Language of probability

19th January 2001 at 00:00
WHILE those of us who wish to see greater diversification in the provision of foreign languages in Scottish schools would welcome the recommendations of the ministerial action group on languages, Citizens of a Multilingual World, that "a variety of languages rather than French alone . . . should be taught as first modern language" and that "local authorities should generally be responsible for ensuring a diversified provision of first modern language within the authority" (recommendations 5 and 6), it is worrying that the same report also recommends that learning should begin no later than P6, should be "ontinuous and progressive in the same language" and "delivered effectively by appropriately qualified teachers" (recommendation 2).

Since "all initial teacher education primary trainees on BEd or PGCE courses" will in future require "a modern languages Credit award at Standard grade . . . or equivalent" (Key Issues page 54), what evidence does the action group have that this language will not in all probability be French? It would appear that the dominance of French will be increased rather than decreased.

Caroline Higgitt

Teacher of modern languages Glenorchy Terrace, Edinburgh

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