International GCSE languages – why study them?

If your child has enjoyed learning languages in Key Stage 3, taking a language in Year 10 is the logical next step. Pearson Edexcel International GCSE languages courses are a fantastic option. In this blog, we’ll explain what these courses involve, and the benefits of studying languages at this level.

What is an International GCSE Language course?

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE language courses are perfect for those who want to take their language learning to the next level. They are especially designed to further develop the learner’s listening, reading, writing and speaking communication skills, using the skills and knowledge they have gained in KS3. As they are international courses, they implement culturally sensitive, authentic contexts all the way through that are relevant to young people today (find out more about International GCSEs in general here).

While still enjoyable and engaging, lessons are taught at a quicker pace, so pupils can really notice their skills improving. Pupils are then tested at the end of Year 11 via three examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Listening (30 minutes, 40 marks)
  • Paper 2: Reading and Writing (1hr 45, 80 marks)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (8-10 minutes, 40 marks)

Check out the other benefits to studying International GCSE languages below:

Improved overall learning

Studies have shown that bilingual brains get a constant workout. This is because they are constantly thinking and sorting through two different languages, rather than one. While that may sound like it would give your child a hard time, it actually makes them better problem-solvers as a result. According to this article from the New York Times, speaking more than one language can have a huge impact on your cognitive skills. It can also help protect against age-related mental impairment in future.

Because of its ability to boost brain function, taking a language during those all-important International GCSE years can be good news for your child’s overall academic performance. Planning, concentration, multi-tasking and problem-solving are all skills that are improved with learning languages. Not to mention it boosts creative-thinking too!

Better cultural awareness

One of the best things learning languages at school prepares you for is the ability to communicate and connect with people from different countries. This opens up a world of opportunities for travel later in life, and for your child to fully immerse themselves in new environments. It’s also much easier to connect with people from different countries when you’re able to communicate clearly.

International GCSE languages courses not only focus on the language itself, but on the culture and people of the countries it is spoken in. This gives your child the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of world cultures, and the way different people live their lives. Understandably, these are super important social skills to learn at any age, but particularly when you are young. Learning languages helps foster empathy, tolerance and a more inclusive, multi-cultural mind-set.

Brighter career prospects

In our modern, globalised world, speaking more than one language is definitely a major plus. No matter what job your child ends up in, speaking another language will make them a valuable asset. Almost any field of work benefits from bilingual employees – from teaching, translation and interpretation to law, medicine, science and business.

The problem-solving, creative, planning and concentration skills that go hand-in-hand with bilingualism are also a huge benefit when it comes to career prospects. Not only will your child be able to communicate across borders, but they will have a variety of transferrable skills to put to good use in the workplace. Plus, some studies have shown that being bilingual at work can boost your salary by between 5% and 20%!

Study International GCSE languages online

If your child is home-schooled or if your family travels a lot, the good news is they can now study International GCSE language courses online. My Online Schooling offers both French and Spanish Edexcel International GCSE courses. Our lessons are all taught live in virtual classrooms, where your child can actively participate and interact with the teacher and their classmates in small class groups. They will be guided and supported through the syllabus by their subject specialist teacher, setting them up for success in their final exams.

We are now taking enrolments for Year 10 International GCSE starting in September 2020. If you’d to find out more about online learning for your child, please get in touch with our friendly team today by clicking here.

My Online Schooling is an online learning platform that offers a flexible, full-time English Curriculum-led education to children all over the world. We support home-educated pupils by providing live online lessons following a set syllabus, offering them the opportunity to receive International GCSE and A-Level qualifications that open doors to higher education. Click here to find out more about our school.

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