A Conversation for About Secondary School...

How many years do you take English?

Post 1


I was always impressed by the level of non-accented English spoken by the young people in your country.

How many years do you take English?

Post 2

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

The amount of English tuition is a little variable. For me, they started teaching basic English from group 7 (age 10) in primary school (as an experiment, we were the first group to get English lessons in primary school), It was and is a mandatory subject throughout secondary school, so you get it at least four years, but six for me. This gives me a grand total of 8 years of official tuition, followed by several holidays in the UK and jobs where English is corporate language.

Currently, primary schools are free to start whenever they like. My twins started in group 4 (age 7), but my youngest started in group 1 (age 4). For all three, the teacher was a native speaker, whereas in my time we just had a book and a teacher who tried his best. Some primary schools still don't teach English at all. This is a problem in the first years of secondary school, because the skill differences can be huge within one group.

How many years do you take English?

Post 3

SashaQ - happysad

Thanks for this - very good to know. smiley - biggrin

In my secondary school, from age 11, we were divided into different classes based on whether we had studied French in primary school, as French was mandatory - my primary school hadn't taught it, so I had a lot of catching up to do, but fortunately I enjoyed it.

I was lucky to have a pretty much free choice of subjects at school, but timetabling was a nightmare for the staff! Strangely German and Maths wasn't possible to be timetabled, but Classics and Maths was OK, and I took German lessons alongside my Maths degree at University instead.

"This led to lots of students writing phonetically on purpose, trying to explore the borders of comprehension. (like writing "bible" as "byeball" or "beibol")" - smiley - snork

I'm impressed with your BASIC skills - I didn't learn in school, so the best I could manage by teaching myself was a program to draw a lollipop smiley - laugh

Impressive Chemistry lessons, too - we were allowed to put lithium and sodium in water, but we could only watch a video of the explosion caused by potassium in water smiley - laugh

How many years do you take English?

Post 4

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

The risk of free subject choice is that you get gap hours in your schedule. One year I had five gap hours a week together with my best friend. We started out playing chess, but stopped after some months, because I kept winning all matches.

Apart from mandatory Dutch and English till exam level, we have to start off secondary school with two other foreign languages, usually French and German, although at my son's school they swapped French with Spanish from this year.

I got my BASIC skills by starting at page one of the book and testing every command that didn't have a warning written next to it (like: "This can seriously damage your computer"). We also had a bi-weekly scientific magazine that (among loads o other interesting things) posted short programs you could then type in for yourself and play around with.

I remember the sodium in water, we did that too (float some on a piece of paper until the moisture ignited the stuff). Most of the heavier stuff was performed live by the teachers.
One of my Physics/Chemistry teachers told us she once synthesised a very small vial of nitroglycerin, put that in an empty field and started tossing stones at it from a "safe" distance. When it finally went, the size of the resulting crater scared the hell out of her. So she heartily recommended us to never try this ourselves. Ever... I mean it... Please..?!

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