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GCSE question

PepPep Posts: 501
edited December 2011 in The bottom bracket
My wife is preparing privately a student for GCSE, foreign language. No prize for guessing what language.
Of course the student's family is paying for this. Understandably, they want to keep the cost low. But they are complaining that the total of 45hr the teacher is suggesting (about a third already done) are too much. I think 45hr is already dangerously short (she CAN do it, but have to rush).

Here is my question:...

how many hourse of teaching (i.e., excluding self studying) should a student have to be ready for GCSE in a foreign language?

Thanks

Posts

  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    A school year is 40 weeks, right?

    2hrs per week for language subjects rings a bell.

    GCSE is final two years at school.

    40 x 2 x 2 = 160hrs.

    This is an approximation. And if a kid decides to hold on to studying French when the GCSE options come up, then you could multiply that 160hrs by 2.5 (5 years instead of 2).
    Ben

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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,400 Lives Here
    1 on 1 45hrs should be OK, if they work hard.
  • jim453jim453 Posts: 1,360
    Your wife is the teacher, she knows how to speak Japanese. She is better placed to answer the question than either the parents of her student or a bunch of bored cyclists.

    Do the parents want this doing properly or quickly? Presumably they're free to take their business elsewhere if they don't like what your wife is doing.
  • stratcatstratcat Posts: 160
    1 on 1 45hrs should be OK, if they work hard.

    That's it in a nutshell. If the student works hard and puts the time in then they'll get through the syllabus quicker - end of chat!
    I don't think 45 hrs is unreasonable at all.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    As someone who has actually taught a language for exams, I'll put in my tuppence worth...

    Which language is it? Some languages are harder than others.
    Has the student actually studied the language before?
    Does the student know any related languages?
    How long is it until the exam?
    How good is the student at speaking, listening and writing? These are skills which really need to be picked up with a teacher.

    As a guide, when I was teaching English for students to take a GCSE level exam, my school would not enter students for the exam unless they had studied at least 120 hours. Of course, they could enter themselves, but few of them were ready.
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    I'm thinking:

    37 weeks/year (13 holiday, plus 1 for bank holidays etc, plus 1 wasted going to church .... I'm not kidding)
    Each day was really only 9-3 (discounting register)
    Over an hour was break/lunch. Make that 2 hours/day including PE and various other rubbish.

    So really, just 4 hours of lessons a day!!!!
    2yrs x 37wks x 5days x 4hrs = 1480hrs ... /10 GCSEs = 148hrs/GCSE

    But that's in a room with 30 others. Plus the amount of time spent sleeping off an hangover or staring out the window, you could easily half that.

    One on one, 45hrs should be more than enough.
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  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    Not studying for a GCSE, but I've spent the last 8 years trying to learn a foreign language, whilst living in the country where it is spoken. Still struggling. 45 hours might get you a GCSE pass, but can you describe the bit that’s just fallen off your bike over the phone in said language?
  • stratcatstratcat Posts: 160
    Term1te wrote:
    Not studying for a GCSE, but I've spent the last 8 years trying to learn a foreign language, whilst living in the country where it is spoken. Still struggling. 45 hours might get you a GCSE pass, but can you describe the bit that’s just fallen off your bike over the phone in said language?
    :lol:
    In the big picture GCSE is a pretty low level really. Having taught gcse (music) for many years I can tell you its pretty easy to pass a gcse and have hugely massive gaps in your knowledge.
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,850
    There's a huge difference in learning one to one and learning in a class of 30 but I would have thought it will depend hugely on the pupil's natural aptitude and also the base understanding of the language when starting (I assume Japanese isn't taught prior to GCSE?). As someone else pointed out, your wife should know better than any of us!
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Term1te wrote:
    Not studying for a GCSE, but I've spent the last 8 years trying to learn a foreign language, whilst living in the country where it is spoken. Still struggling. 45 hours might get you a GCSE pass, but can you describe the bit that’s just fallen off your bike over the phone in said language?

    That's not what a GCSE is - you're thinking about "ability to speak a language", whereas when I was at school you got your certificate by being able to put together 120 words describing a day at the beach and other invaluable tasks
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  • tim_wandtim_wand Posts: 2,552
    I learnt conversational Japanese from Watching Richard Chamberlain in Shogun, French and German from watching series One and Two of ALLO ALLO and English from working in a call centre in Mumbai.

    Then again I ve always been a CUNNING-LINGUIST.
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,831
    Pep wrote:
    My wife is preparing privately a student for GCSE, foreign language. No prize for guessing what language.
    Of course the student's family is paying for this. Understandably, they want to keep the cost low. But they are complaining that the total of 45hr the teacher is suggesting (about a third already done) are too much. I think 45hr is already dangerously short (she CAN do it, but have to rush).

    Here is my question:...

    how many hourse of teaching (i.e., excluding self studying) should a student have to be ready for GCSE in a foreign language?

    Thanks

    Try this formula.

    You can have it...

    Fast
    Cheap
    Good

    ..................pick any two


    The older I get, the better I was.

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