Sunday, September 14

Ambitious students choose tougher subjects

Now this is excellent news, that British students are choosing tougher subjects and not namby pampy silly sod subjects which are seriously ruining the image of British education. I quote,

"Increasing numbers are focusing on mathematics, science and languages to impress admissions tutors who find it increasingly hard to identify the best candidates.

Some leading institutions - including Cambridge and the London School of Economics - have already drawn up lists of subjects they say are not academically rigorous enough. Students taking more than one A-level in areas including media studies, dance, sports studies and travel and tourism are unlikely to be given a place.

Results reveal more taxing subjects - which have suffered from long-term declines - appear to be making a comeback.

Mathematics entries were up by 4,500 to a record 65,239 - making it the second most popular A-level in the UK.

Entries in the three sciences - biology, chemistry and physics - also increased.

The number of pupils studying languages rose overall, with French increasing to its highest level since 2003. Spanish jumped to a record high, although German entries dropped again fell following a slump last year.

The biggest losers included some subjects often criticised as “soft”, with computing, general studies and expressive arts having fewer candidates than in 2007. "

My son asked me today about the languages he should take. His language history has been amazing and just tells you the rather sad progression the state makes in language training. He obviously knows Bengali, Hindi and English, but he then started learning french in school but his french is atrocious. You cannot learn a language by just doing 1 hour per week in school. Then he was drafted into Spanish lessons. And again that dribbled away.

Now he is in high school and has been asked to study Ancient Greek, which is only open to special high performance students. Good for him. But now he has to select two from Spanish, French, German and Latin for languages. He asked me about which languages should he take? Obviously I plumped for French and German and then he made a face like a quiche. On poking further, I found that German is not considered to be "cool". Hmm, poking and prodding further brought out the news that students taking German are called as Nazi's. Hmm.

So what does he want to do? He wants to take French and Spanish. French I can understand because he has been studying that for some time now, but Spanish? Oh! the reason is that all the girls are in there. And thus is the future of language education established.

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