French novice 'not a level C';News;News and opinion

3rd December 1999 at 00:00
THE NEW guidelines for teaching modern languages to primary pupils have been dismissed by Glasgow teachers. Responses to the draft proposed by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum are summarised as "very unfavourable".

Glasgow education committee wants the curriculum designers to go away and think again. They should adopt a new model based on examples of using a language, councillors were told.

These examples would then be linked to 5-14 levels and the language skills needed to use them could then be analysed. The education committee report goes on: "Skill outcomes could be described with actual examples, and the teachers' need of some guidance in respect of content would also be satisfied."

The proposed links with 5-14 levels in other parts of the curriculum "do not make sense". Ian Boffey, adviser in modern languages says: "It is utterly ridiculous to suppose that a beginner in P6 has reached level C." If he was at level D in subjects except French, at which he was at a beginner's level A, "so be it".

The council also regrets that the SCCC has made no attempt to show how the guidelines fit into a languages programme running from P6 to Higher and Advanced Higher.

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