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Accent is on games, songs and stories

PUPILS who learn French and German in primary improve their language skills, particularly in listening and pronunciation. They also gain a cultural and European dimension, according to Dan Tierney, former national development officer in the MLPS programme.

Mr Tierney visited more than 100 schools and found strong parental support and high pupil motivation. "Pupils enjoyed their language experience - the games, songs, the stories - and were developing a positive attitude towards language learning," he says.

Mr Tierney, a Strathclyde University lecturer and prominent member of the language teachers' association, believes the greatest danger to the initiative lies in the primary-secondary transition.

"I do not get the impression that there is a clear strategy to ensure that the secondary schools are able to build on what has been achieved in primary schools," he said.

* Warning bells for languages: Dan Tierney writes next week in The TES Scotland.

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