Wrong on languages

6th November 1998 at 00:00
I TAKE issue with your editorial (TESS, October 23) on the state of modern languages in Scotland. If as you state the HMI report found a positive ethos in classrooms with good relations between pupils and teachers, how can you infer that modern languages teachers are taking too academic an approach in their methodology and not catering for "a wide spectrum of ability"?

To achieve such a positive ethos and good relations is an outstanding feat when you consider that many S1 and S2 modern languages classes can be up to 33 in size, with pupils who have reading ages ranging from seven to 14 (sometimes lower, sometimes higher), include pupils who have studied a modern language at primary school and those who have not, and contain many pupils who lack a basic knowledge of English grammar.

I think most modern languages teachers deserve a pat on theback and I am disappointed your editorial chose not to look behind the lines of the HMI report and denied us much needed support.

Helen Coull. Claremont Street. Aberdeen.

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