News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Foreign Language Muddle Strikes Again

Bristol schools look set for another confusing twist in the endless debate about language learning for primary age children.

After scrapping the compulsory study of learning a foreign language after the age of 14, the Department of Education is now faced with the unsurprising fact that the numbers taking modern languages at GCSE have dropped dramatically. GCSE French entries are down by 13% while take up of German has declined by 14%.

In response to this decline in language learning at secondary school, Education Secretary Alan Johnston has asked Lord Dearing to review the government's strategy.

Meanwhile, Westbury on Trym schools are actively implementing a previous government initiative to improve the provision of language teaching at primary level. Elmlea Junior School now offers weekly French lessons to upper juniors, while Westbury on Trym C of E primary School runs an after-school Spanish club for pupils.

A case of needing some joined-up policy, perhaps?

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