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  #201  
Old 09.03.2021, 21:54
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

Would be a very interesting discussion- for another thread.
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  #202  
Old 09.03.2021, 21:55
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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Would be a very interesting discussion- for another thread.
I'm afraid somebody would hijack that too....
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  #203  
Old 09.03.2021, 22:42
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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I'm afraid somebody would hijack that too....
Hopefully if they had a modicum of respect they would refrain from doing that.
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  #204  
Old 09.03.2021, 23:08
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

Jackie - I think you may be confusing phonics ( how kids are now taught to read) and phonetics which is the study of speech sounds. I didn't learn phonetics in my MFL classes but did learn phonetics in my later study of linguistics.
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  #205  
Old 09.03.2021, 23:22
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

No, not at all
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  #206  
Old 10.03.2021, 03:04
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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Haha right at the bottom. Is that the result of having teachers that don't have English as a mother tong?
I'd have thought that having a foreign modern language as one's mother "tong" might well be an advantage when teaching foreign modern languages.
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  #207  
Old 10.03.2021, 07:35
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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I would suspect the UK is worse at teaching languages than any other country in Europe with the possible exception of France.
Is it possible you were thinking of the English language?

Yes, the French are always at the bottom of the stats. Usually in the same group with the major Romance languages speakers i.e. Italians and Spaniards. They don't really do English, might do other languages though, I don't know. Here, the English proficiency index within EU seems to confirm your real life experiences.

https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/03/...eaking-english

Even so, despite of what you may think, you have the best English speakers in Europe. I mean non-native speakers.
Btw, why would any Briton learn foreign or modern languages if they rarely need them? English is the facto lingua franca. Imagine the world is your oyster - literally. lol And don't forget many countries have historical regions where people are functional bilinguals. I bet they don't even perceive any of the languages they speak daily in various contexts as "foreign" if you ask them.

Apart from teaching methods and self-assessments, is motivation playing any role here? I think it might.

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  #208  
Old 10.03.2021, 08:26
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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I'd have thought that having a foreign modern language as one's mother "tong" might well be an advantage when teaching foreign modern languages.
That was the biggest problem with a lot of the foreign language teachers in the U.K.. Half of them had probably never even set foot in the country of the language they were teaching.
They were fine for teaching writing and grammar as they had studied that but anything involving speaking and communication was a total disaster.
When I was doing my french oí level, which was admittedly a long time ago, we had a French foreign exchange student teacher who did speaking practice with us in the few weeks preceding the exams, thatís all the exposure to proper french we ever got.

When I was living in Belgium I went to conversational french classes for fun. One of the ladies there who was considerably younger than me had been a secondary school french teacher in the U.K. and quite frankly I was appalled by her level of spoken french. It was atrocious.
If that was the level of teaching in U.K. schools itís no wonder British kids arenít great at languages.
There is (or was) far too much focus on the written stuff and not enough focus on speaking and communication.

Having said that based on my observations here the same goes for English teaching in schools in Romandie.
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  #209  
Old 10.03.2021, 08:27
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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I'd have thought that having a foreign modern language as one's mother "tong" might well be an advantage when teaching foreign modern languages.
Depends if they can communicate in the language of there people they are teaching, 1 x 45 min twice a week is very different from full emersion, especially at beginner level which is about as far as 90% of Brits ever achieve.
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  #210  
Old 10.03.2021, 08:31
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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When I was living in Belgium I went to conversational french classes for fun. One of the ladies there who was considerably younger than me had been a secondary school french teacher in the U.K. and quite frankly I was appalled by her level of spoken french. It was atrocious.
12 years ago, my daughter and I did a road trip to France (Orange) to meet up with her US French class (she had done 6 months in the US at a public highschool having finished her Swiss obligatory, and hadn't found an apprenticeship yet).

I was appalled at the level of spoken French of the teacher!

I was also the tour guide, as I had lived there for a year when 15/16, and knew the place like the back of my hand.

Tom
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  #211  
Old 10.03.2021, 08:33
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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English is the facto lingua franca.
Not in any Swiss company that I've ever worked for, French is.

