A built-in boredom factor in languages

3rd September 2004 at 01:00
So fewer pupils are taking foreign languages at A-level ("Language crisis mars A-level triumph," TES, August 20 )?

It is perhaps no coincidence that 1992 - just after the national curriculum was introduced - is taken as a benchmark.

Pupils now have a full five years (key stages 34) of a syllabus of communicative language, the content of which can be found at the back of most tourist guides.

It is boring to both learn and teach, and it is surprising that so many pupils find their way through this to pick up a language at A-level, where the specification becomes really interesting, dealing with current politics, social trends and cultural knowledge, including literature.

The national curriculum missed a great opportunity to capture pupils'

interest and the results of this are being felt through the whole educational system up to university degree level.

Victoria Paleit

Sunnylawn Cottage

Faringdon Road



Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now