Mind your language

23rd June 2000 at 01:00
overnment curriculum advisers have launched a feasibility study to see if modern foreign languages can become a part of the compulsory curriculum in primary schools. It will investigate the current state of modern language teaching in the junior phase, to see how widespread it is, and how effective. The study will also take account of international research as well as evidence from Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

The project will report to the Secretary of State for Education in March 2001 with recommendations on how modern languages for all - a policy encouraged by Tony Blair - could be achieved.

Researchers will evaluate th extra staff and training that would be needed, as well as the effect on the secondary curriculum. It is estimated that currently 90 per cent of independent schools teach languages to primary-age children, but only a quarter do in the state sector, mostly through out-of-school clubs.

Earlier this term, the Nuffield Inquiry, co-chaired by news-reader Trevor McDonald and Sir John Boyd, Master of Churchill College, Cambridge, recommended that by 2010 all pupils aged seven and over should learn a language.

Meanwhile, from September education action zones will be able to apply for DFEE funding to introduce primary languages.

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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today