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Government policy and attitude towards languages John Hopper, Languages, History, Geography team Department for Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Government policy and attitude towards languages John Hopper, Languages, History, Geography team Department for Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Government policy and attitude towards languages John Hopper, Languages, History, Geography team John.hopper@education.gsi.gov.uk Department for Education 16 January 2015 1

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

3 Why school pupils should learn a foreign language? 3 ‘ 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  2010 - 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 6

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.

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%.

9  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 Support available

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 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/18-million-training-boost-for- language-teaching

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

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


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