Mixed messages to global friends;Letter

15th January 1999 at 00:00
I MUST echo Margaret Tumber's dismay (TES, December 25) at the possible curtailment of modern languages in the key stage 4 curriculum.

We must also wonder yet again what sort of message we are giving to our young people and our international friends about Britain in the global workplace.

GCSE and the national curriculum, in conjunction with the enthusiasm and hard work of foreign language teachers, have begun to make real progress in terms of destroying our poor reputation as language learners. How can this latest move be anything but detrimental?

How ironic also that two of the most recent Department for Education and Employment's publications - Towards a national skills agenda and Labour market and skill trends - referred to the crucial importance, in the face of increased competition, of oral and written communication.

On page 15 of the latter document we read: "The internationalisation of markets also means that competence in foreign languages is becoming important for field sales staff. There is evidence of marketing staff working in international teams, meaning both language skills and cross-cultural knowledge are of increasing importance." Who is not talking to whom at the DFEE?

David Mee General inspector Modern foreign languages Wirral LEA

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now