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View Poll Results: What would you personally prefer to happen?
I want the UK to stay in an ever-closer union 49 23.11%
I want the UK to stay in a loosely connected EU 68 32.08%
I want the UK out because the EU is bad for the UK 22 10.38%
I want the UK out because the EU is a bad thing 23 10.85%
I want the UK out because this would be good for the rest of us 17 8.02%
I don't really care 33 15.57%
Voters: 212. You may not vote on this poll

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  #25821  
Old 24.12.2019, 11:03
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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That wasn’t an option for us, we had to do at least one foreign language up to o’level.
I studied French at school from age 8-13 and German from 11-13. Dropped both in my 3rd year options at high school because they clashed with Biology and Chemistry on the timetable, and I needed the sciences for my (then) career choice. Went back to both and started Italian at night class in my early 20s. I find that German has changed considerably since I first studied it from 1976-78.
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  #25822  
Old 24.12.2019, 11:12
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They have the same amount as we had when we were at school although I believe they have the option to drop foreign languages before GSCE these days. That wasn’t an option for us, we had to do at least one foreign language up to o’level.

I passed o’ level French but I wouldn’t say that gave me the ability to really speak French. It takes a lot more than a couple of lessons a week and a piece of paper to be able to speak a language. Exposure is a much bigger factor than teaching hours.

The French are no better at speaking foreign languages than the brits are.
Some schools allow this but tend to get told off for it by Ofsted (anecdote alert) but most have a policy of at least one MFL at GCSE for most students. It's the IBacc nod. I did two MFLs at GCSE because my school was huge and had the capacity. I didn't do geography or History post 14 though as I took Music as my humanities subject.
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  #25823  
Old 24.12.2019, 11:21
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Some schools allow this but tend to get told off for it by Ofsted (anecdote alert) but most have a policy of at least one MFL at GCSE for most students. It's the IBacc nod. I did two MFLs at GCSE because my school was huge and had the capacity. I didn't do geography or History post 14 though as I took Music as my humanities subject.
I know both my nephew and a friend’s daughter dropped languages before GSCE but were advised not to. Different schools in different parts of the country.

I did two languages to o’ level too (although one was Latin), I’d have preferred not to but we didn’t have the option. I couldn’t do history as it would have meant dropping one of my preferred subjects due to the way the options were organised. I’d have much preferred history to Latin.
I did music outside of school up to A’ level equivalent.
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  #25824  
Old 24.12.2019, 11:28
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I know both my nephew and a friend’s daughter dropped languages before GSCE but were advised not to. Different schools in different parts of the country.

I did two languages to o’ level too (although one was Latin), I’d have preferred not to but we didn’t have the option. I couldn’t do history as it would have meant dropping one of my preferred subjects due to the way the options were organised. I’d have much preferred history to Latin.
I did music outside of school up to A’ level equivalent.

I would have loved to have learned latin.
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  #25825  
Old 24.12.2019, 11:44
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

I think the success in CH with foreign language learning isn't just exposure, I wouldn't take the credit away where it's due. Kids at Sec I. in our area already get 3-4 classes of the 1st foreign language per week with 3-4 classes of another foreign language per week. The classes are intense with heavy homework as well. The kids see the use of all of it, are made responsible for their progress, can practice with multilingual buddies and travel a lot. All this combined, with no possibility to really 'drop' a language makes the language learning really work. It is a prioriry and it is valued in the society, too. Trying to fix it in a high school age makes it less smooth. Kids I know start really early, 8-9yrs old. We pretty much only have multilingual colleagues, friends, neighbors and family. It is not only in CH where foreign language acquisition is a priority.

