Rethink on languages

19th February 1999 at 00:00
THERE IS to be a "radical in-depth review" of the much-criticised 5-14 guidelines on modern languages. The investigation will be carried out by the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum at the request of the Education Minister's action group on modern languages.

The action group was set up last October after an HMI report revealed a picture of teaching in primary and secondary schools which was "not reassuring", according to Douglas Osler, the senior chief inspector.

Two development officers will report to a specialist curriculum council group which will have modern language teachers in the majority. John Mulgrew, chairman of the action group, said the review should be ready for consultation by the end of the school session.

The 5-14 guidelines on modern languages have been condemned by the Scottish Association of Language Teachers as "woefully imprecise" and Mr Mulgrew promised that the overhaul would be informed by consultations with class teachers. A number of primary staff have been invited to the next meeting of the action group in Dundee on March 17.

Mr Mulgrew, director of education in East Ayrshire, said that among other moves the action group will set up focus groups that involve parents and launch a campaign to persuade more pupils to take up the option of studying a modern language in fifth year.

The needs of industry and the contribution of technology will also be examined.

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