Language learning revisited

10th May 2013 at 01:00

In my article "Learning new languages is now a primary concern" (26 April), a particular emphasis was underplayed in the editing of the piece.

The Languages Working Group claimed that "there is a considerable body of evidence which indicates that young children learn more easily than older".

I indicated in the article that no references are provided to evidence urging caution, but it is important that readers also know that, despite the report's claim that there is a "considerable body of evidence", it appears that there are no references even to support the claim that "young children learn more easily than older".

One might have expected a national centre for languages (SCILT) to have carried out a literature review, and the working group to have given their references for such claims.

Dr Daniel Tierney, reader in language education, University of Strathclyde.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today