Don't blame teachers for decline of languages

11th November 2005 at 00:00
The fact that only 20 per cent of pupils are opting to continue with languages into key stage 4 ("Language decline troubles heads", TES, October 28) is nothing short of a national scandal. However, for heads to blame this on poor teaching only tells half the story.

We have strong evidence that language funding at key stage 3 is being severely cut, presumably by heads and governors who, observing that language results now have little bearing on key stage 4 league-table positions, see no point in funding it properly at key stage 3.

This means that KS3 pupils are being taught using out-of-date books, and denied access to new and up-to-the-minute materials and equipment such as interactive whiteboards.

Is it any wonder that pupils consider their modern language lessons "uninspiring"?

Ron Gellert-Binnie Managing director LCP, Hampton House Longfield Road Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

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