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Xavier North

* Xavier North, cultural councillor to the French embassy and director of the Institut Francais, told the conference about the revolution in language-teaching in France where English had become compulsory from the age of five in primary schools since last September . Urging the British to follow suit, he said the world was not becoming more English, but more "plural lingual". English was even losing its lead on the web, he added.

Biddy Passmore of some of the most academically successful independent girls' schools has shown.

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