Varied, not 'heavy'

20th July 2007 at 01:00
I refer to your report "More language, less grammar" (TES Cymru, July 6).

Modern foreign language teachers have long ago moved away from the grammar translation teaching methods of old, but it is possible in the current world of ICT to introduce and reinforce grammatical understanding in many diverting ways.

The proposed new orders for the national curriculum in Wales build upon the notion that learners need to be taught to manipulate language structures if they are to be able to use it in useful ways.

I would not describe GCSE in MFL as "grammar-heavy". But the decline in 14 year-olds opting for language studies shows a need to offer a more varied diet at key stage 4 alongside GCSE.

I did not "downplay the language module of the Welsh bac".

Despite the current low levels of uptake in MFL at KS4 and beyond, these are exciting times for MFL education.

The Assembly government is also committed to relaunching its MFL strategy Languages Count by autumn 2008. I am hopeful that future generations will benefit from this and will see the advantages of language learning.

Kristina Hedges Language teaching adviser CiLT Cymru.

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