What I think is a shame is that there is no longer much interest in Latin, unfortunately, statistically speaking. But the option is there and 12yr olds can get as much as 6 quality classes per week here should they opt for it. That's fantastic.
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  #25826  
Old 24.12.2019, 12:21
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I would have loved to have learned latin.
I hated it at the time but really appreciated it later on.
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  #25827  
Old 24.12.2019, 13:12
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Good news! So it may take as few as 111 years of being in school to master a language
I guess the Swiss kids are more intelligent than British kids, silly me thinking it was anything to to with the teaching.
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I think the success in CH with foreign language learning isn't just exposure, I wouldn't take the credit away where it's due. Kids at Sec I. in our area already get 3-4 classes of the 1st foreign language per week with 3-4 classes of another foreign language per week. The classes are intense with heavy homework as well. The kids see the use of all of it, are made responsible for their progress, can practice with multilingual buddies and travel a lot. All this combined, with no possibility to really 'drop' a language makes the language learning really work. It is a prioriry and it is valued in the society, too. Trying to fix it in a high school age makes it less smooth. Kids I know start really early, 8-9yrs old. We pretty much only have multilingual colleagues, friends, neighbors and family. It is not only in CH where foreign language acquisition is a priority.

What I think is a shame is that there is no longer much interest in Latin, unfortunately, statistically speaking. But the option is there and 12yr olds can get as much as 6 quality classes per week here should they opt for it. That's fantastic.
Oh wait it's the teaching, where languages are deemed to be important
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  #25828  
Old 24.12.2019, 13:32
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I guess the Swiss kids are more intelligent than British kids, silly me thinking it was anything to to with the teaching.


Oh wait it's the teaching, where languages are deemed to be important
Well according to the accounts of MC and various other UK based teachers, UK and CH students get roughly the same amount of classroom time.

Swiss students, certainly anecdotally (and I am sure empirically) appear to speak more languages on average and better.

You could attribute it to the teaching, but that would be ignoring the vast swathes of evidence that immersion in a language is incredibly important to learning it. You can turn on the council TV here and have shows in any of about 5 languages, same with newspapers and magazines. Every other person you meet in Zurich has an Italian or French name and often can speak that language.

I know you want to blame UK teachers, but you're onto a loser here.
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  #25829  
Old 24.12.2019, 13:35
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I guess the Swiss kids are more intelligent than British kids, silly me thinking it was anything to to with the teaching.


Oh wait it's the teaching, where languages are deemed to be important
Yes. And kids know that it is important for them, it was for their folks and it is a value in general, for the society. Not just EN but all languages. It increases mobility and employability.

Now - Brussels English as one common language of communication might not have had the same effect, the EU language policy might not have been as successful as the lang policies in small, independent areas. It is my experience. But there are pretty heavy works written on it, Vienna is the seat of that epistemology/ling stream. And they are correct, imho.
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  #25830  
Old 24.12.2019, 13:37
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I think the success in CH with foreign language learning isn't just exposure, I wouldn't take the credit away where it's due. Kids at Sec I. in our area already get 3-4 classes of the 1st foreign language per week with 3-4 classes of another foreign language per week. The classes are intense with heavy homework as well. The kids see the use of all of it, are made responsible for their progress, can practice with multilingual buddies and travel a lot. All this combined, with no possibility to really 'drop' a language makes the language learning really work. It is a prioriry and it is valued in the society, too. Trying to fix it in a high school age makes it less smooth. Kids I know start really early, 8-9yrs old. We pretty much only have multilingual colleagues, friends, neighbors and family. It is not only in CH where foreign language acquisition is a priority.

What I think is a shame is that there is no longer much interest in Latin, unfortunately, statistically speaking. But the option is there and 12yr olds can get as much as 6 quality classes per week here should they opt for it. That's fantastic.
What you are basically saying is that kids in Switzerland do get much more exposure to other languages outside of the classroom. It does make a huge difference to how quickly and easily the kids learn, sure the teachers also play a big role but it is the additional exposure which makes the most difference.
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Old 24.12.2019, 13:42
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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What you are basically saying is that kids in Switzerland do get much more exposure to other languages outside of the classroom. It does make a huge difference to how quickly and easily the kids learn, sure the teachers also play a big role but it is the additional exposure which makes the most difference.
My wife wanted to improve her French so on Netflix we started watching all films with French Subtitles for 6 months, now the films are in French usually with English subtitles, exposure is now possible for Brits that have any interest in a foreign language.
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Old 24.12.2019, 13:42
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I guess the Swiss kids are more intelligent than British kids, silly me thinking it was anything to to with the teaching.


