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ERIC Number: EJ834355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Some Reasons behind the Drop-Out from German Foreign Language Study between AS and A2 Levels
Watts, Catherine; Pickering, Angela
Language Learning Journal, v32 n1 p18-26 Win 2005
Current figures (CILT, 2005) indicate that, whilst the numbers of students taking post-16 modern foreign language public examinations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have declined overall between 2000 and 2004, one of the biggest drops is for German, which has experienced a steady year-on-year decline over the same period at the full A level. This article describes a study which explored some of the reasons behind the drop-out from German foreign language study between AS and A2 levels in England using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods. The study highlighted the following reasons as key determiners in the decision to discontinue German language study at A2 level: the perceived difficulty of German and the German AS level curriculum (encompassing the notions of the unexpected "jump" between GCSE and AS level German and the time-consuming nature of the subject); tactical decision-making regarding the need to accumulate the highest points score for university entrance despite the fact that predicted grades for A2 tended to be higher than those actually achieved by at least one grade; low AS level grades compared to GCSE; the perceived lack of relevance of German to future career/study paths. Results concerning subject enjoyment at AS level were inconclusive but most respondents felt that German at AS was the most difficult of all the AS subjects taken. The article concludes with a consideration of these findings in the light of the number of new initiatives and proposals which target, among others, the 14-19 age group. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Northern Ireland); United Kingdom (Wales)