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Government policy and attitude towards languages

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Presentation on theme: "Government policy and attitude towards languages"— Presentation transcript:

1 Government policy and attitude towards languages
John Hopper, Languages, History, Geography team Department for Education 16 January 2015

2 Aims of my presentation
To set out the Government’s perspective on : The current picture: Why learning languages is important Policies on language learning in schools New national curriculum Support for schools And looking ahead New GCSEs New A-levels Looking ahead only briefly

3 Why school pupils should learn a foreign language?
‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.’ Languages - Purpose of Study, from The National Curriculum in England Framework Document, September 2013 “…primary school children are now required to study a foreign language to help prepare them for life in our globalised economy” Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Reform, speech to EPC, 20 November 2014 ‘Poor language skills are costing the UK £7.3bn a year in trade’ Education and Employers Taskforce report, December 2011

4 Language learning in schools from 2002
Proportion of KS4 cohort entering for a modern language GCSE down from 79% in 2000 to 40% in 2012. At A level, overall figures have seen less dramatic year on year change, but with a longer term decline. The picture is different for different languages: Spanish entries rose by a third between 2002 and 2012, German entries fell by a third French entries fell by between a quarter and a fifth over the same period.

5 Reversing the trend – from decline to growth
Introduction of the English Baccalaureate – GCSEs at grades A*- C across a core of academic subjects - English, maths, geography or history, the sciences (now including computer science and a modern or ancient language. Summer 2013 – results from first cohort of students whose GCSE choices affected by the EBacc : GCSE entries from KS4 pupils in England rose by 20% compared with 2012 Summer 2014 – further small increase in entries, despite decline in cohort size Feed through to A level?

6 Reversing the trend – from decline to growth
September 2013: publication of the new national curriculum in England framework, for teaching from September 2014: Learning a foreign language becomes compulsory at KS2 – substantial progress in one language New programme of study for KS3 includes more focus on grammar, translation and introduction to literature September 2016: first teaching of reformed GCSEs and A levels in modern foreign languages

7 Assessment – changes No formal national assessment in new national curriculum – no levels In April 2014 published a set of key principles for assessment produced as a result of consultation on primary accountability the previous year. Announced in May 2014 a new package of pupil assessment methods, developed by teachers in nine schools across the country, for their fellow teachers. These models will enable schools to develop appropriate assessment mechanisms. Work going on in DfE re assessment without levels Lots of idea floating around social media

8 Building on what is there – Language Trends survey 2013/14
95% of primary schools are already teaching a foreign language (42% said they already met the requirements of the new national curriculum) Three quarters of primaries believe that the teaching of reading, writing and grammatical understanding will be challenging. 46% of primary schools have no contact with language specialists in local secondary schools. Secondary schools report that evidence of prior languages learning by year 7 pupils is often of poor or variable quality and an insufficient basis on which to build. 76% of secondary schools say that implementing the new national curriculum for languages at key stage 3 will be challenging A continued positive EBacc effect – some 50% of state schools report an increase over the past three years in the numbers of pupils taking a language at GCSE, and in 33% of schools the increase is by more than 10%. Transition still an issue – perception vs. reality? EBacc effect: This is generally through persuasion and encouragement, rather than through schools making it a requirement for all their pupils to take a language. While higher levels of take up are generally associated with more advantaged schools, the EBacc is boosting take up in schools across most of the socio-economic spectrum, except for schools in the lowest quintile for educational performance. The highest increase was for schools in the second lowest quintile.

9 Support available School-based system means fewer national support structures Building on existing good practice: £1.8m fund for CPD at primary and secondary level Signpost resources to schools – links on ALL website Teaching Schools Resources from Embassies If asked about PLTZ – shared with ALL/Roehampton, considering what to do 1811 ITT places in up 4% from previous years

10 CPD for primary and secondary teachers
Aim to focus support particularly on new areas of challenge: Key Stage 2: speaking skills, incl. pronunciation and intonation, written skills, use of basic grammar Key Stage 3: more spontaneous speaking, use and manipulation of grammar, extended writing, translation skills both from the target language into English and from English into the target language, reading short literary texts Nine projects across the country: four school-led, four university-led consortia of schools, one national organisation £1.8m between last autumn and March 2016 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/18-million-training-boost-for-language-teaching Methods up to bidders If asked: 55 bids, wide variety of bidders, able to double the amount of money available

11 New GCSE for first teaching 2016
Key changes: provides more opportunities for pupils to speak and write spontaneously in the foreign language puts focus on understanding and using language across a range of contexts, including for personal, academic and employment- related use provides a clearer focus on grammar requires students to translate sentences and short texts into the assessed language gives equal weighting in assessment of the four skills emphasises that most exam questions should be set in the assessed language, with flexibility for their being set in English where appropriate BH to say more

12 New A and AS levels for first teaching 2016
ALCAB commissioned to advise on the subject content Consultation on draft in summer 2014 Final subject content published December 2014 SP to say more – won’t steal his thunder!


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