Oh wait it's the teaching, where languages are deemed to be important
The teachers are multilingual themselves. Not that it just helps in language teaching but it helps their mobility and employability.
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Old 24.12.2019, 13:46
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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My wife wanted to improve her French so on Netflix we started watching all films with French Subtitles for 6 months, now the films are in French usually with English subtitles, exposure is now possible for Brits that have any interest in a foreign language.
Does "Bonding" come in French/GE subtitles, too?

Gotta reconsider my take on Netflix subscription

For the language immersion.
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Old 24.12.2019, 13:51
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I didn't do geography or History post 14 though as I took Music as my humanities subject.
Forgive me, but I'm stunned by that. Would love to know what you studied at GCSE/O Level. I did Eng.Lang., Eng. Lit., Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Art. First career was as photographer/colour print lab technician, second was as a business travel consultant, so all those subjects had a use, and I knew by 14/15 that I wanted to work in both of those industries, hence why I went to night school for languages whilst working as a lab tech.
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Old 24.12.2019, 13:58
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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I guess the Swiss kids are more intelligent than British kids, silly me thinking it was anything to to with the teaching.


Oh wait it's the teaching, where languages are deemed to be important

You really do need to get out more. Such a buzzy bee in that bonnet of yours.

How many languages do you speak, out of interest?

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Yes. And kids know that it is important for them, it was for their folks and it is a value in general, for the society. Not just EN but all languages. It increases mobility and employability.

Now - Brussels English as one common language of communication might not have had the same effect, the EU language policy might not have been as successful as the lang policies in small, independent areas. It is my experience. But there are pretty heavy works written on it, Vienna is the seat of that epistemology/ling stream. And they are correct, imho.
What on earth is Brussels English? Please explain.

Lots of folk know how impt languages are. My daughter's state primary does French from age 5. But it is helped massively by the fact that her dad has good conversational French and I can help a bit.

It's not just classroom time/ superduper teacher input. YMMV.


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My wife wanted to improve her French so on Netflix we started watching all films with French Subtitles for 6 months, now the films are in French usually with English subtitles, exposure is now possible for Brits that have any interest in a foreign language.
Yes it is. Is this an observation or are you making some kind of oblique point?

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The teachers are multilingual themselves. Not that it just helps in language teaching but it helps their mobility and employability.

So are UK MFL teachers . I had a colleague fluent in 9, conversational in 4 more. Most MFL teachers I know teach two or three languages up to University level. Usually French and German plus either Spanish or, increasingly, Cantonese. Again, YMMV. Round where I am Persian and Arabic is common.
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  #25836  
Old 24.12.2019, 14:26
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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My wife wanted to improve her French so on Netflix we started watching all films with French Subtitles for 6 months, now the films are in French usually with English subtitles, exposure is now possible for Brits that have any interest in a foreign language.
Passive exposure is not the same as active exposure.
It will help with comprehension certainly but is no substitute for active conversation.
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Old 24.12.2019, 14:56
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Passive exposure is not the same as active exposure.
It will help with comprehension certainly but is no substitute for active conversation.
My wife is having 3 hours of private lessons in addition most weeks.

I was able to translate CHD to English as a result for our German clients who had no clue what was being said. I did the same when working in Geneva as the official translator could not understand either
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Old 24.12.2019, 16:06
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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Forgive me, but I'm stunned by that. Would love to know what you studied at GCSE/O Level. I did Eng.Lang., Eng. Lit., Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Art. First career was as photographer/colour print lab technician, second was as a business travel consultant, so all those subjects had a use, and I knew by 14/15 that I wanted to work in both of those industries, hence why I went to night school for languages whilst working as a lab tech.
Why stunned? My school classed music as a humanity, end of. But ok: Eng Lit and Lang, Maths, three sciences, music, French, German, Tech Design (wasn't called that but that's what it was).

I did all sorts before switching to my current profession, mostly in logistics and finance. Lit was always my first love though and most of my tertiary ed is lit related.
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  #25839  
Old 24.12.2019, 16:09
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

What you did at school does not always equal what you will do for work.


I had Dutch, German, French, English, Business Studies, Accounting and Latin.


Ended up doing a lot of courses and training later on and switched to Corporate Finance.
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Old 24.12.2019, 16:17
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Loads of music instruction for me, arts....philo, psych, history, languages and lit. It was fun. We had to have a lot of stem, too, also fun.
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