Tom
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  #212  
Old 10.03.2021, 08:49
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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That was the biggest problem with a lot of the foreign language teachers in the U.K.. Half of them had probably never even set foot in the country of the language they were teaching.
They were fine for teaching writing and grammar as they had studied that but anything involving speaking and communication was a total disaster.
Might be or could have been the problem with other places too. I think all these Erasmus and other student exchange programmes have changes a lot of things lately, so you might be surprised today.

I studied French and English in school - the best were always the French language teachers but we were a little bit less motivated even back then I think. I think French lost terrain back home (this is my perception but I might be wrong), it's a pity. The English language teachers were pretty good in general, but you could also have a total disaster of a teacher with a "Russian" accent - I had one of these in the 11th grade in high-school. Poor thing was from a region where they speak with a thick accent anyway, we were simply distracted by her accent.
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  #213  
Old 10.03.2021, 10:12
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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That was the biggest problem with a lot of the foreign language teachers in the U.K.. Half of them had probably never even set foot in the country of the language they were teaching.
They were fine for teaching writing and grammar as they had studied that but anything involving speaking and communication was a total disaster.
When I was doing my french oí level, which was admittedly a long time ago, we had a French foreign exchange student teacher who did speaking practice with us in the few weeks preceding the exams, thatís all the exposure to proper french we ever got.

When I was living in Belgium I went to conversational french classes for fun. One of the ladies there who was considerably younger than me had been a secondary school french teacher in the U.K. and quite frankly I was appalled by her level of spoken french. It was atrocious.
If that was the level of teaching in U.K. schools itís no wonder British kids arenít great at languages.
There is (or was) far too much focus on the written stuff and not enough focus on speaking and communication.

Having said that based on my observations here the same goes for English teaching in schools in Romandie.
Obviously when you want to study a language at an intermediate to advanced level the teacher should be a native speaker or at least approaching native level.

But I think when it comes to teaching the first step, it often helps to have a teacher from your own language who can empathize with your difficulties and see where you're coming from. The more exotic the language, the more valid this is.

My sister is learning Chinese and she says the teacher is a Chinese lady who is very sweet and well meaning but half the time doesn't understand the questions the pupils are asking and offers explanations that are not one bit helpful.
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  #214  
Old 10.03.2021, 10:22
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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Not in any Swiss company that I've ever worked for, French is.

Tom
You know what I meant.
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  #215  
Old 10.03.2021, 10:43
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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Obviously when you want to study a language at an intermediate to advanced level the teacher should be a native speaker or at least approaching native level.

But I think when it comes to teaching the first step, it often helps to have a teacher from your own language who can empathize with your difficulties and see where you're coming from. The more exotic the language, the more valid this is.

My sister is learning Chinese and she says the teacher is a Chinese lady who is very sweet and well meaning but half the time doesn't understand the questions the pupils are asking and offers explanations that are not one bit helpful.
I agree.
For the younger kids it’s absolutely fine but I think once they’ve got the basics and are studying for GCSE etc then the teachers need to be able to communicate orally effectively in the target language. The emphasis is still far too much on the written stuff and not oral communication in the UK my opinion and for the more advanced oral communication having a native speaker as a teacher is a massive advantage.

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Might be or could have been the problem with other places too. I think all these Erasmus and other student exchange programmes have changes a lot of things lately, so you might be surprised today.
Based on the experience of my nephews and nieces and grandchildren I don’t think it’s changed much to be honest.
Sure , the teachers are more well travelled than they were in my day and have more experience of the language ‘in situ’ but there is still not enough spoken communication done in schools in the UK.
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  #216  
Old 10.03.2021, 10:56
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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I agree.
For the younger kids itís absolutely fine but I think once theyíve got the basics and are studying for GCSE etc then the teachers need to be able to communicate orally effectively in the target language. The emphasis is still far too much on the written stuff and not oral communication in the UK my opinion and for the more advanced oral communication having a native speaker as a teacher is a massive advantage.
My wife has revisited French lessons, her written level is at least B2. however really can't communicate orally with French people. She was most annoyed when the electrician asked her to phone me as she did not speak French unlike her husband Same story in shops, she has no idea of what the other person is talking about. Annoyingly her French tracker insists on written grammar, although she is now happy with the subjunctive.
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  #217  
Old 10.03.2021, 11:43
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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Based on the experience of my nephews and nieces and grandchildren I donít think itís changed much to be honest.
Sure , the teachers are more well travelled than they were in my day and have more experience of the language Ďin situí but there is still not enough spoken communication done in schools in the UK.
I think your mileage may vary depending on the school and the individual style of the teacher. My nieces in the Uk seem to be doing lots of French conversation and even learning French songs and are presently working on a French play. But I think it takes a certain type of teacher to do that, and also a class that cooperates and has the enthusiasm.

