "Teaching Philosophy in Europe and North America" that might interest you. Page 52 has a case study on Bern's Bienne Gymnase.

http://unesdoc.unesc...140/214089e.pdf

ETA:

This is another interesting one about philosophy club in middle school.

http://www.washingto...0010301690.html

ETA:

Not sure how it is done here in the states, my junior college (11th-12th grade) covered resume, curriculum vitae and cover letters as part of language. My classmates basically graduated high school with a vetted copy of their resume.

Etymology was also integrated into language classes.

This point is purely a difference in education system issue (which there is no right or wrong). Since there was no social promotion and there are high stakes national exams for Singapore in 3rd grade and 6th grade, the kids entered 4th grade and 7th grade with a minimum baseline. Grade retention for languages if needed is done at 6th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade. The students repeat the the year, pass the language minimum and move on. While there is no way to guarantee all the public school students would reach a high proficiency in languages, there is a decent basic proficiency by the time they finish 10th grade and opt for an academic or more technical track. It is harder to fall through the cracks and teachers are not penalise for "poor student performance".

Student performance is pretty much micro-managed by the ministry of education. Kids academic performance are tracked in school like their growth charts. Once a child fall off the charts, "warnings" go off. Another thing is that because of the level of performance management, a child that had an F for 1st grade and subsequently gets a D in 2nd grade is considered a "well done" job by the teacher. Performance of the school is partially gauge by the improvements by the students rather than how many students entered 1st grade as A students and graduate out of elementary school as A students.

Since my boys german school separates the kids by proficiency instead of age, my kids would have to earn their promotion to a higher level class.

 

Hi Arcadia!

 

I thought at first you meant Philosophy of Education (as that's a big interest for me) but found it was just Philosophy :-) - still, it's amazing what you uncover, and so close to home. Anything that can make this system more transparent to me is helpful...I hope to read that document in it's entirety this summer when I have more time to really think and plan for next year...There are deeper questions in life that people aren't addressing with just math, science, etc - so I guess these topics for grade school already get kids thinking...What is the answer to all the materialism in society? how to get kids beyond a consumer society - if the powers that be are not interested in having that happen? Big potential advantage of homeschool...

 

Some relatives are teachers and they are seeing this penalization for poor student performance in the US...one is even penalized for the condition of the whole grade even though he had nothing to do with teaching most of them (high school level). That is quite a different approach than what you are describing... I just don't see how it's possible to separate out student performance if things happening at home are not under control and blame just the teachers. But then if you just have an improvement gauge, I think that's more realistic...as the home situation would be the same, then they are not asking for miracles...

 

Thank you for your interesting ETA's and comments!

Joan

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ETA:

Found some interesting foreign language teaching methology articles.

174 pages "Success with Foreign Language: Seven who achieved it and what worked for them"

http://www-01.sil.org/lingualinks/languagelearning/booksbackinprint/successwithforeignlanguages/success.pdf

29 page U of Leeds article

http://www.education.leeds.ac.uk/assets/files/staff/papers/LTR-10-1.pdf

Foreign language teaching methods

http://dspace.uah.es/dspace/bitstream/handle/10017/895/Foreign;jsessionid=2F8A28BE0719E6C1DFBBF321D5B73130?sequence=1

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ETA:

Found some interesting foreign language teaching methology articles.

174 pages "Success with Foreign Language: Seven who achieved it and what worked for them"

http://www-01.sil.org/lingualinks/languagelearning/booksbackinprint/successwithforeignlanguages/success.pdf

29 page U of Leeds article

http://www.education.leeds.ac.uk/assets/files/staff/papers/LTR-10-1.pdf

Foreign language teaching methods

http://dspace.uah.es/dspace/bitstream/handle/10017/895/Foreign;jsessionid=2F8A28BE0719E6C1DFBBF321D5B73130?sequence=1

 

Arcadia those are very useful documents - esp the first one where they divide up the different kinds of learners which gives lots of learning strategies.

 

Thank you!!!

Joan

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