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Terry Lamb, University of Sheffield Past President, Association for Language Learning A strategy for England.

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1 Terry Lamb, University of Sheffield Past President, Association for Language Learning A strategy for England

2 “The teaching of modern foreign languages needs to reflect the reality of the world in which we live. Our position at the heart of Europe places a particular emphasis on a number of European languages, but our global and cultural links extend much wider. Over 300 languages are in use in London alone, making it one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the world. The ability to understand and communicate in other languages contributes to community cohesion and educational inclusion, two of our key goals.” (Green Paper 14-19: extending opportunities, raising standards)

3 “For too long in this country there has been as assumption that because English is spoken in many parts of the world, there is no need for English speakers to learn other languages. It has led to a cycle of national underperformance. Too few people study languages to A Level and Degree Level, and in turn we have too few language teachers in our schools. We need to arrest this decline, and recognise the contribution of languages – not just European languages, but all our community languages as well – to the cultural and linguistic richness of our society, to personal fulfilment, commercial success, international trade and mutual understanding.” Language Learning document: pg2

4 To improve teaching and learning of languages To introduce a recognition system To increase the number of people studying languages in FE/HE and work-based training Languages for All: Languages for Life

5 To improve teaching and learning of languages The Primary entitlement Delivery pathways include: a)Specialist language teachers b)Existing primary teachers c)Outreach working d)Language assistants etc e)Wider language learning opportunities f)ICT and e-learning g)Innovative partnerships with schools in other countries

6 To improve teaching and learning of languages Key Stage 3 KS3 Strategy (foundation subjects strand) Content and Language Integrated Project Specialist Language Colleges ICT and e-learning, e.g. Curriculum online, e-pals Education Statutory requirement amended Diverse range of courses, including vocational Flexibility to suit individual needs

7 To improve teaching and learning of languages Further and Higher Education Employers LNTO and Regional Language Network Virtual Language Communities

8 Summary of concerns… Issues of social inclusion languages for the elite? community languages, BSL etc Rhetoric and reality focus on primary – the ‘push’ factor? neglected sectors – languages for life? international citizenship – the ‘pull’ factor? The research base Monitoring the strategy

9 High profile public debate on languages! ‘The [Nuffield] inquiry identified those problems [with languages education] and made substantive proposals for their remedy. However, to be blunt, it did not occur to those who worked on the inquiry, or those who gave information to it, that a Government that were ostensibly committed to education, would take the view that the remedy to current problems with language education in the UK was to stop doing it, rather than do it better.’ Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve

10 High profile public debate on languages! ‘Would it strengthen her elbow if Her Majesty’s Government recognised that one of the results of removing modern languages from the core curriculum at 14 must be to widen inequality and privilege in the educational system? All the facts show clearly that while modern language learning has been falling in the state system, it has been rising in public schools and private education. Surely that cannot be the intention of the Government’ Lord Watson of Richmond

11 High profile public debate on languages! ‘I have always worried about a system that relies heavily on the compulsion of a group of teenagers to learn a language as being the mechanism by which we provide languages to the population. So, while taking nothing away from what the noble Lord said, I am interested in ensuring that we have a national languages strategy which is as applicable to a five year-old as it is to a 55 year-old in terms of providing the opportunity to learn one of many languages that students might wish to learn.’ Baroness Ashton of Upholland

12 Terry Lamb, University of Sheffield Past President, Association for Language Learning A strategy for England


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