Kids in most of Europe are exposed to English in movies, music and popular culture from an early age, and so absorb a certain quantity of the language without even making an effort. How much French or German will an average kid growing up in the UK encounter outside of school?
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  #218  
Old 10.03.2021, 11:46
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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My wife has revisited French lessons, her written level is at least B2. however really can't communicate orally with French people. She was most annoyed when the electrician asked her to phone me as she did not speak French unlike her husband Same story in shops, she has no idea of what the other person is talking about. Annoyingly her French tracker insists on written grammar, although she is now happy with the subjunctive.
If you don't practice of course you have no confidence. Maybe she could find some group or activity where she could practice her French more? Some people are perfectionists, this sounds so much like my mom.
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  #219  
Old 10.03.2021, 11:48
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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Based on the experience of my nephews and nieces and grandchildren I donít think itís changed much to be honest.
Sure , the teachers are more well travelled than they were in my day and have more experience of the language Ďin situí but there is still not enough spoken communication done in schools in the UK.
This is interesting. And it is the case with my grandchildren's schools- where Grammar Schools are still the norm, and where the schools they go to are very 'academic' and French/German/Spanish teaching seem to be delivered by those who have been taught with the 'grammar' versus 'communication method and teachers who do not seem to master that language.

My experience is very different. I did My B.Ed.Hons Degree in a UK County which was the first to abolish Grammar Schools and go Comprehensive- and one of the first to switch to Graded Assessment, which basically gave 25% only to writing, and the other 3 x 25% to aural and reading comprehension, and oral- and that the oral assessement was very much based on effective communication. Grammar was taught as part of a spiral, as and when it became necessary and logical to acquire to help with communication, and not 'in thin air'. So the future had to be learnt to talk about plans for Summer holidays, and the past tenses were essential to talk about the holiday atthe beginning of autumn term, etc.

For A'Level, 25% of the exam was on oral communication- and it involved describing films seen, books read, cultural and other aspects of the countries related to that language, and answering and debating those- unprepared, unlearnt by heart- so anyone without the necessary oral skills would not pass.

So I definitely think it just depends...

I suppose I was unusual, as I taught my MT, French, but having done my Degree in the UK. I also taught German - and later run my own English school, taking 6 students per course, 2 French speakers, 2 German and 2 Italian- to insure they communicated in English among themselves. The Germans were always way more able to communicate and had by far the best knowledge of the country and culture. Really impressive.

The whole course was 100% immersion- including guided visits all over the country, sport and all sorts of activities. Although English is not my MT- this is the language I always enjoyed teaching most- despite the fact I never studied it beyond my Bac/Matu. I am still in touch with many of them - and most are using English all the time in their professional and personal lives, and all say they learnt more in 3 weeks, than in 6 years at school.
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  #220  
Old 10.03.2021, 11:51
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Re: can moderator cancel the "negative reputations" given to me by 2 members?

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If you don't practice of course you have no confidence. Maybe she could find some group or activity where she could practice her French more? Some people are perfectionists, this sounds so much like my mom.
She is doing hourly zoom chats in French with 2 people so her comprehension is improving. Our French neighbour from Paris asked where I came from in France as she could not pinpoint my accent, I find this highly amusing as I was asked the same question by a waiter in the south of France, he then started speaking English with my then French Girlfriend (He was from the Alsace ). As my grammar is fairly non existent its bordering on ridiculous, my wife says I speak 'Bluffers French'
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